In an exclusive interview with Breitbart News, conservative radio legend Michael Savage gave a glimpse into The Savage Nation Podcast, set to launch with the new year, while offering his insights on the direction of talk radio and what the future has in store.
After more than two decades on AM radio, Savage has decided to shake things up this coming year, transitioning from his highly-rated syndicated radio show to an all-podcast show format where listeners can expect more “edge.”
Savage rose to the heights of talk radio and was inducted into the National Radio Hall of Fame in 2016, has been syndicated on over 300 stations across the U.S. and has over ten million listeners per week.
The Savage Nation radio show host gained a sizable audience over the years, with his current podcast, launched in 2019, landing in the top two percent nationally, with hundreds of thousands of downloads per episode.
“In 26 years on radio, Savage has earned some great accolades: ‘Radio Legend’, ‘Radio Rock Star’, ‘Talk Radio Kingpin’, [and] ‘Godfather of Trumpmania,’” a Tuesday press release read. “Many credit his mantra ‘culture, language, borders’ with having set the stage for Donald Trump’s political rise.”
In his discussion with Breitbart News, Savage described the move as a “bittersweet experience,” admitting “it’s been a very long 26 years,” before explaining his reason for continuing.
“I’m not a type that retires,” he said. “It’s the sheer will to not give in to the forces that want me to give in.”
Addressing what The Savage Nation can look forward to in the new format, Savage pointed to the variety of subjects he hopes to explore as well as what has made his show unique.
“My audience has always been very eclectic and came to the show for more than just talking about politics or because of my conservative views,” he said.
Savage, reputable for his ability to creatively touch on many different subjects during his shows, added that listeners can expect a heavier focus on subjects beyond the daily political grind.
“The difference between me and the rest of the radio talking heads is I have a rich background in many different fields, and many interests beyond the political spectrum. I intend to expand on what I have touched on over the many years on radio and really explore my other interests, such as cars, nutrition, plants, world history, my travels, music, my childhood, religion, philosophy, and so much more.”
“That is why The Savage Nation podcast will stand above all the others,” he added.
Noting the unique scope of his upcoming podcast, Savage, who has broad knowledge in many fields, as well as a PhD which includes a major in epidemiology, reiterated his intention to cover more topics of interest.
“It’s going to go beyond politics because people have strong feelings about other things too, including the quality of the cars they’re driving, the quality of the food they’re eating, the quality of the vaccine they may be getting or the quality of the ‘science’ they’re getting.”
When asked what advantages he saw in podcasting over traditional radio, the long-celebrated radio host spoke of the flexibility the new medium allows for.
“I have always done radio in a stream-of-consciousness manner,” he said. “The problem with that style and radio is twofold: When I get on a line of thought it may be late in a segment and then I am constrained by a clock and have to stop my thought process; secondly, I may be thinking about something before a show and by the time the show starts I’ve already gone past that important point I wanted to make and then it’s lost.”
“With the podcast, I can record whenever I have a thought, no matter what time of day, so I am not tied down by a clock or relying on outside entities to get my message out,” he added.
Savage also offered a glimpse into the content of the first podcast airing Friday and why the new format was quite suitable for it.
“In my upcoming podcast, I’m going to present a sneak preview of an ongoing film biopic done by Steve Williams, the cinematographer who created T. rex for [Steven] Spielberg’s Jurassic Park,” he said. “He filmed me a while ago and I’m going to run 15 minutes of the interview in the first podcast, of my beginnings, in a piece called ‘the boy in the basement.’”
“I couldn’t really run that on talk radio,” he added. “It wouldn’t fit such a format at all. It would be chopped up, and a long form interview like that, for a movie or a trailer, it wouldn’t work; but in a podcast, it will work.”
When asked which major changes listeners could expect, Savage pointed to the unbridled freedom the new podcast format provides.
“I think this will sound very different than the radio show. I will be able to expand on many topics, explore topics I haven’t on the radio before, and I’ll basically be able to say whatever I want, as raw as I want and not be bound by any regulatory bodies. I will be my own regulatory body. No more FCC [Federal Communications Commission], it’s now the MSC [Michael Savage Commission],” he quipped.
Savage also described a major focus of The Savage Nation during the current shift in the national political landscape as confronting the reality of a dire, deteriorating situation.
“Of course the news of the day will still be an important part of The Savage Nation Podcast; that is one of the main reasons I want to continue,” he said. “My listeners will miss my voice on the radio and this is a way for me to be there for them to guide them through these coming tough times, and believe me, I don’t see things getting better under a Biden administration or the eventual Harris administration. They will get worse. The division in this country will only grow.”
Talk radio: then and now
In critiquing the current format of talk radio, Savage insisted radio was always more than politics.
“It was never just politics,” he stated. “When did it become only politics? There’s more to talk radio than politics.”
“When I began in radio, people would talk about cameras. They’d have experts on. They’d talk about cars and things of interest to the human being,” he said.
“We all have interests outside of politics,” he added.
Referencing an old story, Savage lamented what has become of talk radio.
“There’s a famous story, in the age of the kings in England, where they would take his chamber pot and run it through the castle saying the king had passed his stool. ‘The king’s stool is good today; the king has moved his bowels; it is a good bowel movement today,’ as they run through the castle with the chamber pot,” he laughed, as he decried the situation. “That’s what talk radio has become.”
Savage went on to describe how irrelevant much of talk radio has become.
“You could go on three websites, Breitbart and a few others, and get all the news you need for the day in about five minutes or less, so you really don’t need to turn the radio on and sit and listen to it [in order] to hear what you could read yourself in five minutes,” he said.
“Then you go to the other side of the spectrum and you have the oral softcore pornographers like Howard Stern,” he noted.
“So if you want his soft core pornography: the brassiere, the panties, saying ‘lesbian’ 25 times; if that’s what you want to hear, if you have an IQ of that level, you got that too in radio waiting for you.”
Savage then expanded on the crucial role of entertainment in radio.
“We have an obligation to entertain people, enlighten them. You go back to the early days of radio and it was entertainment with a little news thrown in,” he said. “Now it’s all news with no entertainment, it’s just hatred day and night on both sides.”
Savage also noted the need for talk radio to be able to move past its non-stop obsession with discussing Trump to the exclusion of all other topics.
“What’s going on with talk radio? It can’t be all about Trump day and night, can it? How’s the medium going to survive? After all, he’s gonna be gone in January. What are they gonna talk about now, day and night? How Trump got cheated now for the next year?”
Savage also highlighted his loyalty to the president.
“I think that [Trump’s] legacy will be great. I want to make that very clear. I’m totally loyal to him. I have been from the beginning and will be to the end, but he’s not the be all and all of human thought,” he said. “We don’t dwell on whether Donald Trump burped today.”
Media bias and distortion
Asked why he believed the current polarized climate exists, Savage had harsh words for the media.
“Talk radio was a reaction to the bias of the mainstream media, which was all left wing all the time, as we all know, and it still is,” he said. “The very same vermin who attacked Trump mercilessly from before he became president, from that point onward, now they’re bending over backwards to tell us how great both the senile Biden is as well as his craven Vice President [Kamala] Harris.”
Savage also spoke of the need to continue being a voice to counter media bias.
“Kamala Harris came from nothing. She comes from the most corrupt city in the country. A product of the machine that took Pelosi to power,” he said. “The machine that destroyed California gave us the vice president. What did she get? Two percent of the vote during the primaries? Now she’s going to be president within six months when Biden goes to his rest in a wheelchair with a blanket over his hips.”
“The media is so twisted that if [Biden] was sitting in a wheelchair, drooling on himself in an old age home, they would show him in heroic form and posture, telling us what the great man has said today and holding his head up from the back like [the famed ventriloquist] Charlie McCarthy,” he said.
Savage described one of the biggest problems facing America in the future as its debt and the challenge of reducing it.
“After this chunk of spending to keep the economy alive, who’s going to fix this? Who’s going to reign in on the spending? A big government under Biden? It’s going to get worse and the Democrats are going to blame Trump for it,” he said.
Savage continued to highlight the economic crisis which he believes awaits the country this coming year.
“2021 is going to be a disaster economically,” he said.
“Weren’t we once fiscal Conservatives? Whatever happened to that?” he asked. “You cannot spend like King Ludwig II without bankrupting the Treasury. So who’s going to pay for this? The big winner[s] of profligate spending are those who hold our notes.”
Noting that President Thomas Jefferson “worried about spending more than any other president” and “moved to cut that spending” in part by reducing government, Savage cast doubt on that happening anytime soon.
“Try to reduce the government? Who’s going to do that for us?” he asked. “Biden?!”
Savage also highlighted some of his more memorable moments on talk radio.
“I made a major impact,” he said. “The seminal moments: stopping the Dubai ports deal under [President George W.] Bush was a huge moment; defending the military when it was falsely attacked by that bastard Senator [Dick] Durbin [D-IL] for the so-called ‘Haditha Massacre.’ I raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for them.”
“Durbin should have been put in prison for that, he should have been sent to Guantanamo [Bay] for what he did to the Marines,” he added. “I’m the only radio host who made an issue of it.”
Role going forward
Savage also explained how he saw his role, both in the past and as part of the new podcast.
“So many people count on me to help them articulate what they’re feeling; things they don’t have the ability to articulate,” he said.
“The French poet Mallarmé once said that ‘To make more clear the words of the tribe, that’s the work of the poet.’ So the poets sat around the campfire and explained to everyone else what the tribe was trying to say and I feel like that’s my role: to make more clear the words of the tribe, and that’s what I hope to be doing with the podcast.”
He further spoke of his need to be there for his listeners.
“I need to be there for my audience to help them get through this,” he stated. “They look to me as a teacher, which was one of my past careers. Teachers do two things: they teach you what to think and they teach you how to think. I do not do what the left wing shills claim and brainwash my audience; I am giving them a voice that they don’t have.”
“The vast majority of people don’t know how to put what they think into words,” he explained. “That is what I help them with, and what I will continue to help them with, through these times.”
Listeners can be assured that being there for them will go hand in hand, as always, with Savage’s unique and insightful frankness.
“I think these times are very important for me to continue being frank with you,” he concluded.
The Savage Nation Podcast can be heard on Apple and all podcast services. Listeners and fans can visit Savage’s website (michaelsavage.com) to stay up to date on his activities, schedule, news and insights.
Follow Joshua Klein on Twitter @JoshuaKlein.