- The Washington Times - Monday, July 12, 2010

He’s still on Britain’s least-wanted list.

Talk radio host Michael Savage has waged a vigorous fight against the British government, hoping to have his name removed from a list of 16 “undesirables” banned from the country on May 5, 2009, by then British Home Secretary Jacqui Smith.

The list included Islamist terrorists, neo-Nazis and Russian gang members — and Mr. Savage says he’s still on the new version, despite his efforts to persuade British officials that his inclusion is unwarranted and unfair.

All governments are essentially amoral,” he told The Washington Times on Monday. “I had hopes but did not expect this ‘new’ UK government to restore sanity to Britain. They are still pandering to the Muslim masses. To continue to martyr me by including me on a list of known murderers and terrorists is bad enough but for the U.S. and Western media which considers itself ‘progressive’ to continue to ignore this outrage against freedom of speech is indicative that the media and governments are one and the same. This includes so-called conservatives. Has freedom of the press become greed-om of the press?” he concluded.

The British government described Mr. Savage as a “controversial daily radio host. Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behavior by seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence.”

Prime Minister David Cameron has informed Mr. Savage that his name will remain on the banned list unless he “repudiates” currently unspecified broadcast statements that Britain “deemed a threat to public security.”

Mr. Savage, who is heard by about 8 million listeners a week, sued Ms. Smith and the Home Office for defamation, attempted to enlist the help of Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, and devoted many hours of airtime to freedom of speech issues and the “arbitrary and capricious” nature of the list itself.

His book “Banned in Britain: Beating the Liberal Blacklist,” published in late 2009, presents the case that his name was included on the roster of public enemies in order to “balance” the list — which was primarily composed of Muslims.

The talk radio host is also irked by the fact that Britain has issued an eight-page guide to officials that recommends they not use such words as “Islamist,” “jihadi” and “fundamentalist,” and avoid making “explicit” links between Muslims and terrorism.