This is just too cool.
Professors of media, journalism or communication are almost never treated to examples of media idiocy as juicy as Michael Savage’s most recent comments on autism. Unfortunately for us, most media personalities often show just enough coherence to avoid being placed in the “stupid beyond words” category. We can only be grateful that Savage’s courageous assault on disabled children has provided us with a perfect example.
I ask you: What kind of courage and strength of conviction must it have taken for him to speak truth to power with these brilliant observations about autistic children?
I know that some people might argue that by sharing the audio of his mind-bogglingly stupid rant, I am extending his reach. I simply think that, unless you hear his words with all the bile included, you might not fully appreciate how someone with such a tenuous hold on sanity continues on the air.
“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.'”
So here’s the latest:
The completely predictable free speech argument is now being raised by some of Savage’s supporters, or whatever you call someone who listens to him. This reveals a profound misunderstanding of the first amendment that is also seen all across the ideological spectrum.
So let’s get it straight: Savage certainly has the right to say anything he wants and to salivate as much as he wants. That is why I never objected to any of the right-wing boycotts proposed by sundry loony-tunes. It really was Jerry Falwell’s right to express deep and grave concern that the purple Teletubby was actually gay. The man was afraid of being hit on by a stuffed animal and we needed to know that!
But no one in a commercial system of broadcasting is entitled to a permanent, sponsored platform.
Savage: You do get to say what you want. Sponsors, though, get to decide if and when an association with you becomes more of a liability than an asset. AFLAC, as they did yesterday when they jettisoned you, gets to decide that – however large your audience – they will pay more of a price by an affiliation with you. Other sponsors get the same choice. If not enough remain to make your show profitable, you still get to express your views. But not on their dime! Or on their radio network.
This is what kills me about you supposed free-market capitalists: You love a free-market until that free market bites you in the behind. Then you weep about your rights to free speech. Or you want to be able to rob sub-prime borrowers without annoying government interference like taxes, and when you screw up miserably, you are on your pathetic hands and knees begging for a bailout.
A free market and free expression means you can rant without restriction and others can do everything possible to get you off the air. Don’t worry, Mike: If enough sponsors choose to stick with a guy like you who is gutsy enough to ridicule disabled kids, you’ll stay on the air. If not, you are welcome to walk outside and start to babble.
One last thing: You have to see the carefully worded statement on Savage’s web site. One day he is calling autistic kids “idiots” and telling them not to “act like morons” and the next he is saying that “My comments about autism were meant to boldly awaken parents and children to the medical community’s attempt to label too many children or adults as “autistic.”
What canned, hack-written, C.Y.A. nonsense.
I beg you, Savage: Spare us the official “I better be sane and backtrack so my sponsors don’t head for the door” statement. These statements are hilarious in their desperation, illustrating how idiocy and cruelty only works on trash-radio until the sponsors get antsy. Then it’s time for a quick conversion to sanity. If you are going to be astoundingly ignorant, Mike, at least do it proudly and openly.
And Mike: Your attempted last minute conversion to sanity is truly a laugh riot. Just know that we can see through to the phoniness and transparent desperation designed to save the sponsors who finally know the truth: They have been paying to reach an audience who like hearing a nut make fun of disabled kids.
We can only hope that none of the sponsors buy it.
Oh, by the way, here is a list – courtesy of Greg Reich – of some of the sponsors who advertised on Savage’s July 18th broadcast. Greg’s blog, Greg’s Take, has an excellent post on his experience raising a daughter with autism.
Digital Media Inc., U.S.A.
Nevada State Corporate Network, Inc.
Roger Schlesinger, the Mortgage Minute Guy
Debt Consultants of America
thanks for the comment over at our site. you’re right about how silly it is when these guys ‘apologize’ and back track 24 hours after saying something absurd and offensive. shouldn’t someone on the air be paying extra close attention the words coming out of their mouth. so if his REAL argument was to awaken parents to the medical community’s mislabeling of children then why didn’t he say that? i mean, either that wasn’t his argument and he really was just being mean for no reason or that was his argument and he isn’t smart enough to express his views, which probably isn’t a good think if your job is to express views on a radio station.
Nice post. Well said.
Thank you for your comment – its gratifying to realize the uncalled for comments by Mr. Savage outrage more than just the parents of kids with autism.
His father told him ‘Don’t act like an idiot’? Uh … *FAIL!!!*
As to the ‘disease’ having ‘no definitive diagnosis’ .. .I’m speechless. Well, almost speechless. Yet another comment demonstrating his basic lack of understanding.
I have a ‘disease’ that has no definitive diagnosis, but I can assure him it’s very real. And I’d like to remind him that at one time, cancer had no definitive diagnosis, nor did heart disease. Perhaps he’d like to tell us all that those two major causes of illness and death had no basis in fact until medical science had developed real, measurable testing for them?
Well? I’m waiting …
The Home Depot does not currently advertise on The Michael Savage Show, nor do we have any kind of sponsorship in place with the program. Again, we do not advertise with this program and any suggestion of such support is false.
Sarah, Home Depot Communications
As a fan of Home Depot and frequent customer, I am thrilled that this is the case. Do you have any idea how an ad might have been broadcast? Might it have been a local ad that was not tied to the Savage broadcast but was broadcast at the same time on the radio station of the person who listened and recorded the advertisers?
One last try: Sarah, I have no reason not to believe you. But given the widespread stories on various wire services that Home Depot did advertise and pulled these ads, I wonder if you can tell me if this is true, ie, that Home Depot did advertise through TRN but no longer does.
Or are you saying Home Depot never did?
“Don’t act like a girl!” Wow. That’s insightful. What does he tell girl children? Don’t act like a boy? This guy has a severe problem with women and with anything that he associates with women. He’s preoccupied with the castration of America by…what? Compassionate people? Responsive government? Savage is an a–hole. I listen to him sometimes just to remind myself that a huge chunk of the listening public loves this guy, which in turn reminds me of why Bush is still in the White House (Savage may hate him, but not as much as he’d hate having a Democrat in the White House), which then reminds me to not get my hopes up that we may actually elect an intelligent and well-informed president in November. It’s sad that so many people listen to this guy. Maybe it’s the car wreck factor. Whatever it is, he’s poison. He’s vicious. Worse still, he’s an educated man who proselytizes ignorance, inhumanity and bigotry. I intend to let his advertisers know how I feel.
YES! I loved this part: “This is what kills me about you supposed free-market capitalists: You love a free-market until that free market bites you in the behind. Then you weep about your rights to free speech.”
YOU GOT IT.