Dan Savage hates bullying. Make that some bullying. Admirably, Savage hates it when gay teens get bullied. Less admirably, Savage doesn't hesitate to bully, smear and malign those who disagree with him.
Savage, a gay sex columnist, has never been shy about expressing his hatred for social conservatives. In his latest attack, appearing on HBO's "Real Time" with Bill Maher July 15, Savage wished Republicans were "all f**king dead" and admitted that he has contemplated how he'd like to "f**k the s**t out of [conservative presidential candidate] Rick Santorum."
Savage, a syndicated columnist best known for his "Dear Abby"-style sex advice column titled "Savage Love" is an open homosexual, and in 2010 launched a video campaign with his partner against gay bullying called, "It Get's Better." The campaign's goal is to encourage gay teens to remain strong and seek help in the wake of several gay teen suicides that resulted from bullying. The "It Get's Better" project has received the attention of celebrities, Democratic Congressmen, and even the White House.
Predictably, "It Gets Better," coupled with his outspoken gay agenda and liberal politics, has also earned Savage plenty of fawning attention in the mainstream media. The Culture and Media Institute performed a Nexis search for Savage and his "Savage Love" column and discovered that major newspapers have quoted Savage or run his weekly column more than 250 times since July 18, 2009. He is a go-to expert on gay issues for CNN and MSNBC, which consulted Savage a combined 42 times in the past two years. Savage appeared most often on CNN and CNN.com, where his name has made 28 appearances - 10 of those were associated with his anti-bullying web campaign.
But a closer look at some of Savages appearances and columns raises serious questions. Is he really the best spokesman for the gay agenda? Should they uncritically publicize the anti-bullying activism of a notorious political bully?
Reached for comment, MSNBC and CNN stress that they have no official relationship with Savage. Relationship or not, should supposedly neutral, respectable media outlets legitimize someone who trades in filth and political sabotage by giving him air time?
Just this past May, Savage demanded that a Canadian politician "Suck my d***, John." That politician's crime? He held an opposing position on the gay agenda. Five months earlier, in a single Newsweek article, Savage said "F**K John McCain," and called Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a "c**ksucker."
And the anti-bullying activist has no qualms about trying to bully media outlets into removing conservative voices from the air. In 2010, he told CNN's Kyra Phillips:
"There are no two sides to the issues about gay and lesbian rights. Right now, one side is really using dehumanizing rhetoric. The Southern Poverty Law Center labels these groups as hate groups. And yet, the leaders of these groups, people like Tony Perkins are welcomed onto networks like CNN to espouse hate directed at gays and lesbians. And similarly hateful people targeting Jews or people of color or anyone else would not be welcome to spew their bile on networks like CNN. We really have to start there. We have to start with that kind of cultural reckoning."
And maybe Savage's most famous attack on social conservatives happened in 2003, when the gay-activist bullied then-Senator Rick Santorum for his perceived anti-gay remarks, prompting Savage to ask his readers for a new sex term that could be named in the Senator's honor. The result was the top search for Google, with "Santorum" being referred to as the "The frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex."
The disgusting smear campaign has haunted Santorum ever since. But Savage, who is apparently devoid of self knowledge, claims to be incensed by "hate speech."
When Republican New York Gubernatorial Candidate Carl Paladino was in hot water with the gay community for saying that the "indoctrination" of "gay pride" is "not the example we should be showing our children," Savage was outraged, calling it "hate speech."
He said to Joy Behar on the October 12, 2010 broadcast of the 'Joy Behar Show' that Paladino was "[spewing] just this kind of violent, degrading garbage into our culture, into the discourse, and into our politics. It has no place in American life."
Coming from a man with a history of violent, Republican-hating, gruesome sexual rhetoric against social conservatives, that is a Savage irony.
(h/t to Noel Sheppard for the video)