Friday, July 21, 2006
San Francisco radio host Michael Savage (left) once was a North Beach hipster who counted none other than Lawrence Ferlinghetti and the late Allen Ginsberg among his pals when he was still using his real name: Michael Weiner, according to a profile in the SFWeekly and other New Times alt-weeklies across the country. The piece is an eye-opener about the host whose show is carried on 400 stations reaching 8 million people a day. For instance, it says that the Ginsberg collection at Stanford includes a homoerotic postcard Weiner sent Ginsberg in the early 1970s. Nowadays, Savage regularly attacks gays on his radio program and was fired by MSNBC to telling a gay caller to "get AIDS and die, you pig." The story notes that Savage has a permit to carry a gun and has a body guard. The story recalls that Savage sued UC Berkeley after his application for journalism school dean was rejected and China expert Orville Schell was hired instead. Savage said that while he had no formal training in journalism, Schell, as someone "whose claim to fame was managing an organic cattle farm" ... "was certainly no more qualified than I was."