The latest controversy surrounding comments about autism made by radio talk show host Michael Savage bring several symptoms of our culture into plain view.
(1) Uninformed opinion and hyperbole can be dangerous; censorship is even more dangerous. America is filled with both.
(2) Left wing media and right wing talk show hosts are the yin and yang of the nation. They need each other to survive but the country needs neither. Liberty, peace, and prosperity are necessary for American survival unfortunately both government and the over-inflated egos of talk show hosts lead entertainers and politicians to believe they have the “solutions” to the country’s problems. The best solution, let people be and stop meddling.
(3) So-called “conservative” talk show hosts are not truly conservative nor compassionate. You are a fool if you believe “conservative” talk show hosts are truly conservative. They are certainly not when compared to the “Old Right” comprised of paleoconservatives and paleolibertarians who believe in hard money, sound banking, a non-interventionlist foreign policy, and true free market principles. Find one of those and you’ll find a true conservative.
(4) Some advertisers care only about profits. Anything that might remotely impact their profits negatively almost immediately makes them run for the hills.
(5) Talk show hosts often care more about ratings than truth. Some do but they are few and far between and nearly all of us suspect their motives since they occupy that blurry space called “infotainment.”
(6) A significant number of Americans are conditioned to react in a knee-jerk manner without thinking. You can thank government run schools, mass media controlled by a handful of companies, and disinterested parents for creating generations of Americans incapable or uninterested in thinking for themselves.
(7) Rational discussions concerning controversial issues are avoided by many, often shunned by the media, and almost never acknowledged by politicians.
(8) A broad sample of informed opinion from various medical doctors would mean more to me than the rantings of a talk show host.
(9) Foot in mouth disease afflicts many in public and private life. It happens, get over it.
(10) Some Americans have forgotten they are responsible for choosing what radio shows they will listen to, what books and newspapers they will read, and who they will trust.
If Pavlov had lived in modern America, he would not have needed a dog for his experiment.
The scenario for creating controversy works every time.
Say something “edgy,” let the media chastise you for it, ratings increase, advertisers see increased sales of their goods and services, talk show hosts make more money, and voila, the cycle starts again.
The whole truth or at least a rational discussion of the truth takes a lot more than a three hour radio show.
Members of the medical community have been debating autism and its diagnosis for years.
I would expect it to continue for years to come.
Perhaps someone will create a foundation to explore autism, challenge modern medicine’s consensus, and find other ways of treating the condition without medication or less medication.
That action would mean more than words especially from someone who makes millions of dollars a year and is in a position to affect positive change.
So much talk, so little action, so many to help.