Shock Radio/TV Host Michael Savage Sues Online Critics

June 11, 2003

Websites, and face $500,000 for backing a boycott organized by GLAAD.

He calls gays and lesbians "perverts." Immigrants he says are from "Turd World Nations." He calls Asians "little soy eaters."

And filthy rats is how he describes his critics of his show.

We are talking about shock radio and TV jock Michael Savage who is at the center of a new free speech lawsuit. But the lawsuit is not over his controversial remarks on his nationally syndicated radio show or on his MSNBC but on what his online critics have said about him.

Savage became the center of controversy in March when MSNBC hired him to host a weekly show. He was hired shortly before Phil Donahue was fired. Donahue said after he was let go, "The hiring of Mike Savage, Dick Armey and Joe Scarborough suggest a strategy to out-Fox FOX."

When MSNBC announced the hiring of Savage, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation launched a campaign to urge advertisers to boycott the show. As a result, Procter & Gamble, Dell Computer Corporation, Casual Male, The Sharper Image and two others withdrew from sponsoring Savage’s show.

Similar campaigns targeted advertisers on Savage’s national radio show.

Now Savage’s radio distributor Talk Radio Network is suing three websites that have critiqued his show and supported the boycotts.

The websites, and face a $500,000 lawsuit.

According to a report on the news website Alternet, the suit charges that by endorsing a boycott of advertisers called for by the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation the groups are causing Savage financial damage by unjustifiably interfering in his business relationships with program advertisers.

The suit also charges defendants with violating the US Copyright Act by rebroadcasting portions of the program and by parodying images of Savage.

Yesterday we tried to reach Michael Savage, representatives at Talk Radio Network and the network’s attorney. They did not return our calls. But we do have a clip recorded on Michael Savage’s radio show on February 27, 2003 responding to critics who were backing the boycott of his show.

  • Michael Savage, recorded on his radio show February 27, 2003.
  • Thomas Leavitt, founder of the website which is being sued by Michael Savage’s radio distributor Talk Radio Network.
  • John Sonego, director of communications for GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
  • Paul Levy, attorney with Public Citizen representing the website being sued by Talk Radio Nation.


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