By Boris Johnson, Daily Telegraph
About 10 years ago my brother-in-law was giving me a lift through the early morning Washington traffic when he suddenly gave a whoop of joy. “It’s Howie!” yelled Ivo, turning up the radio. “We gotta listen to Howie!” And it was with mounting disbelief that I listened to the next 20 minutes of the Howard Stern show, a shameless and cynical attempt to scandalise the ear.
These shock jocks were national institutions, with millions of weekly listeners. They were a new and important part of the American constitution, and that is my first objection to the utterly demented decision by Jacqui Smith’s Home Office to announce that Michael Savage, America’s third most popular radio show host, is banned from entering this country. It just makes us look so infantile, so pathetic.
Every day the American airwaves are churned by the paranoid rantings of Michael Savage and his kind. Has this stuff warped America, or deformed its political psyche? On the contrary, the Americans have just had the good sense to elect a supremely gifted and eloquent black man – when the prospect of a black British prime minister still seems some way off. What are we, some sort of kindergarten that needs to be protected against these dangerous American radio shows? Does Jacqui Smith think we are all dimwits, who can’t tell when a man like Savage is talking rubbish? Why can America take it, and we can’t?