Democracy Now! June 11, 2003

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Democracy Now! June 11, 2003
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As Attacks on US Soldiers Continue in Iraq We Talk to Robert Fisk who Just Returned from Fallujah. Britain Independent s chief foreign correspondent discusses the growing revolt among Iraqis, the so-called road map to peace in the Middle East and on his meeting with Hamas leader Abdul Aziz Rantissi; Shock Radio/TV Host Michael Savage Sues Online Critics. Websites, and face $500,000 for backing a boycott organized by GLAAD.

9:00-9:01 Billboard 9:01-9:06 Headlines 9:06-9:07 One Minute Music Break 9:07-9:20: An article in the Independent of London on June 6 begins like this: From high over Iraq yesterday, President George Bush cast his Olympian eye over ancient Mesopotamia after praising the Americans in Qatar who had "managed" the war against Saddam Hussein. But far below him, on a dirty street corner in a dirty town called Fallujah that Mr Bush would prefer not to hear about, was a story of American blood and American power and American boots smashing down the front gates of Iraqi homes. "She's got a gun," an American soldier shouted when he caught sight of a woman in her backyard holding a Kalashnikov assault rifle. "Put it down! Put the gun down!" he screamed at her. The soldiers were hot and tired and angry. They'd been up since 3am, ever since someone fired a grenade at a lorry-load of troops from the 101st Airborne. You could see why Mr Bush chose to avoid any triumphal visits to Iraq. Survivors of the ambush were among the soldiers yesterday, remembering the early hours as only soldiers can. "They fired a grenade at a two-and- a-half ton truck full of the 101st Airborne and then straffed it with AK fire and then just disappeared into the night," one of them told me. "The guys were in a terrible state. One of our soldiers was dead with his brains hanging out of his head and his stomach hanging out, and there were eight others in the back shouting and pulling bits of shrapnel out of their legs." Before dawn, the Americans came back to wash their comrades' blood off the street. Then they returned once more to deal with the people who live in this scruffy corner of the old Baathist city of Fallujah. * Robert Fisk, Independent reporter, recently back from Fallujah, Iraq 9:20-9:21 One Minute Music Break 9:21-9:40 ROBERT FISK CONT D 9:40-9:41 One Minute Music Break 9:41-9:58: 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 Link: * Thomas Leavitt, founder of the website which is being sued by Michael Savage s radio distributor Talk Radio Network Link: Tape: Michael Savage, recorded on his radio show December 9, 2002 * John Sonego, director of communications for GLAAD, the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation Link: * Paul Levy, attorney with Public Citizen representing the website being sued by Talk Radio Nation, the network that broadcasts Michael Savage s radio show. Democracy Now! is produced by Kris Abrams, Mike Burke, Angie Karran, Sharif Abdul Kouddous, Ana Nogueira, Elizabeth Press with help from Noah Reibel and Vilka Tzouras. Mike Di Filippo is our music maestro and engineer. Thanks also to Uri Galed, Angela Alston, Emily Kunstler, Orlando Richards, Simba Rousseau, Rafael delaUz, Gabriel Weiss, Johnny Sender, Rich Kim, Karen Ranucci, Fatima Mojadiddy, Denis Moynihan and Jenny Filipazzo.

Date Recorded on: 
June 11, 2003
Date Broadcast on: 
June 11, 2003
Item duration: 
59 min.
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WBAI; Amy Goodman, host., June 11, 2003
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