I pulled this from the internet on an Autism blog by Lisa Jo Rudy. I'm not sure if some of you have already heard these ridiculous comments made by Denis Leary or not. It's been all over the internet and on the entertainment TV circuit. It's amazing that in this time, someone can still be so ignorant. He's right up there with DJ Michael Savage.
A few months ago, shock jock radio host Michael Savage received an extraordinary amount of publicity by calling out autism dads:
"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.' "True, Savage lost some advertisers, but as the credit card ads say - "ads? $5,000. publicity all over the net and on primetime TV? priceless!"
Now, Denis Leary is tapping the same keg - and while I had hoped to avoid blogging on the subject, I was surprised this morning by seeing mention of Leary's ridiculous rants front and center on - AOL! AOL is nothing if not mainstream, so it seems that Mr. Leary has already succeeded in making a nickel off the backs of frustrated autism parents. Here's what he has to say (through the eyes of the Huffington Post):
In his new book, "Why We Suck: A Feel-Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid," the joke-slinging "Rescue Me" star writes about the brain disorder: "There is a huge boom in autism right now because inattentive mothers and competitive dads want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can't compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks . . . to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons. I don't give a [bleep] what these crackerjack whack jobs tell you - yer kid is NOT autistic. He's just stupid. Or lazy. Or both."
Autism Speaks has already run a response, which seems to me to be measured and appropriate:
We are deeply disappointed that television personality Denis Leary would misuse his celebrity, compromise his reputation, and exploit the real challenges of individuals with autism in making his recent extremely disrespectful and hurtful comments. His words reflect a complete ignorance of and lack of sensitivity to the true plight of families facing autism. Autism is not a joke. It is very real, especially to the families and caregivers whose lives are forever changed when their loved one receives an autism diagnosis. Autism is recognized globally as an urgent healthcare crisis. Unfortunately, in a country built on the tenets of freedom of speech, sometimes people with access to the media are able to spread harmful mistruths. ...Of course, this measured response isn't what Leary's looking for. By directly insulting US, the autism moms and dads, and suggesting that our kids are, in fact, lazy and stupid, he's appealing to our lowest instincts. What he wants is a good, solid, knock down drag out fight. Preferably in front of plenty of TV cameras, face to face with Jenny McCarthy and Jim Carrey - so the story will be presented front and center on every TV station in America.
What worries me is this: Denis Leary may get precisely what he wants.
Just wanted to share this story to let all of you know how ignorant people can be. It's amazing!