Right-wing mouth Michael Savage isn't backing down from his remarks characterizing autistic kids as nothing more than "brats," outraging thousands of parents, the New York Times reports. The radio host said in a broadcast last week that autism was a "fraud" and 99% of cases were created by poor parenting. Dozens of parents demonstrated outside his studio yesterday, and an insurance company has canceled advertising on his program.
"They don’t have a father around to tell them, ‘Don’t act like a moron,'" Savage said in the broadcast. He advised that autistic children be told: "Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.” Savage said his comments were meant to "boldly awaken parents to the misdiagnosis" of autism—although he conceded yesterday that his 99% figure may have been "a little high."