SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by conservative radio talk show host Michael Savage against an Islamic civil rights group over its use of a portion of his show in which he called the Quran a “book of hate.”
Savage sued the Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, for copyright infringement and racketeering in a lawsuit late last year, claiming the group violated his rights by using a segment of his “Savage Nation” show in a letter-writing campaign to get advertisers to boycott the program. In the broadcast used by CAIR, Savage also called the Muslim holy book “a throwback document.”
In her ruling Friday, U.S. District Judge Susan Illston said people who listen to a public broadcast are entitled to use excerpts for purposes of comment and criticism. She also said no evidence was presented to show that advertising on the show’s broadcast was affected by CAIR’s actions.
The racketeering element of the lawsuit alleged that CAIR was not a civil rights group, but a political organization with ties to terrorist groups. CAIR denies those claims, saying it opposes terrorism and religious extremism.
In an interview with The Associated Press after he filed the lawsuit in December, Savage said he was referring to Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and his violent brand of Islamic extremism in the broadcast, not about the religion in general.
Savage’s attorney, Daniel Horowitz, told the San Francisco Chronicle he plans to file a new racketeering suit.
See also “Suit against ‘Savage Nation’ radio host tossed”, San Francisco Chronicle, 26 July 2008