THE NEW YORK TIMES – JEREMY W. PETERS
In January 2011, four and a half years before Donald Trump glided down the escalator at Trump Tower and began a campaign for the White House that few conservatives were taking seriously, Michael Savage invited him on the radio and declared that he had found a president. It was their first interview.
Mr. Savage isn’t as well known or as widely listened to as heavyweight conservative talk show hosts like Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh. But his early backing of Mr. Trump helped the candidate build a bridge to the millions of people in his “Savage Nation” audience who identify with the host’s nationalist beliefs, a worldview he sums up in his unofficial motto: “Borders, language, culture.”
Now Mr. Savage is an outlier once again, dismayed more each day as the budget deficit continues to swell, thousands of new migrants are apprehended at the border, and the wall Mr. Trump promised to erect and make Mexico pay for remains unbuilt.
“Read my lips: no new immigrants,” Mr. Savage said one recent day, taking a swipe at what he says is just one of the president’s major unfulfilled promises.
But his skeptical take is not something many of his 7.5 million weekly listeners seem to want to hear as the president prepares to kick off his re-election campaign Tuesday with a rally in Florida.
“To too many people he’s not a human being, he’s a demigod,” Mr. Savage said one afternoon after wrapping up a broadcast from his home studio, which sits on a hilltop overlooking San Francisco Bay. This especially includes his colleagues in the conservative media, he said. “It’s embarrassing to listen to some of these people.”