Monday, July 21, 2008

Am I a hypocrite to sign a petition to get Michael Weiner fired?

Michael Weiner is the real name of Michael Savage. While normally I respect people's rights to go by the names of their choosing (I myself prefer to be called "Joe" short for my middle name "Joseph" rather than my first name "John"), "Weiner" is a much more appropriate name for this cum-stain with a radio show than the faux tough guy name "Savage." As you may have heard Weiner made some really idiotic comments about people with Autism:

I am diagnosed as learning disabled, with all of the anxiety and depression disorders that normally go along with that. I have never been diagnosed with any form of autism, but as I have learned more about Asperger's Syndrome, I have found that I do have a lot of its traits. I asked my psychiatrist about it and she agreed that I have some of the traits, though she said that a diagnosis would cost $800 and treatment for me at this point in life (I'm 38) would be limited. I am skeptical about self-diagnoses so I will not diagnose myself with AS or any other autism spectrum disorder. I will say that I strongly identify with Aspies and find a lot of comfort in online AS support groups.

So I was offended by Weiner's remarks. I took them personally and I (electronically) signed a petition to get him fired. But even if I didn't I might still find them wrong. Would I have signed a petition to get him fired if I wasn't personally offended, maybe, maybe not, but I still would have found them wrong.

So, is it hypocritical to want Weiner fired when I would have tried to prevent the same for Imus based on his "Nappy-Headed Hos?" or similar comments (I wouldn't mind Imus being fired for general stupidity or lack of entertainment value but that's a different matter). How about The New Yorker's infamous cartoon, or John Kerry's use of the term "Tar Baby" (or John McCain's use of the same term some months ago)?(It should be noted that I would never defend any of these people or that magazine under normal circumstances). Maybe, it is hypocritical. I'm not Black so these don't affect me personally. Neither would slurs against my ethnic backgrounds (Irish and Italian) unless there was obvious intentional malice behind the slurs.

But, I think that it is intentional malice that's the point. I don't have a problem with someone making jokes about learning disabilities, emotional problems, autism, etc. In fact, on Uncyclopedia (where I post as "Naughtyned") I participated in tearing a new asshole for some loser who had a problem with the Asperger's Syndrome article there. The article itself was a mildly funny satire that had little to do with AS in reality. Making fun of the dick who made an issue out of it was hilarious:
It should be noted that many of the other people participating in giving the asshole we dubbed "Anonymous Slashy" the ridicule he deserved, claimed to be diagnosed Aspies themselves. Maybe some were lying, but I doubt that all were.

Anyway, if someone could convince me that Michael Weiner's comments were a joke or just a thoughtless off the cuff remark, rather than a deliberate slander I would withdraw my support for the petition to have him fired. Otherwise, I feel justified trying to get him fired while at the same time opposing hypersensitivity in general.

I do want to make clear that as stupid as repulsive as I find Weiner and his comments, I do respect his right to free speech and would never go beyond using the power of the marketplace to get him fired. I would never subject his speech to restriction by the government.

No comments: