Jayjay emailed me this article concerning Michael Savage’s comments on autism, on his July 16th radio show.
"SAVAGE: 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. "
Fuck you. Fuck your ignorant father for bringing your ignorant ass into this world. You have no idea what the fuck you are talking about. Autism is a complicated neuro-developmental medical condition, not some type of juvenile deliquent avoidance tactic. How about you spend some time with people who are profoundly affected by this condition before you open your mouth and start spewing ignorant crap like that.
If he didn’t say something hatefully ignorant, he’d have nothing to say at all. Then where would he be?
On one hand, I am happy that we are advancing and recognizing legitimate problems that prevent people from being the same, acting the same, living the same quality of life. I wish that we’d been half this enlightened when I was a child and got no real help.
On the other hand, one of the problems we have is The Problem Of The Hour. A Hypochondriac Society that is happy to jam as many pegs as swiftly as possible into every newly created hole in hopes that it explains our problems and assuages our fears. It’s happened with Asthma, with Allergies, with Hyperactivity, with ADHD, with an endless stream of diseases, disabilities and diagnoses.
The Problem Of The Hour, in this moment, is Autism.
That’s not to say that it isn’t a very real problem, or that it should not be more recognized and dealt with than it was in the past. It’s just to admit that, like every other PotH, it is currently being used as a Spam diagnosis to explain things that are not Autism.
Now there’s some advice that didn’t take.
So, you’re not mad that behaving like a fool is behaving like a girl?
Wasn’t Savage the one who told a caller that he hoped the guy would get AIDS and die?
Or was that someone else?
That’s objectionable, too, but the fact that we have an autistic family member kind of overshadows the usual Savage idiocy.
In Savage’s defense, they could have been freestanding edicts, not interconnected ones.
That Michael Weiner: What a cut-up!
The way he talks, he’s lucky someone hasn’t cut up his weiner.
…hmm. I wondered why somebody was pitting New Zealand’s first Labour Prime Minister.
But seriously folks…
I had always kinda assumed that there was a bottom to the Pit, a place beyond which we simply would not go, not by rule but by universal revulsion. “I Pit Infected Chancre Sores!”, for instance, would be Beneath the Pit. Ann Coulter, sure, no prob, Bob. Highly Pitable. One has the sense that deep, deep within that drug-addled harridan is what was once a rather nice girl, furiously erasing pages in her Hello Kitty! diary, that there is still a fugitive spark of humanity fleeing the douche-nozzle of her mind.
I suspect, and will one day prove! that he is only accorded air-time to make flaming lame-o’s like Hannity and Medved look reasonable and centrist. I look forward to the day when I can be accused of partisan bias for setting his obituary to music.
As much as I hate, hate hate Michael Savage -
Autism is the diagnosis du jour.
I don’t doubt for a second that it’s a real condition and that some people have it.
But these days, every kid with nonstandard social development is “diagnosed” with autism. It’s silly. It hurts the people who are genuinely autistic and it hurts the kids who just need to develop at their own speed.
So I can’t join in your pit. By this time, whenever I hear “autistic” my gut response is to say “bullshit”.
It may well be overdiagnosed. I know of two families where even an idiot like Savage would agree that thier autistic kids ain’t right, and it isn’t an act. One does at least have language skills. The father of the other hopes to have him using the toilet by the time he is 18.
Well, but there probably is a genuine condition of “fool” from which he suffers. It is not modern and imaginary like autism, there are documented cases of fools going back hundreds of years.
Savage is simply one of the more recent public examples.
It probably is over-diagnosed, but at least partly because we don’t understand it at all that well yet. Looking back, we might well say schizophrenia was “over diagnosed”, we would almost certainly say that the Oedipus Complex was over-diagnosed, but these are markers on a very long road. In our compendium of knowledge about the human brain, there are more written pages than blank ones, but not by much, and the written ones are constantly being revised.
Savage is an ass, but his assertion has a grain of truth re the increased prevalence of autism as a diagnosis du jour. Many people (especially some moms) are chasing “autism spectrum disorder” diagnoses of various stripes (like Asperger syndrome) for their kids and will go from doctor to doctor until they get their diagnosis.
On the flip side of this in reading various stories about parents and kids ejected from parks, airplanes, restaurants etc. with kids manifesting wildly out of control behavior you do hear the claim that’s it’s not the kid’s fault because “they’re autistic” with ever greater frequency.
Was it under-reported in the past, is it being over diagnosed currently, is it is being used by parents as a blanket excuse for poor parenting? Who knows.
That’s what ended Savage’s one-to-two week career on MSNBC.
I’m a Religious Right SDMB-designated homophobe and I hate the guy!