The Council on American-Islamic Relations claims a raft of companies have stopped advertising on Michael Savage’s top-rated radio talk show in response to a CAIR-instigated boycott campaign, but several of the cited companies say they don’t know what the Islamic lobby group is talking about.
In a recent announcement claiming Universal Orlando Resorts “drops ‘Savage Nation’ ads,” CAIR stated:
But now AutoZone has told WND the CAIR campaign had nothing to do with its advertising decision, and it had chosen not to advertise on any radio talk shows – of all parts of the spectrum – years before the CAIR effort.
CAIR officials declined to respond to WND queries about why it is listing companies as part of its boycott campaign that say they have not participated in the boycott.
But Talk Radio Network officials also confirmed that companies including AutoZone and JCPenney never advertise on such programs.
“We do not sponsor syndicated radio talk shows,” AutoZone spokesman Ray Pohlman told WND. “We have customers of all shapes and sizes and political persuasions. For us to sponsor [any radio talk shows] wouldn’t make any sense.”
But that policy is years old, and wasn’t changed at all by CAIR’s effort, he said.
“What I will tell you is the CAIR organization did, in fact, contact the marketing department [of AutoZone.] We responded with our full advertising policy which clearly states that we do not advertise on radio talk shows,” he told WND.
He said the only way for an ad to have appeared would have been for a programmer at a radio station to make a mistake and put it on the air without permission.
Pohlman said CAIR apparently took the company’s response to mean it was instituting a specific ban on advertising on the Savage show, when in fact the policy covers all such radio shows, and is not even a new policy.
CAIR news release listing companies that already have stopped or refuse to advertise on Michael Savage’s show
The announcement about Universal was made by the Hate Hurts America Community and Interfaith Coalition, of which CAIR is a prominent member. It said Universal Orlando Resorts “has joined a growing list of advertisers that have stopped advertising or refuse to place their ads on Michael Savage’s ‘Savage Nation’ Radio program.”
The campaign also has triggered a lawsuit by Savage against CAIR over its alleged misappropriation of Savage’s radio broadcast material. In the lawsuit, Savage depicts CAIR as a “vehicle of international terrorism.”
CAIR says it is challenging Savage’s “hate speech,” and referenced Savage comments such as:
“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.”
Another major company CAIR claims has joined the boycott of Michael Savage is JCPenney. But as with AutoZone, JCPenney officials told WND readers they were not making any special provision in their advertising policy that would make them part of a protest campaign, but officials did not respond directly to WND inquiries.
“JCPenney did not ‘pull’ advertising from the show. JCPenney has had a long standing policy about not advertising on any show that can be construed as controversial. An error in upholding this policy was made by a few local stations, and it has now been clarified,” the company told a WND reader.
“Wal-Mart does not sponsor or advertise on the Michael Savage show. We have asked radio networks to ensure that Wal-Mart ads do not run in programming that we deem controversial and are sending out content guidelines reminders to radio networks and stations,” said that company.
Savage’s lawsuit alleges copyright infringement by CAIR, which the lawsuit says seeks to do “material harm to those voices who speak against the violent agenda of CAIR’s clients.”
Filed in U.S. District Court in California, the suit 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. 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.