Asked about his 2008 statement that "I'll tell you what autism is. In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out," Michael Savage said it was "said in jest."
CNN's Lisa Sylvester again uncritically reported Republican claims that "people living in the United States illegally might be able to access" health insurance benefits under new legislation extending SCHIP. Lou Dobbs also stated that "opponents say it will make it easier for illegal aliens to receive taxpayer-funded health insurance." But neither Sylvester nor Dobbs noted that the legislation includes a citizenship verification process in which states would use SCHIP applicants' names and Social Security numbers to verify that they are eligible.
On Lou Dobbs Tonight, Lisa Sylvester uncritically reported that "[f]iscal conservatives ... argue" that a cigarette-tax increase in a House bill expanding SCHIP "will not generate enough revenue to pay for the program." However, Sylvester did not note that a CBO cost estimate of the bill found that it would be "fully offset, primarily through an increase in federal tobacco taxes." Sylvester also aired Rep. John Boehner's claim that "no verification system to speak of is contained in the bill" -- without noting that the bill does include a citizenship verification process in which states would use SCHIP applicants' names and Social Security numbers to determine whether they are eligible.
Talk Radio Network, which syndicates Michael Savage's radio show, posted on a website a statement asserting that Savage's July 16 comments about autism had been taken "out of context" and purporting to provide "true context" for Savage's "views." The website -- savageonautism.com -- features "20 audio clips of Michael Savage's comments on Autism," which the accompanying statement describes as "a representative sampling of Dr. Savage's views, as well as the applicable issues, in true context." In fact, all 20 of those audio clips are from the July 21 and 22 broadcasts of Savage's show, during which Savage misrepresented his July 16 remarks; they are not "context" for the July 16 remarks.
In a rebroadcast of The Savage Nation that aired on the program July 9, portions of which were previously included in a YouTube clip posted on June 30, Michael Savage acknowledged having called autism "a phony disease." The rebroadcast undermines his claim that when he characterized autism as "[a] fraud, a racket" on July 16, Savage was drawing a distinction between the "truly autistic" and those who have been misdiagnosed.
Michael Savage recast July 16 comments he made about autism in order to claim that he was "take[n] out of context." Savage falsely suggested that his comments distinguished between "the truly autistic" and those he described on July 21 as "the misdiagnosed, the falsely diagnosed, and the outright fakers in the autism field."
On his nationally syndicated radio show, Michael Savage claimed that autism is "[a] fraud, a racket. ... I'll tell you what autism is. 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.' "
In a report on CNN's The Situation Room, Brianna Keilar reported that, "[i]n recent weeks, Congress has stalled on legislation to expand the children's health insurance program," but she did not mention that Congress twice passed legislation to reauthorize and expand the State Children's Health Insurance Program, which President Bush vetoed.
A Politico article cited health care as an issue on which Democratic "party leaders have shunned compromise" and cited the congressional debate over expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) as part of this purported "storyline." However, the Politico did not note that an earlier bill expanding SCHIP by $35 billion over five years -- which President Bush vetoed -- represented a bipartisan compromise.
Discussing President Bush's threat to veto a bill expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program, NPR Weekend Edition Saturday host Scott Simon stated: "The president vetoed the last one, but lawmakers said they've made some important changes to the bill, which, as Senator [Mitch] McConnell often reminds interviewers, began as a program under a Republican president." In fact, in a September 27 statement, McConnell credited a Republican Congress -- not, as Simon said, a Republican president -- for the program, which was signed into law by President Clinton.
In reporting on the House's vote to pass a revised bill expanding the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP), Fox News' Major Garrett asserted, "Congress' own accounting office said the new SCHIP bill would cover fewer children and at greater cost than the original bill." In fact, the Congressional Budget Office said that the revised bill would cover as many children in SCHIP and Medicaid as the original bill would have covered.
In articles on the recent congressional vote to override President Bush's veto of the SCHIP bill, The Washington Times and the Politico uncritically reported that Republicans are urging Democrats to seek a compromise, but did not note that the legislation Bush vetoed represented a bipartisan compromise.
A Politico article discussing political strategy on the State Children's Health Insurance Program expansion bill reported that "[t]he Democratic-controlled Congress has couched SCHIP in the context of children" and that "Republicans ... have focused their strategy on money." Beyond failing to explain what is remarkable about Democrats' "couch[ing]" a children's health bill "in the context of children," the article also ignored reports that Sen. Mitch McConnell's (R-KY) office promoted conservative bloggers' smears of Graeme Frost and his family.
On MSNBC Live, discussing Democrats' efforts to override President Bush's veto of the SCHIP bill, Contessa Brewer stated that "even conservative Republican presidential candidates are trying to sidestep this issue." However, several of the leading Republican candidates have spoken in support of Bush's veto, including Sen. John McCain and Mitt Romney.
A Wall Street Journal editorial claimed that President Bush's proposed $5 billion increase in funding over five years for the State Children's Health Insurance Program would be a "20% expansion." But the Congressional Budget Office found that Bush's proposal would underfund the program by $9 billion during that period.