That's his analysis and he's sticking to it:
In the July 16 installment of his program, which is broadcast every weekday, [Michael] Savage suggested that “99 percent of the cases” of autism were a result of lax parenting. He told his audience: “They don’t have a father around to tell them, ‘Don’t act like a moron. You’ll get nowhere in life.’ ” Among the other admonitions he felt children with autism should be hearing, he said, were: “ ‘Straighten up. Act like a man. Don’t sit there crying and screaming, idiot.’ ”It's painful even to think of the way parents of autistic children had to endure this blame on top of the difficulties and disappointments of having an autistic child. What an idiot Savage is to drag us back to those bad old days!
Asked Monday if he actually believed that 99 out of every 100 cases of autism were misdiagnosed, Mr. Savage conceded that figure was “a little high.” He added, “It was hyperbole.”...
“He characterizes children with autism who are very, very ill — disabled children — as essentially bad kids; the only thing wrong with them is they have parents who don’t discipline them,” said John Gilmore, executive director of Autism United and the father of an 8-year-old with a diagnosis of autism. “That completely misrepresents what is going on with children with autism.”
“Basically, what he’s doing is parroting what used to be said about autism 40 years ago, back in the heyday of Freudian analysis,” Mr. Gilmore added. “It was blamed on bad parenting. There wasn’t a shred of evidence to support that.”
Is Savage's mother to blame for his idiocy? No, I think Savage is fully responsible. Now, it may be true, as the linked NYT article goes on to say, that some children are misdiagnosed with autism. But Savage's brutal tirade pushes us farther away from clear thinking about all that.
I do not listen to Savage's show, but based on that one horrible clip, I'd say he's a man in love with his own ratings — and let everything else, including basic decency, be damned.