Now, you want me to tell you my opinion on autism, since I'm not talking about autism? A fraud, a racket. For a long while, we were hearing that every minority child had asthma. Why did they sudden -- why was there an asthma epidemic amongst minority children? Because I'll tell you why: The children got extra welfare if they were disabled, and they got extra help in school. It was a money racket. Everyone went in and was told [fake cough], "When the nurse looks at you, you go [fake cough], 'I don't know, the dust got me.' " See, everyone had asthma from the minority community. That was number one.
Now, the illness du jour is autism. You know what autism is? I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out. That's what autism is.
What do you mean they scream and they're silent? They don't have a father around to tell them, "Don't act like a moron. You'll get nowhere in life. Stop acting like a putz. Straighten up. Act like a man. Don't sit there crying and screaming, idiot."
Autism -- everybody has an illness. If I behaved like a fool, my father called me a fool. And he said to me, "Don't behave like a fool." The worst thing he said -- "Don't behave like a fool. Don't be anybody's dummy. Don't sound like an idiot. Don't act like a girl. Don't cry." That's what I was raised with. That's what you should raise your children with. Stop with the sensitivity training. You're turning your son into a girl, and you're turning your nation into a nation of losers and beaten men. That's why we have the politicians we have. [via Media Matters. emphasis ours.]
Now, this is Michael Savage we're talking about here, so it's not exactly surprising that he would make such racist, misogynist, offensive, ignorant and ridiculous comments. Although, that's part of the problem too, because people are more likely to brush this off as 'Savage being Savage' rather than taking action to make sure there are consequences.
It's so nice to know that in Michael Savage World:
~Only children of single mothers can get autism. "Good" fathers can discipline the autism right out of their kids.
~Only boys get autism.
~It doesn’t matter that girls don’t get autism, since simply being a girl is a horrible affliction that is basically the same as having autism, and should be avoided at all costs.
Obviously most of the focus of the reaction to these comments has been on the "autism is a fraud" portion. (And of course the obvious 'if fathers are supposed to tell their sons not to act like idiotic fools, Michael Savage's father has clearly been falling down on the job for years now' jokes.) But it's also interesting to read into the comments and see that Savage essentially views 'being a girl' as a disorder and autism as some sort of pseudo-feminist conspiracy to create more "beaten men".
Every time we hear about the latest offensive thing that this guy has said, we wonder if there's anything he could say that would actually get him fired. A group of angry parents is going to try to make it happen this time by holding a protest outside WOR Studios in New York today.
They will be calling for the firing of the radio jock and asking for a boycott by parents of children with autism of all stations carrying his signal...Talk Radio Network, which syndicates The Savage Nation, claims that Savage is heard on more than 350 radio stations. The Savage Nation reaches at least 8.25 million listeners each week, according to Talkers Magazine, making it one of the most listened-to talk radio shows in the nation, behind only The Rush Limbaugh Show and The Sean Hannity Show.Don Imus was fired for making a racist and sexist comment on the air. Michael Savage's comments were not only racist and sexist, but also intolerant, insulting, medically inaccurate, and unbelievably ignorant. If you did something at your job that was totally wrong, based on ignorance and misinformation, and had the potential to harm thousands of mentally ill kids and their families, you'd probably be fired, right? Well, maybe not if you work for Fox News or the Bush administration.
Check out this site for a listing of contact info for Savage, Talk Radio Network, and most importantly, the sponsors of Savage's show. Media Matters also has an action alert with a tool that makes it easy for you to find and contact the Savage-supporting radio station near you. Some people will argue that this is a free speech issue and that Savage is entitled to his opinion, and he is. Free speech is a right, but having your own radio show to broadcast your speech to millions of people is not a right. Neither is having lots of corporate sponsors choose to support your show to keep it on the air.