Autistic Kids' Parents Protest Radio Show Host

July 21, 2008 11:40:32 PM PDT
A controversial San Francisco radio talk show host is under fire again, this time for his tirade about autism, and autism activists are fighting back.

He had called autistic children "brats" and "idiots" on his radio show on Monday. Michael Savage says his remarks were taken out of context, that he was talking about welfare fraud.

That's not good enough for outraged autism activists and parents who plan an anti-savage protest in San Francisco on Wednesday. They launched their offensive on Monday in New York.

Protesters are outraged by Michael Savage's remarks. On his radio show on Monday, savage labeled them "fascists" who are out to get him.

"We're calling for the firing of Michael Savage for his hurtful, inaccurate and outrageous statements," said John Gilmore from Autism Unlimited.

So what's causing the furor? Last Thursday, Savage called autism a "fraud" and a "racket."

"I'll tell you what autism is in 99 percent of 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, they don't have a father around to tell them not to act like a moron," said Savage.

Savage linked the behavior to welfare fraud. Activists called the comments vile.

On his web site on Monday, savage said he wanted to awaken parents to the medical community's attempt to label too many children and adults as autistic.

He claims: A "cartel of doctors and drug companies is now creating a national panic by over diagnosing autism. Many children are being victimized by being diagnosed with an illness that may not exist."

His critics say he's simply back pedaling.

His radio show is heard nationwide, although he lives in The Bay Area. In the Bay Area, the program is heard on KNEW.

Management there didn't want to comment.

ABC7 News made several phone calls to the Savage Nation and never received a call back.

But savage opened Monday's radio show like this.

"To use definitions that make the situation impossible to accurately diagnose, is an insult to the truly ill. So these loose definitions of autism are what we are talking about," said Savage.

He says it's all part of a conspiracy to drug your kids. Savage is devoting today's radio show to autism. He appeared to be a little more subdued than usual.

It doesn't change a thing for that planned protest in front of KNEW's studios. It is still on for noon on Wednesday.

Related links:

  • Media Matters For America
  • www.autismunited.org


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