Michael Savage Has to Apologize to Brave New Films


This story first appeared at Alternet.

Shock jock Michael Savage, who is not prone to public shows of remorse, has been forced to apologize to progressive video production company Brave New Films after a take-down notice his syndicator sent to YouTube in 2008 resulted in the removal of all BNF’s films from the site.

The company’s YouTube complaint specifically targeted a Brave New Films video called “Michael Savage Hates Muslims.” In the video a nice photo of Savage posing by the Golden Gate Bridge is overlaid with soundbites of the shock jock railing against Islam, Muslims and the Koran. “I can see what it says in their book of hate … make no mistake about it, the Koran is not a document of freedom. The Koran is a document of slavery and chattel!” screams Savage. Kind of hard to misrepresent his meaning.

On his site, Savage hosts a link to a legal defense fund, meant in part to combat alleged violations of his free speech. Yet Savage’s Oregon-based syndicator, The Original Talk Radio Network, Inc. (OTRN), sent a notice to YouTube claiming copyright infringement, even though as most people who know things about the law will tell you, brief soundbites compiled into a document of critique fall squarely within fair use laws.

BNF’s case was taken on by Bingham McCutchen LLP and Stanford Center for Internet and Society’s “Fair Use Project,”, a group specializing in fair use law. According to the BNF press release, they sued Savage and the radio company “for damages caused by the removal of BNF’s content and to vindicate BNF’s free speech rights.”

The settlement reached included the following written apology by Michael Savage and the company:

OTRN acknowledges that it made a mistake by asking YouTube to remove Brave New Films’ video “Michael Savage Hates Muslims” from the YouTube site. Upon further examination, it is clear that video should not have been included in OTRN’s September 29, 2009 takedown notice. OTRN apologizes for this error.

“We were not going to allow extreme members of the right to intimidate progressive organizations into inaction.” says BNF producer and liberal activist Robert Greenwald. “Mr. Savage systematically targeted the Council on American Islamic Relations for simply printing his hateful words onto one of their fundraising materials. These despicable acts, as well as Mr. Savage’s hateful rants against Muslims on his radio show, spurred us into action.”

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.