Savage Stands by Autism Remarks
Michael Savage, the incendiary radio host who last week characterized nearly every autistic child as “a brat who hasn’t been told to cut the act out,” said in a telephone interview Monday morning that he stood by his remarks and had no intention of apologizing to those advocates and parents who have called for his firing over the matter.
“My main point remains true,” Mr. Savage, whose radio audience ranks in size behind only those of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, said in an interview on Monday. “It is an overdiagnosed medical condition. In my readings, there is no definitive medical diagnosis for autism.”
On his program lastWednesday, Mr. Savage suggested that “99 percent of the cases” of autism were a result of lax parenting. He told his audience: “They don’t have a father around to tell them, ‘Don’t act like a moron. You’ll get nowhere in life.“ He added, “Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.’ ”
Asked Monday if he actually believed that 99 out every 100 cases of autism was misdiagnosed, Mr. Savage conceded that figure was “a little high.” “It was hyperbole,” he said.
But he said he was proud to have prodded discussion on the subject, and planned to give over his entire show on Monday — broadcast live from northern California from 3 to 6 p.m. Pacific time — to parents and other callers who wished to disagree with him, and to educate him.
While Mr. Savage’s program is heard on more than 350 stations nationally, his comments on autism were widely disseminated via e-mail on Friday by Media Matters for America, an advocacy group that dedicates itself, at least in part, to “correcting conservative misinformation in the media.” The organization also posted audio clips of Mr. Savage’s comments on its web site, mediamatters.com.
Some critics were not inclined to wait until Monday’s edition of “Savage Nation,” as the show is known, to register their disagreement with him. In New York City, Autism United, a coalition of organizations that advocate on behalf of autism children and provide services to them, scheduled a protest at 2 p.m. Monday outside the studios of WOR, which carries Mr. Savage’s program weeknights from 6 to 9 p.m. Eastern.
“He characterizes children with autism who are very, very ill — disabled children — as essentially bad kids; the only thing wrong with them is they have parents who don’t discipline them,” said John Gilmore, executive director of Autism United and the father of an 8-year-old diagnosed with autism. “That completely misrepresents what is going on with children with autism.”
“Basically, what he’s doing is parroting what used to be said about autism 40 years ago, back in the heyday of Freudian analysis,” Mr. Gilmore added. “It was blamed on bad parenting. There wasn’t a shred of evidence to support that.”
Paul Siebold, a spokesman for WOR, said in a e-mailed statement: “The views expressed by Michael Savage are his views and are not those of WOR Radio. We regret any consternation that his remarks may have caused to our listeners.”
Mark Masters, the chief executive of Talk Radio Network, which syndicates Mr. Savage’s program and which extended his contract in February, did not respond to a telephone message left at his office Monday morning.
Here are Savages remarks IN CONTEXT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WiZBC8lIOIk
Response from Nova M's Mike Malloy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r8ZjBJpyY2Q
One thing, Mike....Savage works for TALK RADIO NETWORK....a 3rd string syndicator where most talk show hosts go to die. They can't be picked up by reputable syndicators like ABC, Westwood One, or Premiere Clear Channel, so they go there.
Most of the stations they pick these people up are small town stations in middle America whose owners have the same demented mindset as Savage's. Not to mention cheap: you can run the show free if you run thier spots. That;s why Savage has 300 plus stations.
Media Matters article: http://mediamatters.org/items/200807170005?f=h_top
List of Savage Nation Stations to contact: http://mediamatters.org/action_center/savage_autism/stations
You can cantact TRN here: http://www.talkradionetwork.com/corporatecontacts;jsessionid=614BE51BEF83F80883CF9C3070727BD1