No, I'm not just talking about the Osama bin Laden breed of extremism. Ultra-conservatives like Michael Savage are hurting the United States' image while mindlessly polarizing areas of its population. I've written about this before, but the folks over at the FP Passport blog (h/t to them) have an interesting story of how Savage's radical rants — listened to by an estimated 8 million people — are helping the view that being a hateful, anti-Muslim, irrational bigot is the norm in America. It is not. However there are plenty in the US who make it seem that way, and plenty outside America who want the world's superpower to look like an outpost for loonies. The material of Savage, Limbaugh, and others of the far-right wing is perfect for tarnishing America's image further, which is no help to the animosity felt for the US, especially in the Muslim world; this bad PR also hurts the effort against Islamic extremism and terrorism ('If the Americans are extremist, why can't we be?').