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Wednesday, March 12, 2008
WND Doesn't Tell Other Side of Savage's Lawsuit
Topic: WorldNetDaily

A March 11 WorldNetDaily article on a judge's dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Michael Savage against the Council on Islamic-American RelationsCouncil on Islamic-American Relations -- as did a March 7 article on the subject -- didn't report CAIR's arguments for dismissal, even though it went into lengthy detail about Savage's accusations against CAIR.

Both articles stated that "The San Francisco-based talker originally accused the organization of copyright violations, but later amended the action to include allegations the group 'has consistently sought to silence opponents of violent terror through economic blackmail, frivolous but costly lawsuits, threats of lawsuits and abuses of the legal system' " and offered a point-by-point detailing of Savage's claims. But WND reported only that the judge in the case "was 'leaning toward tossing out' the action" without explaining why beyond stating that "she found free speech arguments persuasive."

According to the Associated Press article on which WND claimed its March 7 article was based:

But the judge said she found "persuasive" CAIR's arguments that free speech protections allowed the organization to use the clip to criticize and comment on Savage's views even if the content is used for fundraising purposes.

CAIR's attorney Thomas Burke argued that a federal appeals court validated that position in 1986 when it said the Moral Majority could use Hustler Magazine's unflattering parody of the religious group's founder Rev. Jerry Falwell to raise money for a legal fund.

"Michael Savage is just unwilling to accept criticism going the other way," Burke said outside court. "This lawsuit is about punishing CAIR for criticizing him."

None of this found its way into WND's articles. Similarly, as we've noted, WND has never mentioned Savage's history of suing his critics, nor has it disclosed its previous business relationship with Savage, which included publishing his early books under the WND Books imprint.

Given WND's unfortunate history of trusting people who sling mud at their favorite targets, it would behoove WND to try a little actual journalism for once and not blindly accept smears as fact -- especially from the likes of Michael Savage.

Posted by Terry K. at 1:06 PM EDT

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