Controversial US DJ Michael Savage has loudly declared he will sue UK home secretary Jacqui Smith after appearing on a "banned list" of 22 people unwelcome in Britain for "fostering extremism or hate", as the BBC puts it.
Savage, described as "conservative", objects strongly to finding himself alongside two members of a Russian skinhead group*, ex-Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard Stephen 'Don' Black, neo-Nazi Erich Gliebe, Hamas MP Yunis Al-Astal and Jewish extremist Mike Guzovsky on the prohibited roster.
On his website, there's this "typically wry" response to the news:
"Darn! And I was just planning a trip to England for their superior dental work and cuisine," he [Savage] recalled thinking.
"Then it sank in," he told WorldNetDaily, "and I said, 'She said this is the kind of behavior we won't tolerate? She's linking me with mass murderers who are in prison for killing Jewish children on buses? For my speech? The country where the Magna Carta was created?'"
Defending the decision to ban Savage and his 21 fellow hatemongers**, Smith told the UK's GMT: "Coming to this country is a privilege. If you can't live by the rules that we live by, the standards and the values that we live by, we should exclude you from this country and, what's more, now we will make public those people that we have excluded."
Savage has threatened to deploy "top First Amendment attorneys" to represent him "in a major international case". UK lawyers, though, have said Savage faces an uphill task bringing a defamation action since the list was "issued with the authority of the British government".
The BBC elaborates that English law "recognises that there are cases when there is a legitimate and public interest in information being made widely available, and that unless the government acted out of improper motives for placing him on the list, any libel claim is unlikely to get very far".
Nonetheless, Savage insisted: "I want to sue the British home secretary for defamation for linking me up with murderers because of my opinions, my writings, my speaking - none of which have advocated any violence, ever."
That's as maybe, but Savage's opinions are extreme in the views of some. He has described the Koran as "a book of hate", most autism as the behaviour of "a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out" and Liberalism as "a mental disorder".
By Savage's reckoning, Wacky Jacqui is suffering from a very nasty case of namby-pamby Liberal delirium, and he described her as a "lunatic witch" while exhorting his millions of listeners to boycott the UK. ®
*Artur Ryno and Pavel Skachevsky, who "have no chance of boarding a plane to Britain since they are currently serving ten years in a Russian jail for leading a gang which committed 20 racially-motivated murders", as the Daily Mail gloats. The Mail has wasted no time in branding the whole banned list affair a "humiliating gaffe" by Ms Smith.
**Savage's website sets the total figure at 16, but there are actually 16 named individuals plus a further six who remain anonymous because naming them, as the government explained, "would not be in the public interest".