Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Michael Savage Fired

Shock jock Michael Savage went one stupid rant too far and has been fired by his bosses at MSNBC. From where I sit, the folks who run MSNBC hate his politics, but hired him anyway after Donohue was such a flop. Rather than hiring a thoughtful Conservative, they dug up thus sorry excuse for a political thinker, and got what they deserved. I think perhaps that this is exactly what some of the leftie execs at the network wanted in the first place.

This is no idle surmise. In my real life, I promote television shows, and have been spotted in MSNBCland more than a few times. Many of the execs there suffer from a particularly rabid form of leftie thinking, so, when Savage was hired, I wondered about the choice. That they picked the single person most likely to say something that would offend SOME protected group was clearly obvious at the time. Now that he has been fired, I think I know what they were thinking. They WANTED him to fail.

Don't be surprised if the network goes back to their usual tricks, now that the programming department has PROVED that these Conservatives are no good. Meanwhile, in the real world, most, if not ALL, thoughtful conservatives and libertarians hated Savage and his vile pronouncements at least as much as the lefties did. His TV show was an abomination, and I for one will not miss it. I am sure that I am in good company.

On the other hand, this debacle shows that the nets, or at least this one, really don't get it. With the explosion of outlets for programming, in a world where a half million viewers make for a SMASHING success, niche programming like the Savage Nation is exactly what is called for. I believe that Savage got almost that on his best day. Watch and see - that slot will NEVER see so many viewers again. Erik Sorenson, MSNBC President, should realize that it is all about ratings, not content. In a world where a 0.2 rating is considered to be acceptable and a 1.0 is a world-beating hit, there is no need for mainstream content, dumbed down like the offerings on the broadcast nets, where they need to see REAL numbers. In fairness to Savage, he claims that he thought the caller had been cut from the air, and that he was making private comments to the fellow, who he regarded as a plant from "a competitive talk show."

Sorry Mike, it's too late for an apology. They were waiting for you to slip up from the start. And maybe for you, just like for Rush Limbaugh, television may not be your best medium. Stick to radio, where you are a big success, and the bosses understand that insulting members of fringe groups is an acceptable route to attain that success.