OH GOD, HERE WE GO AGAIN
It seems that Mr. Leary recently wrote a book with the provocative title, Why We Suck: A Feel-Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid. In it, he decided to include a chapter that could have been written by Michael Savage.
It has been reported that the book includes the following:
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.
In a recent interview, Mr. Leary said he wouldn’t mind if his book tour would be picketed by Jenny McCarthy because it would help sell more books. I suppose that’s what it is all about. Spout out anything that comes to mind as long as it sells.
Maybe I wouldn’t mind if his ignorance was pointed in another direction. That’s my failing; I should be just as pissed off at any of his rants that picks unfairly at one group or another. I suppose I should be grateful. Mr. Leary has showed me something about myself that is a little uncomfortable. I can work on that. He’s also shown me something about himself, and I can work on that too. I can henceforth ignore Mr. Leary in all of his endeavors.
Within a half-hour of posting the above, I got a Google news update indicating that Denis Leary is trying to explain his comments. According to one story, Mr. Leary says that we all need to read the book so that we may see:
. . . the sections I thought made my feelings about autism very clear: that I not only support the current rational approaches to the diagnoses and treatment of real autism but have witnessed it firsthand while watching very dear old friends raise a functioning autistic child.
He goes on to say:
The point of the chapter is not that autism doesn't exist—it obviously does—and I have nothing but admiration and respect for parents dealing with the issue, including the ones I know," Leary continued in the statement he released today.
The bulk of the chapter deals with grown men who are either self-diagnosing themselves with low-level offshoots of the disease or wishing they could as a way to explain their failed careers and troublesome progeny.
Of course, this entire misunderstanding can be easily avoided simply by doing one thing — reading the book. Taking one or two sentences out of context — especially when it involves an entire chapter devoted to the subject — is unfair and ill-advised.
Fair enough. I haven't read the book. But assuming the quote from the book is reasonably accurate — not necessarily complete, but reasonably accurate — there is an obvious disconnect between what he wrote and what he says he intended. I'm not buying it.
Check out what Ginger has to say on this. Her post is thoughtful, balanced, and right on target.