Talk Radio Network’s Michael Savage scores another victory as Jacqui Smith resigns as the United Kingdom’s Home Secretary, one day after receiving notification from Savage’s law firm regarding a defamation lawsuit. Savage filed a defamation lawsuit against UK Home Secretary Jacqui Smith for placing him on a list of those barred from entering the United Kingdom. Smith indicated she will step down when Prime Minister Gordon Brown reshuffles his Cabinet after this week’s local and European elections.
On May 5, 2009, the UK Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, published a list of 16 individuals that would be banned from entering the UK. Michael Savage was included on that list, which contained names of radical Muslim clerics, convicted criminals and Russian skinheads
Savage hired the Olswang Law Firm to initiate libel proceeding, and, is seeking 100,000 pounds in damages. Savage also wants an apology, and a retraction of his name from the list published by Smith. Savage said, “This is an orchestrated campaign by this socialist, fascist government of hers, trying to turn me into something I am not,” he added, “I spent my entire life building my reputation, and I will not have this government drag my name through the mud. I want my name cleared.”
Before resigning, Smith indicated that she would fight the suit with a spokesperson stating, “As the Home Secretary has already said, he was excluded for engaging in unacceptable behavior by making comments that might provoke others to serious criminal acts and foster hatred that might lead to inter-community violence. Any legal proceedings would be robustly defended; we stand by our decision to exclude this individual. Coming to the UK is a privilege that we refuse to extend to those who abuse our standards and values to undermine our way of life.”
“Michael Savage’s situation has to do with free speech in the Western world, in the entire free world. We live in a global marketplace now, and when our greatest ally – Britain – looks to somehow silence an American radio personality, intentionally or otherwise, it could have tremendous impact,” said Michael Harrison, founder and editor of Talkers Magazine.
“The British call Michael Savage a ‘shock jock.’ Now the Home Office accuses and condemns him of hate mongering. The First Amendment is not always tidy. It can be messy, even. When they equate a provocative political commentator with murderers and criminals – well, this is a dangerous mistake,” Harrison said.
“The alliances between our countries are built, in part, on the First Amendment. This may prove a very slippery slope we’re on,” he added.