Talk show host Michael Savage has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Council on American-Islamic Relations in an action that threatens journalistis and bloggers and advocacy groups that use material from broadcast and radio programs. The filing seems calculated more to allow Savage to defame an organization than to seek real legal relief.
In a lawsuit in federal court in California, Savage strikes out at CAIR for its use of some of his most intolerant comments for organizing opposition among the Muslim and non-Muslim communities. He uses the complaint to add to his attacks, calling the organization a “political vehicle of international terrorism” and states that the organization seek to do “material harm to those voices who speak against the violent agenda of CAIR’s clients.” He goes on to claim:
“The CAIR misappropriation [of the talk show excerpts] was done for political purposes unrelated to civil rights … [but instead] to raise funds for CAIR so that it could self perpetuate and continue to the (sic) disseminate of propaganda on behalf of foreign interests that are opposed to the continued existence of the United States of America as a free nation.”
At issue are audio clips used by CAIR. In the broadcast, Savage called the Muslim holy book “a throwback document” and a “book of hate.” He has added: “What kind of religion is this? What kind of world are you living in when you let them in here with that throwback document in their hand, which is a book of hate . . . Don’t tell me I need reeducation. They need deportation.” These clips also include the following offensive segment:
“I’m not gonna put my wife in a hijab. And I’m not gonna put my daughter in a burqa. And I’m not getting’ on my all-fours and braying to Mecca. And you could drop dead if you don’t like it. You can shove it up your pipe. I don’t wanna hear any more about Islam. I don’t wanna hear one more word about Islam. Take your religion and shove it up your behind. I’m sick of you.”
In another clip, he states:”What sane nation that worships the U.S. Constitution, which is the greatest document of freedom ever written, would bring in people who worship a book that tells them the exact opposite? Make no mistake about it, the Quran is not a document of freedom. The Quran is a document of slavery and chattel. It teaches you that you are a slave.”
In part of his complaint, Savage seems to be laying the groundwork for a false light claim. He claims that CAIR “repackaged” the material to falsely suggest a hatred for Islam– though it is pretty hard to imagine a context where these statements would not reveal such a hatred.
Fortunately for Savage, such statements in court filings are privileged from defamation charges, but if he has the courage to repeat those statements in public, he will be vulnerable to a lawsuit with merit — unlike his complaint. Indeed, one purpose of the complaint may be to allow Savage to make such allegations without exposing himself to lawsuit due to the privilege for legal filings. This is reinforced by a review of the complaint put on Savage’s website, which is exceptionally weak and vitriolic. The purpose does not appear to be true legal action. If it were, this is a remarkably low-grade effort for a federal filing.
It is difficult for groups to bring defamation cases since group defamation is discouraged. The large the group, the more difficult. However, here a very specific organization is being accused of connections to terror. The other attacks on Muslims would not be actionable under group libel standards.
For a copy of the complaint, clickhere
For the full story, click here