You see, if “Michael Savage” meant nothing to me — a well-informed Kiwi with close ties to the US — he will have meant even less than nothing to anybody in the United Kingdom.
It may be difficult to imagine, within the United States as you are and receiving nonstop bombardment by these issues, but outside the States we aren’t bombarded 24x7 by your media machine.
If you asked 1,000 people in the streets of Auckland who Katie Couric is, I would bet you a pint of your favorite ale that not one of them would correctly identify her as an overpaid American newsreader. And probably not 1 in 10,000 would correctly identify her employer.
The entire “Birther” issue? I have seen it mentioned once in New Zealand media — it was an article in “The Listener”, one of our better weekly magazines, a short article more of a curiosity than anything else. If you went into the streets of Dunedin — one of our University towns — and asked 1,000 people at random about the “Birther” issue, I’d bet you another pint of your favorite ale that not one of them could outline the key talking-points, if indeed they could even describe the issue itself.
If you went into the streets of Christchurch (another University town) and asked 1,000 people which party Obama represents, fewer than 500 would get it right (most folk wouldn’t know the two American political parties, any more than you would know our two main political parties — National and Labour).
The average New Zealander is at least as well informed as the average Brit — I’d venture that we’re much better informed because we’re much better educated and much better traveled, on average.
So if I didn’t know who Michael Savage is (and frankly couldn’t care less) then why would anybody in the United Kingdom?
This whole issue really only has legs in the US. And even then, it only has legs with us “Birthers”. For now.