Michael Savage Mocks Kennedy Cancer

Right wing shock jock Michael Savage had fun at the expense of Teddy Kennedy while announcing that the senator had being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Following the announcement that Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA) has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, nationally syndicated radio host Michael Savage opened his May 20 show by interspersing audio of Kennedy singing “Ay Jalisco No Te Rajes” with clips of news reporters discussing Kennedy’s diagnosis and audio from the 1990 film Kindergarten Cop in which Arnold Schwarzenegger’s character says, “It’s not a tumor.” Later, Savage played the Dead Kennedys song “California Ãœber Alles” after stating: “The poor guy’s been suffering for years, you know? Unfairly he’s been accused of alcoholism, but we see now that it was something much more deep-seated. And so, to cut this out in some respect for Ted Kennedy, here’s a tune coming at you from the Dead Kennedys. Go ahead and play it, please.”

After reading from the lyrics of “California Ãœber Alles,” Savage said, “No gloating today, no laughter, all serious. You don’t joke about a man’s cancer. I do it, but I won’t do it today; it’s something I will not do.” At one point in the program, he told a caller, “You know I’m playing the Dead Kennedys not to mock Ted Kennedy. It’s just appropriate, that’s all.”

While there’s no need to pretend to like a public figure with whom you have strong political disagreements — and in the case of Kennedy, perhaps serious qualms about his morality as well — it’s just in really poor taste to make fun of the fact that he’s likely dying. And to do so while claiming you won’t do it is beyond tacky.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. steveplunk says:

    Why don’t we go ahead and move Michael Savage out of the category “right wing” and into “kook wing”.

  2. rodney dill says:

    I’ve decided to lay off Kennedy for the time being.

    I may rethink that if the Democrats turn events surrounding Kennedy’s diagnosis into some sort of Wellstonesque pep rally, but for the time being I’ll treat him as off limits.

  3. Wayne says:

    I think it is in poor taste to make fun of or rejoice in Kennedy’s illness. However, many have gone over the top in praising him but that is understandable. Also it would be in poor taste to use the illness as a shield. I suspect the Dems will use it to further political agenda which would be disgusting but they will get away with it.

  4. Elmo says:

    Sh*t … I once voted for Teddie (write in). Back in duh day. I’m pretty sure he’ll live longer than myself (simple reality, and I’m only fiddy). His crime? Monotheism. No growth. No change. An unfacile mind, shod with lead boots. Banging that sorry arse lib drum … over and f*cking over again. Partisan politics over all. Over everything.

    I have no doubt he will not go gentle into that good night. I played hookey in the fifth grade, to go see Bobby at the local junior college gymnasium. A week before he was felled [and myself nearly being crushed by the crowd, as it pushed in the moment doors opened (I was first in line)].

    This day …. another signpost on the road of life. From where we have been … to where we are going. Lib or Dem. In all our America.

  5. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    it’s just in really poor taste

    I think it’s safe to say that nobody ever accused Savage of using good taste, or ever will for that matter.

    And to do so while claiming you won’t do it is beyond tacky.

    Having listened somewhat briefly to Savage, a mistake of which I am not proud to admit, I am sure that he was being sarcastic when he made this statement.

  6. Michael Savage is an ass. I’ll alert the media.

  7. An Interested Party says:

    Hmm…Savage’s comments don’t seem too far removed from those posted in these parts by commenters on Kennedy threads…

  8. Roman says:

    Have mercy on the weak and poor, but:

    Old Ted wants a nationalized healthcare system like Cuba or England. Would Edward Kennedy’s ADVANCED BRAIN cancer treatment be allowed by the British Health System? My buddy in the National Health Service says probably not.

    Given his age and advanced cancer, I’ll bet the socialized medicine machine certainly would not have paid for that $10000 helicopter ride that Mr. Kennedy got from his private island paradise to the hospital.

    Let’s let Ted go over to Great Britain to have the doctors at the National Health Service treat his cancer.

    Of course, I would think that he’d be denied cancer therapy as Ann Marie Rogers (a breast cancer patient) was denied an anticancer drug by the British court. Too bad she was not allowed to buy private health insurance by the socialized medicine folks in England.

    Sorry, Ted, no cancer treatment for you. Health care rationing, you know. Just read the fine print in Mr. Obama’s health plan. It will all be clear then.

    Also, Ted Kennedy is going to have to eventually answer for Mary Jo Kopechne, in this life or after. Ted, it’s getting about time to fess up to your past.

  9. An Interested Party says:

    And the comments keep making my point…

  10. Ron says:


    Ted Kennedy’s cancer would not receive treatment in Great Britain, which has the socialized medical system that he desire to force the US to have.

  11. Mark Pedersen says:

    We all gotta go one day. And one day the old s.o.b will meet his Chappaquiddick!