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Monday, July 21, 2008

That whole Michael Savage autism thing

I've been loathe to post on this, mainly because I think that publicity whores like Michael Savage should not be given more press, but I found a productive reason to post. AFLAC (ya know, the commercial with the duck) has decided to pull its advertising from Savage Nation. That's a good start.

In case you're unaware of the scandal, here's some of what Savage said:
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.

Yeah. I mean, it's really too stupid to even comment on. Really, just so wrong in so many ways and so misinformed, sigh...

Jeanne from Charlie in Wonderland takes up the banal task of explaining why he is so very, very wrong:
Savage is clearly unaware of some basic facts about autism:

* Half of all people with autism never learn to speak

* More than half of people with an autism diagnosis have an IQ that places them in the mentally retarded range

* The number of children diagnosed with autism has increased at a rate of about 15% per year for the past twenty years.

* 60 years ago autism was thought to be a psychiatric disorder caused by bad mothers, even though no evidence was ever offered to support that theory. This theory was rejected by responsible observers in the 1960s.

Regarding the call for a boycott: I am very against censorship. I don't think Savage should be arrested for what he said or forcibly silenced by the government. However, I think businesses should be accountable for which programs they air during, and people should be encouraged to put social pressure on those businesses who fund programs like his. Savage lost his show on MSNBC for telling a gay caller to "get AIDS and die". Remember that? This clown needs to be removed from the airwaves and people should pressure his supporters (his advertisers) to withdraw their funding.

For the record, I still believe in public pressure for causes in which I don't agree. A few years ago, when anti-war voices were being silenced by cowardly advertisers, I hated it, but I defended their right to do pull their funding.

UPDATE: Home Depot has also pulled its advertising from Savage Nation

UPDATE on the UPDATE:
"Sarah from Home Depot" says:

Just to clarify. We are not advertisers on the Michael Savage program.

3 comments:

Sarah at Home Depot said...

Just to clarify. We are not advertisers on the Michael Savage program.

Thanks.
Sarah, Home Depot Communications

thingwarbler said...

Maybe Home Depot doesn't buy time on Savage's Hate Hour, but
this would seem to indicate that Home Depot is desperately trying to spin their way out of association with Savage now that he's (once again) become too toxic for commercial comfort.

Other advertisers have been able to stipulate a "no Savage" clause in their contracts, so Home Depot needs to either stop claiming that their ads didn't run where they did, or announce that they will, effective immediately, demand that their broadcasters cease running their ads during Savage's Hate Hour.

thingwarbler said...

Just to follow up: In all fairness, Sarah from Home Depot has provided more info here -- it appears they're doing what they can to clean up their act and get themselves removed from the Savage Hate Hour for good.