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December 2010




First Published Friday, 25th July, 2008.

Michael Savage


*Find out more about the issue and what you can do by clicking
order to read the Autistic Self-Advocacy Network’s Action Alert on
topic. It includes contact information for sponsors of The Savage Nation and
Talk Radio Networks. In addition, individual signatories can join the effort
by signing onto our
To Sponsors of The Savage Nation Radio Show, Syndicate of Talk Radio
Networks, and
other supporters of The Savage Nation:

We, organizations representing people with disabilities, family members, professionals
and other concerned citizens, are calling upon you to withdraw support for
Talk Radio Networks in response to the outrageous comments by TRN personality Michael
Alan Weiner, also known as Michael Savage.

On July 16th, Weiner announced: “Now, you want me to tell you my opinion on
autism, since I’m not talking about autism? A fraud, a racket…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.”

These comments represent dangerous misinformation. The refusal by Talk Radio Networks to condemn the comments or undertake any steps in response to them, as well
as Michael Savage’s refusal to apologize, is absolutely unacceptable. The
autism spectrum is a very real developmental disability affecting millions of
Americans. It includes a series of impairments in social interaction and communication,
executive functioning, sensory processing, and motor skills. Adults and children on
the autism spectrum often require substantial supports, services and education across
the lifespan. Comments like those on the Savage Nation do real damage to autistic people
by increasing public ignorance and misinformation about autism, thereby putting
at risk vital education, supports and services. Contrary to the remarks by Mr. Weiner,
there is no evidence whatsoever to suggest that autism is over diagnosed – in fact,
research suggests that there is substantial under-identification of the autism spectrum,
resulting in a lack of vitally needed services and education. In addition, these remarks revive
outdated and damaging misconceptions about the source of autism, recalling the
“refrigerator mother” myth in which parents were blamed for having autistic children.

Talk Radio Networks’ sponsors must consider whether or not to associate with
the hateful and offensive comments spoken by Michael Weiner. Because TRN has
taken no action, we urge you to communicate the need for Mr. Weiner’s immediate
removal by withdrawing sponsorship for TRN’s programming. There are over 50 million
people with disabilities in the United States, representing approximately $200 billion
in disposable income. We represent a market that cannot be ignored. By disassociating your
businesses from the ignorant and hateful remarks made this past week and taking
practical steps to help educate the public about the true nature of the autism spectrum and
other disabilities, we can move forward towards creating a world that will recognize the rights
of all people to respect, dignity, support and inclusion.


Ari Ne’eman
The Autistic Self Advocacy Network

Andrew J. Imparato
President and CEO
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

Jim Ward
ADA Watch and the National Coalition for Disability Rights

Lee Grossman
The Autism Society of America
President and CEO

Mary Partin
Chief Executive Officer
The Dan Marino Foundation

Peter Berns
Executive Director
The Arc of the United States

Stephen Bennett
President and CEO
United Cerebral Palsy

Kathy Martinez
Executive Director
World Institute on Disability

Marcie Roth
Executive Director
National Spinal Cord Injury Association

Barbara Trader, MS
Executive Director

Marca Bristo
Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago

Jean Arnold
Co-founder and Chair
National Stigma Clearinghouse

Phil Schwarz
The Asperger’s Association of New England

Sharisa Kochmeister
The Autism National Committee
Editor in Chief
The Autism Perspective Magazine

Deirdre C. Wright
President & Co-Founder
ASCEND Group Inc.,
The Asperger Syndrome Alliance for Greater Philadelphia

Stephen Drake
Not Dead Yet

Alex Plank

Lawrence Carter-Long
Director of Advocacy
The Disabilities Network of NYC

Amber Smock
Feminist Response in Disability Activism

Ethan Ellis
Executive Director
The Alliance for Disabled in Action

Rich La Belle
Executive Director
Family Network on Disabilities of Florida

Estee-Klar Wolfond
Founder and Executive Director
The Autism Acceptance Project

Ven Sequenzia
The Autism Society of Florida

2 Responses to “Fwd: “Outrage Over Michael Savage’s Comments Grows …””

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