Trend-setting radio talk show host Michael Savage has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit against the Council on American-Islamic Relations, and has accused the organization of being a “political vehicle of international terrorism” that seeks to do “material harm to those voices who speak against the violent agenda of CAIR’s clients.”
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in California, seeks damages equal to the ongoing donations from CAIR supporters “who expect CAIR to act in this manner in exchange for continuing financial support” as well as “actual damages according to proof.”
A spokesman for Savage indicated the top-rated talk show host would have no further comment, saying the text of the lawsuit itself would answer questions.
The focal point of the lawsuit is a series of audio clips CAIR has been using in its promotions and fundraising efforts.
Those comments from Savage’s show include his criticisms of Islam and Muslims, including:
“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.”
But the lawsuit maintains such comments, taken in context, are Savage’s verbal expression of the feelings of many Americans.
“The audience of ‘The Savage Nation’ expects this type of from-the-heart outrage and when it is directed at a murderer such as Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his ilk, the piece is far more understandable and far more American mainstream. While the strength of the outrage is remarkable and a hallmark of ‘The Savage Nation,’ the sentiment is shared by a huge number of Americans,” the lawsuit said.
“The copyright material properly viewed is a scream of outrage on behalf of the American public against beheadings, hangings of homosexuals, mutilation of women, the torture of rape victims and the thought that CAIR and other groups are trying to import these atrocities into American life,” the lawsuit said.
However, it claimed CAIR has misappropriated the copyright material and reconfigured it in order to generate funds for its operations, despite being warned that its use was a copyright infringement.
Ibrahim Hooper, communications director for CAIR, told WND the group would not comment on the action until the document had been reviewed.
The lawsuit, filed by celebrity attorney Daniel Horowitz, also named as defendants “Does 1-100.”
“‘The Savage Nation’ is unique among so-called ‘Talk Radio’ in that it combines serious intellectual analysis with dramatic and emotional soul baring that the show advertises as ‘Psychological Nudity’. This performance aspect of the show is critical in that it conveys an emotional power and a fundamental honesty to the programming that is meaningful to the listening audience,” the lawsuit said.
“There are segments of the show that are as lyrical and as emotionally powerful as live theater, poetry, rap music or other genres where a performer combines social commentary with powerful performance. In fact the start of show always begins with the admonishment: ‘Warning: This show contains adult language, adult content, psychological nudity. Listener discretion is advised,” the document continued.
Thus, the lawsuit maintains, when people hear Savage’s comments they understand “they are hearing radio that is as cutting, raw, emotional and fundamentally honest as any programming that has ever existed on the airwaves.”
Another statement targeted by CAIR, and subject of the lawsuit, was:
“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.”
CAIR, however “expropriated” Savage’s comments, including those from the Oct. 29, 2007, show and used them “for fund-raising purposes” and “in a manner designed to cause harm to the value of the copyright material in the long and short term,” the lawsuit said.
The lawsuit further accuses CAIR, “which is self anointed as the representative of the civil rights of Muslim Americans,” of being “a political organization that advocates a specific political agenda.”
“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.”
The “repackaged” material suggests a hatred for Islam, but in fact, the lawsuit said, “Michael Savage has presented various views and various perspectives. The purpose of his show (among other purposes) is to present uncensored, genuine points of view that force listeners to both think and feel in ways that normal polite discourse may not allow,” said the lawsuit.
“Just as all religions are free to practice in the United States, Michael Savage is free to exercise his beliefs without having someone in the opposition steal his property and convert it for their own use. The violation of the copyright and the desecration of that copyright material is a violation of the freedoms of Michael Savage to express his views,” said the action.
“Michael Savage’s right to speech is protected by both the First Amendment and in Savage’s view is also biblically required. “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. The lion hath roared, who will not fear? the Lord God hath spoken, who can but prophesy?” (Amos 3:7-8). It is essence of freedom that voices can be raised strongly and without fear of illegal retaliation,” the claim continued.
“CAIR attempted to silence Michael Savage by stealing his work, misrepresenting it and then seeking to have advertisers drop his show. This is a violation of Michael Savage’s rights to speech and to his religious beliefs,” the action said.
The lawsuit noted CAIR was founded in 1994 by Ibrahim Hooper, Nihad Awad and Omar Ahmad, “all of whom had close ties to the Islamic Association for Palestine (IAP), which was established by senior Hamas operative Mousa Abu Marzook.”
And the action noted the FBI has concluded the IAP is “a Hamas front … (that is) controlled by Hamas, it brings Hamas leaders to the U.S., it does propaganda for Hamas.”
The action seeks a jury trial, plus “general and special damages” for the actions that were “wanton, willful and malicious.”