Michael Savage is going to go down over this. Media Matters is reporting that Savage said this on his nationally syndictated show:
On the July 16 edition of his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage claimed that autism is "[a] fraud, a racket." Savage went on to say, "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.' " Savage concluded, "[I]f 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."
Savage also stated: "[W]hy 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."Talk Radio Network, which syndicates The Savage Nation, claims that Savage is heard on more than 350 radio stations.
Par for the course, you say? Sure, but its one thing to call nameless, faceless, minority families welfare cheats--its another to call a rising army of middle class and working class white families responsible for their own children's autism, add, adhd, and asthma. These are fast growing *problems* for families--I know tons of people who have both fought the various diagnoses and, finally, embraced them as the only way to get their children the treatment they need. Under current medical standards and educational practices the diagnosis can be as much of a hindrace as a help. Lots of Savage's middle brow, angry, right wing listeners are grappling with these very serious issues right now. He's delusional if he thinks people are going to see this as an attack on some faceless other--its an attack on them and they are going to get royally pissed. Look for him to back off and apologize. But I wouldn't be surprised if people start tuning him out over this.