Two companies have withdrawn advertising for "The Savage Nation," a nationally syndicated radio talk show broadcast in Metro Detroit by WDTK-AM 1400, after host Michael Savage repeated hate-filled assertions about Muslims during a recent broadcast.
OfficeMax, of Naperville, Ill., and Citrix Systems, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., pulled their advertisements at the urging of religious and civil rights groups, which have long campaigned against the program. The groups have now moved on to other advertisers, including J.C. Penney, urging them to withdraw.
"We have freedom of speech in this nation, and Mr. Savage is free to say what he chooses, just as we as a community are free to support the businesses we choose," said Dawud Walid, executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations -- Michigan. Its national office has launched a campaign against the program.
"And it's good to know that corporations such as OfficeMax uphold the principles of diversity and justice and will not advertise on bigoted shows such as Michael Savage's show."
Savage, whose real name is Michael Alan Weiner, vented his rage at Muslims in an Oct. 29 broadcast that critics say is representative of some of his previous statements.
"I'm not going to put my wife in a hijab," said Weiner. "And I'm not going to put my daughter in a burka. And I'm not getting on my all-fours and praying to Mecca. And you could drop dead if you don't like it. You can shove it up your pipe. I don't want to hear any more about Islam."
Weiner, best-selling author of "The Savage Nation" and "Liberalism Is a Mental Disorder," was unavailable for comment.
During a 2004 broadcast, Weiner said Muslims should be converted forcibly to Christianity.
"We want to make clear that the opinions expressed on the Michael Savage program, or any program we advertise in, do not in any way represent the views of Citrix," Bernardo de Albergaria, vice president, said, in a statement issued last week, after it withdrew advertising Nov. 5.
Executives at WDTK-AM in Ferndale and at the syndicator of the Savage program, Talk Radio Network, did not return repeated phone calls. Located in Oregon, Talk Radio Network is the second-largest syndicator of programming for talk radio.
An interfaith alliance of at least 12 organizations in California, including the California Council for Churches, the First Congregational Church of Long Beach and LA Jews for Peace, have campaigned against the program and other talk radio broadcasting, under the name Hate Hurts America Community and Interfaith Coalition. (MORE)