(WASHINGTON, D.C., 7/28/2008) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) today welcomed a federal judge’s decision to dismiss what it termed a “retaliatory” copyright-infringement lawsuit by syndicated radio talk show host Michael Savage.
Last year, Savage sued CAIR after the Washington-based civil rights and advocacy group posted audio clips from his October 29, 2007, program on its website. In those clips, Savage, whose “Savage Nation” program airs on more than 300 radio stations nationwide, screamed attacks on Muslims, Islam and the Quran. CAIR called on radio listeners of all faiths to contact companies that advertise on the program to express their concerns about the host’s anti-Muslim bigotry.
SEE: National Radio Host Goes on Anti-Muslim Tirade
In a ruling issued on Friday, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said members of the public are entitled to take excerpts from programs like Savage’s in order to use them for comment and criticism. Judge Illston also dismissed a bizarre racketeering claim against CAIR in Savage’s lawsuit.
Judge Illston termed Savage’s complaint “lengthy” and “redundant” and noted that he may have brought the racketeering allegations in an attempt “to harass the defendant.”She also ruled that some of Savage’s allegations did not comply with the basic structural form of a lawsuit as outlined in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
To read the Judge Illston’s ruling, click here.
SEE: Suit Brought By ‘Savage Nation’ Radio Host Tossed(San Francisco Chronicle)
“We are pleased with the judge’s strong support for First Amendment rights and with her rejection of the frivolous claims put forward by Mr. Savage’s retaliatory lawsuit,” said CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin. “We believe the real purpose of this baseless suit was to silence discussion of Mr. Savage’s bigoted and hate-filled views.”
Other groups also launched campaigns against Savage’s hateful rhetoric. In November 2007, a community and interfaith coalition called Hate Hurts America (HHA) was formed in response to Savage’s rhetorical attacks on Muslims and other minority groups. In February 2008, Brave New Films launched a website, http://www.nosavage.org, that included videos with examples of bigoted on-air comments by Savage targeting Muslims, immigrants and women, and asked visitors to urge Savage’s remaining advertisers to drop their support of his program.
A number of advertisers responded to these campaigns by CAIR, HHA and Brave New Films by either dropping or refusing to air commercials on “Savage Nation.”
SEE: CAIR: Advertiser Campaign Costs Savage $1 Million (AP)
Savage has a long history of on-air bigotry. Parents of autistic children were outraged by comments Savage made on his July 16 program in which he claimed that 99 percent of autism cases are fraudulent. He called autism a “phony disease” and autistic children “brats.”
SEE: Savage Loses Advertisers Over Autism Remarks (ABC News)
SEE ALSO: OH Radio Station Drops SavageProgram (Plain Dealer)
SEE ALSO: Michael Savage (Media Matters)
CAIR, America’s largest Islamic civil liberties group, has 35 offices and chapters nationwide and in Canada. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-488-8787 or 202-744-7726, E-Mail: firstname.lastname@example.org; CAIR Communications Coordinator Amina Rubin, 202-488-8787, E-Mail: email@example.com