New York Personal Injury Law Blog » First Amendment, tort reform


December 4th, 2007

Tort "Reformer" Michael Savage Brings Lawsuit

Right wing radio talk-show host and tort “reformer” Michael Savage has brought a lawsuit. The infraction? He was quoted by an Islamic group on its website in which he called the Quran a “book of hate” and said Muslims “need deportation.”

Savage (a pseudonym for Michael Alan Weiner), perhaps unaware of the First Amendment, said the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) had violated copyright law by using the excepts in a campaign to persuade advertisers to stop sponsoring his show, according to this San Francisco Chronicle story. From the article:

Savage calls the Quran a “hateful little book,” says Muslims “breed bombers” and asserts that the religion of Islam seeks to “convert or kill” nonbelievers.

Savage, who claims to have lost $1 million in revenue as a result of the boycott, said in an Associated Press story that “he was talking about Iran president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his dangerous and violent brand of Islamic extremism, not about the religion in general.”

The vitriolic segment was apparently a medley of statements from different broadcasts, and not a single 4-miute spewing. Savage, who apparently has a history of attacking those he disagrees with, is upset now that the roles are reversed.

The lawsuit, according to many portions of the Complaint at the Daily Kos, claims:

“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 the Savage website, there is an announcement of the suit trying to silence the Islamic site, accompanied by a “Legal Defense Fund” to “Support Freedom of Speech.” George Orwell, it appears, is alive and well.

And on the tort “reform” front, Savage has had this to say:

“Pass tort reform now. Lawyers are important to a society of laws. But lawyers are like red wine. Everything in moderation. Today we have far too many lawyers, and we’re suffering from cirrhosis of the economy.”

Note to Savage: My use of your book cover as an illustration constitutes fair use. I recognize, of course, that getting people to write about you and buy yoru stuff may have been the real point of the lawsuit.

(hat tip to Rhymes with Duck )

Links to this post:

more civil justice in the blogosphere
eric turkewitz discusses two new cases and what they have to do with tort “reform”: one filed by actor dennis quaid and the other filed by radio personality and tort “reformer” michael savage. turkewitz discusses why quaid’s medical
posted by Kia Franklin @ December 05, 2007 2:19 PM

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