WINA drops show over autism cracks

WINA decided to remove the Savage Nation.

After comments blasting autism as just another over-diagnosed American problem, controversial radio personality Michael Savage has been dumped by a Charlottesville station. And for at least one local talk-radio host, the dismissal of "The Savage Nation" comes none too soon.

"As the father of a six-year-old boy who has been diagnosed with autism," says WINA personality Coy Barefoot, "I was outraged. He clearly is spreading what I know to be outright lies about autism."

"I'll tell you what autism is," Savage boomed in his July 16 broadcast. "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.'"

"Quite honestly, it came down to common decency," says WINA program director Rick Daniels. "Although he was trying to make a bigger point, he didn't clarify it at all. We took into account our listeners and some feedback we've gotten, and we wanted to do what was best for our community."

While Savage's syndicator, Talk Radio Network, found the comments merely "inartful," Media Matters, a D.C.-based organization "dedicated to correcting conservative misinformation" agrees with WINA that the comments were out of line.

"I think he and the people who use the airwaves have an ethical responsibility not to be lying and not to be so hatefully offensive that they cause this much controversy," says Ben Fishel, a spokesperson for Media Matters.

However, Charlottesville resident and long-time "Savage Nation" listener Linda McRaven disagrees. "Media Matters is looking for bombs," says McRaven. "They're not really valid critics."

McRaven says that she's a fan of Savage because of his fearlessness. "I call him a flame-thrower because he's so passionate about what he feels," she says. "He pulls no punches, and I really admire that. We are entirely too politically correct, and he just says what he thinks. In my opinion, a lot of things he says are right on."

Both Aflac Insurance and Home Depot have reportedly pulled their sponsorships of his show in reaction to Savage's comments, but according to Daniels, none of WINA's local advertisers had made such a move–- or even any comment–- by the time of Savage's removal.

Fishel is especially baffled by the way Savage's comments might come across to parents of autistic children.

"Disciplining your child can cure autism?" he asks. "That is absurdly false and hateful, especially to these parents who have committed their whole lives to children with special needs."

"Where do we draw the line with what is done with our public airwaves?" asks Barefoot. "What's next, these kids with cancer should get up and walk it off?"

On his afternoon program "Charlottesville, Right Now," Barefoot played excerpts of the controversial comments and shared his perspective. But the decision to remove Savage was the program director's, not his.

"I think they did the right thing," Barefoot says, noting that since Savage's removal, WINA has received emails from around the country applauding the action.

In an email of his own, Savage tells the Hook, "The drug companies are very powerful and have worked very hard to silence any voice critical of the misdiagnosis of our children and the drugging of vulnerable minds. Sad the station manager is such an ignorant man.

Daniels says he has received what he called "overwhelmingly positive" reactions to the ouster, and only a handful of complaints, most of which he characterizes as freedom of speech concerns.

"There are hundreds of syndicated talk shows out there," says Daniels, "and each one has the right to be heard, but we can't run them all. We pick the best ones for Charlottesville, our listeners, and the community."

On WINA–- at 1070 AM–- Savage's program has been replaced with David Ramsey, who deals with get-out-of-debt and money management issues. "I think just about all of us," Daniels says, "could use good financial advice these days."

Savage added in his email that Charlottesville listeners could soon continue to hear his program on a station "across the street," though Julian Hudson, Talk Radio Network's affiliate director, could not confirm that any Charlottesville station is poised to pick up "The Savage Nation." Dennis Mockler, general manager of Monticello Media, the other major radio group in Charlottesville, says his stations have no plans to pick up the show.



WINA was looking for a reason to dump Savage for awhile. He didn't come on until 8 most nights, and was pre-empted for anything and everything. I hope 1260 picks up the show.

Good riddance of some really putrid garbage. No excuses or defense for him or his outright and unapologetic racism and bigotry.

Free speech has nothing to do with it. Savage has all the right in the world to stand on his corner and spew his filth, but he has no Constitutionally protected right to do it over the public's airwaves. If that were the case, then we could all sue Clear Channel for our three-hour time slot.

And I find it ironic that the same man who claims his "freedom of speech" is being violated is the one who would have what he brands as "liberal" or left-leaning journalists and politicians deported. I guess it's only free when it's Savage speaking.

Way to go to your programming director! So many company executives just want to minimize things to avoid controversy. As a Mom of an aspergers daughter, I just want to say thanks and keep up the fight for all our kids afflicted with this lifelong disability.

It is about time that WINA gets some balls. Spewing has no place in radio and that is exactly what exists at WINA. From Rob Schilling to Savage, it is just plain irresponsible.

his is an appropriate move. I hope program directors across the nation will follow suit. Savage's show is second only to Limbaugh's in audience size. But, just as Rush has time and again been shown to be a less than honest and less than stellar person (I recall his rant on Michael J. Fox and his Parkinson's disease), Savage should be left with declining ad revenue and an audience comprised of fools who will believe what he says. I challenge any program director anywhere to defend keeping Savage on the air for any other reason than a lousy buck.

THANK YOU FOR SHOWING DECENCY AND COURAGE!! Good riddance to hate radio and Savage ignorance.

I have a saying, Autism is not contagious but ignorance is. It is a shame to know that one individual who has the power of voice through radio uses it so wastefully. Autism is a brain development disorder which is not "over diagnosed" or "made up". Over the last five years Autism has finally been made aware to the public. We are now being educated on the disorder and yet there are still people who are just plain ignorant to the reality that we have an epidemic and that simple understanding and knowledge would be greatly appreciated to the parents who are having to raise these children. It angers me that individuals who have the power of voice do not use it in a more positive manner. I bet Savage would think differently if he were personally connected to someone with Autism. I am glad to see that he is now out of a job. Maybe he could use his spare time educating himself instead of running off at the mouth trying to make a dollar.

Savage is what he looks like; a sneering fat slob, mouthing off.
I say shut him up, but good.

Only thing that distinguishs him from a windbag barfly hollering over a pint,is that he is hollering over a microphone, inexplicably placed in front of him, -inexplicable as in; WHY?

Like a bouncer must do with idiots that don't know when to shut up, he was 'escorted from the premises.'

Problem is, there are many, many idiots like him. It could be said that, if it weren't for the hordes of mental midgets like him populating offices of power and media, the real solution to autism wouldn't be suppressed like it has.

Remember, never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups. Case in point? Bush was elected. TWICE.

Savage is savagely stuuupid. Hit him with a shovel.
It would be an improvement, however temporary and unsatisfying.

I'm so glad they got rid of this hate-monger!!!I'm all for freedom of speech, but there's alot of people who believe everything they hear from someone like him. We parents have enough trouble dealing with the public. Our kids look "normal". I don't know how many times we've almost got in fights almost because people think you want their 2 cents. My son used to be terrified to get his hair cut. No one understands that. We had to literally hold him down. There would always be some person saying "all he needs is a good butt whoopin, blah,blah,blah." My husband corrected him right away of course. But with ignorant lie-spewing media people, it's going to get worse instead of better.

I'm glad my radio has a dial that allows me to change stations. Maybe people that don't like Savage should practice using their knobs. pun intended

People are just looking for an excuse to get rid of Michael Savage.
I have twin boys one which was diagnosed with autism. My husband and I have learned the more we are firm with our son on discipline and spend a lot of time teaching him ourselves (no daycare) and mom is a stay at home mom. He has advanced much faster. He always would take the easy was out for learning (If it was hard he would cry) until we spent hours teaching him one on one. And let him know that behavior is unexceptable. Now he is reading, writing talking like children his own age. These children need a lot of love, one on one attention, and you'd be surprise how much knowledge they have you have to push them!!! Remember we are the parents, don't let your kids control you!!!!!! Was my sons diagnosis correct or was it the love and discipline that worked.

THANK YOU for getting rid of that twit about time let just hope that wrva opens their eyes finally about that idiot & gives him the boot

Good for you!!!!!!!! Thank you for standing up for our kids.

It's about time.

Michael Savage is the knife through the heart of the adage "the answer to too much free speech is more free speech." He turns that into "the answer to too much child molestation is more child molestation," or "the answer to too much air pollution is more air pollution."

Savage lies because he gets joy from lying, and insults unfairly and cruelly anyone he needs to feel is below him, especially the sick and injured. His entire life is a campaign to encourage morons to believe they are right and the educated and intelligent among us wrong.

And he does it all intentionally, for pride of ego and for money. He dreams himself the one-eyed man abusing the blind.

The answer requires more than "change the station." Why is this monster given a nation-wide teaching role on a medium where his rants are perceived by his level of listeners to be endorsed?

Endorsed by the FCC (which the unwashed believe controls what can be broadcast), endorsed by we, the people (who own the broadcast channels, we're constantly told) and endorsed by the local power structure of retailers through sponsorship on the local station. That last endorsement is true, of course. No one puts his advertising on "The Hitler Hour" at random or by mistake.

Anyone who sponsors Michael Savage or Rush Limbaugh believes in what they spew, and wants everyone to believe it. And so do the owners of the station.

As to the writer of "Dr's said he was autistic" who wants to know if the kid was mid-diagnosed, the people who research these conditions would say yes, almost certainly mis-diagnosed. Autism isn't a broken arm that shows in an x-ray. It's complex, mimics other things, has light-medium-heavy degrees, and is elusive to diagnose.

So if the condition is cured by taking the steps you did, your twin didn't have a serious case of autism. Read up on autism by writers with experience and you'll learn what caring, loving treatment can and cannot do with this disease.

As a broacaster and also as a Mom of a teenage boy with Asperger's Syndrome, I am thrilled that people in positions of power are taking a stand!

We cannot remain silent when we need to speak the truth. I don't want to even say his name...but those who speak evil need to be called out. And not continually rewarded.

In a post 9/11 world, to do otherwise is unthinkable.

from wikipedia:

Many people¢Ã¢â??¬”particularly if their lives are negatively affected by autism¢Ã¢â??¬”disagree with the aims of the autism rights movement, saying that the movement overstates the gifts associated with autism, which could jeopardize funding for research and treatment.[6] Many parents of children with autism say that the notion of "positive living with autism" has little relevance to them, and that autism rights are for "the high-functioning autistics and Aspies who make up the bulk of the movement".[6] Many parents say that behavioral therapy provides help in caring for children who are sometimes aggressive and that autism exacts a toll on the entire family.[1]

Curing autism is a controversial and politicized issue. What some call the "autistic community" has splintered into several strands. Many seek a cure for autism¢Ã¢â??¬”sometimes dubbed as pro-cure. Many others consider a cure unnecessary or unethical.

As a parent of a child diagnosed with autism, I thank you for having the courage and decency to remove this man's "show" from your programming. What I hope people realize is that while Savage makes his hurtful and ignorant comments, he has the gift of sounding reasonable and informed, which makes him a dangerous man.

People need to be smart enough so that before they adopt someone's opinion as fact, they know the truth or are strong enough to find the truth. Do any of Savage's loyal "followers" question him about what experience he has with children with autism? Is he basing his comments on the fact that he has a sibling who is mentally disabled? Why? Because all disabled people look/act/are the same?

writers cannot cure autism and it's not as easy as a broken arm to cure. My son never spoke I never got to experience the cute babbling sounds babies do. We thought he was deaf but no as he got older the tantrums got worse, he never slept, banging his head, lining everything up, flapping his arms (hands), not looking at us in our eyes when we made sounds or speak to him. We went to a very thought of hospital that was doing research on autism who was doing research on autism (they used my son for research). We then we went to many doctors seeking help. No one could help they just wanted to give medicine (he got worse). I could go on and on how bad it was. It wasn't until my husband and I took control of our son and did our own research on vitamins, food allergies, remedies, EEG and the most important love and discipline. We then had a HUGE break through. We were finally talking, listening, reading, writing and all tantrums stopped and finally we were sleeping all night and no more diapers! (I'm not talking about a normal age in diapers 9 years old and up)
My son was diagnosed with TRUE AUTISM by many professionals that were well known in their profession. We went as far as brain scans to see if we could find a cure for autism. I do not believe 1 in every 150 children are diagnosed with autism. When I was seeking a school for my son I went to many schools that were for severe handicap children and or autistic. There was only 1 or 2 children in these classrooms that couldn't speak and had the true signs of autism the rest were very well spoken children and well advanced. They just might have been slow in learning but not autistic. So please do not criticize anyone until you live in their shoes. And I'm not talking about Michael Savage. I know what he was trying to say. He is tired of the misdiagnosis of children and the heavy meds they are put on and I couldn't agree more. Since it happened to me!

Finally. Get that windbag blowhard off the air. Whatever reason you want to use.

He is pure scum!!!! I am glad he is gone.


Anybody with a brain knows that Michael Savage is an idiot. I am a parent of an Austic boy. Until you have experienced it you dont know what is all about. You have to see the blank stare for some of the children. In our case it is seeing his fear of havig his hair wsahed or seeing him hiding from a mad face on thomas the train.LOts of LOVE helps to reach him. So Michael why don't you go crawl back under the rock that you came out from under.

It would appear that Mr. Savage has not had the privilege of being around an autistic child. My 10 year old grandson was diagnosed at the age of 28 months. He had met all the milestones of walking, talking etc. Then we noticed the withdrawal and not looking at us, silence, flapping, all the hallmark signs. His hearing was tested, could hear fine. Had him evaluated by an Early Intervention program and he started the program at 21/2 years old. He is now ten and we have seen wonderful progress, he can read, language skills are not up to a "normal" level, but Mr. Savage can never know the joy of being a part of such a unique persons life. He does receive appropriate discipline which, by the way, if Mr. Savage had done some research, he would know that a communication system with each individual child helps in discipline. Our doctor put the whole thing in perspective for us by telling us, that an autistic person's brain must be sort of like a display of thousands of Christmas lights in your head all at once and you can't sort all the messages your receiving. Apparently Mr Savage must have only one light!