Michael Alan Weiner—better known as Michael Savage—doesn’t believe autism is real. He thinks 99% of autistic children are brats who haven't been told to cut the act out. David Bauder of the Associated Press reports:
Savage offered no apology in a message posted Monday on his Web site. He said greedy doctors and drug companies were creating a "national panic" by overdiagnosing autism, a mental disorder that inhibits a person's ability to communicate.Savage is a dope—trying to be edgy, but too cowardly to stick to his guns. I agree that many doctors and drug companies are greedy, but to say autistic kids are just brats is staggeringly moronic.
On his radio show last week, he said: "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, you idiot."'
The government estimates about 1 in 150 children have some form of autism. But many experts believe these unsociable behaviors were just about as common 30 or 40 years ago and that the increase is mostly caused by a surge in special education services and a corresponding shift in diagnoses.
Wendy Fournier of the National Autism Association, a parents' advocacy group, said she was invited to speak Monday on Savage's three-hour program by Savage's boss, Mark Masters of Talk Radio Network, which syndicates the show across the country. A spokeswoman from Talk Radio Network did not immediately return a call for comment.
Fournier called Savage's comments "way, way, way over the line and cruel."
"I'm hoping to make him see the reality of what these kids are facing," she said. "You can't fix it by telling a kid to shut up. It's like telling a kid with cancer to stop being sick."