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Former Republican Congressman Joe Scarborough (R-FL), who is now the host of Morning Joe on MSNBC, made these remarks about alleged Aurora theater mass shooter James Holmes:

As soon as I heard about this shooting, I knew who it was. I knew it was a young, white male, probably from an affluent neighborhood, disconnected from society — it happens time and time again. Most of it has to do with mental health; you have these people that are somewhere, I believe, on the autism scale. I don't know if that's the case here, but it happens more often than not. People that can walk around in society, they can function on college campuses — they can even excel on college campuses — but are socially disconnected.
Joe Scarborough, you are WRONG to make an amateur diagnosis that James Holmes has an autism spectrum disorder and falsely suggest that all people with autism and autism spectrum disorders are violent-minded people. I myself have an autism spectrum disorder known as Asperger's Syndrome, and, although I spent time in a mental institution in Indiana when I was in the 4th grade, Joe Scarborough made a sweeping generalization of people with autism and autism spectrum disorders that is simply not true.

Only a licensed psychiatrist can properly diagnose a person with autism or an autism spectrum disorder. Also, linking autism and autism spectrum disorders with acts of violence similar to that of the mass shooting that was perpetrated by James Holmes amounts to nothing more than an unfair, sweeping generalization of people with autism and autism spectrum disorders.

James Holmes killed 12 innocent people and wounded many others, and I am NOT defending Holmes at all, but I'm not simply going to sit back and allow people like Joe Scarborough to paint people like me as nutty, insane, and violent. I'm not afraid to stand up and defend those who are autistic and those who have an autism spectrum disorder. We may have developmental disorders, but we're not stupid!

MSNBC should fire Scarborough's the petition.

Originally posted to Aaron Camp on DailyKos on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:31 PM PDT.

Also republished by KOSpectrum.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Wouldn't be the first time for Scar. (9+ / 0-)

    Won't be the last time.

    Night Follows Day.

    •  Joe' is usually only wrong . . . (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Nica24, raster44

      When he is talking!

      As long as he is silent, he can be thought to be correct.  It is only when Joe starts talking that he removes all doubt - if anyone had any - that he is a complete and total idiot!  Just almost on the same level as Limbaugh, O'Reilly, Hannity and the other right wingnuts.

      I really don't know why MSNBC wastes their money and everybody else's time with Scarborough!

      Dick Cheney said, "Pi$$ on 'em!" And, Ronald Reagan replied, "That's a Great Idea. Let's Call it 'Trickle Down Economics!"

      by NM Ray on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 03:23:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  You are aware that Joe has his head up his ass (6+ / 0-)

    all the time - take nothing he says as worthy - he's an idiot... but you have every right to be outraged at his ignorant rants.

    Gravitation cannot be held responsible for people falling in love. - Einstein

    by moose67 on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:37:28 PM PDT

  •  And I could be wrong (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    DownstateDemocrat, subtropolis

    (wouldn't be the first time), but I thought someone said on Twitter that Scarborough (or as I call him, Joey the Scar) has a son with Asperger's. So he's basically condemning his own son to suspicion and discrimination.

    I thought we were done with the video diagnoses when Bill Frist left the US Senate. But guess everyone figures they can solve every mystery just by watching a few episodes of "House" and "CSI: Wherever".

    "If we ever needed to vote we sure do need to vote now" -- Rev. William Barber, NAACP

    by Cali Scribe on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 02:52:11 PM PDT

    •  aha! (0+ / 0-)

      I wondered if he had a personal view on it.

      Please don't jump to conclusions about him "condemening" anyone at all. I think a lot of you are taking this the wrong way. Was it a dumb thing to say? Yeah, i guess. Malicious? I don't think so.

      And, yes, i'm on the spectrum.

      All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

      by subtropolis on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 04:40:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think he went a bit over the line on (0+ / 0-)

    this one but I don't think he's supposed to get fired over this. These guys on TV have to come up with stuff to say for hours a day, every day. They are bound to say some things that are wrong or even offensive once in a while. Bad on him, but I don't think we want the airwaves to be so PC that a person can't say one bad thing without being fired.

    •  You Might Want to Watch the Historic Footage of (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      the periods around the assassinations of King and JFK that are going around. There's 3-4 hours' content showing reporters, anchors, public officials and other broadcast figures being forced to wing it on air.

      In the 2 hours of JFK material I never found a single voice as incompetent as today's leading network anchors, let alone airheads like Scarborough. The sheer speaking professionalism 45 years ago is just about incomprehensible compared to now.

      We aren't requiring the airwaves to serve the public service much any more and that's one of our 2 biggest problems with them, massive ownership concentration being the other.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 03:43:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You must be joking. On Nov 22 the (0+ / 0-)

        reporters were repeating rumors such as that LBJ was also hit and that a Secret Service agent was killed. This notion, that people on TV can be perfect, and used to be perfect, is just silly. People fuck up, always have and always will. It's only when someone intentionally promotes bigotry or something else beyond the pale that I think immediate firing is called for.

        •  Scarborough promoted bigotry on-air (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          Scarborough promoted bigotry of those with autism and autism spectrum disorders with his remarks, and that's why I'm calling for Scarborough to be fired.

          There's a difference between reporting incorrect information and making bigoted remarks about a group of people. I don't have a problem with isolated incidents of incorrect information being reported; it's when systematic lying is reported as "news", like what FOX News does all the time, or bigoted remarks towards a group of people are made, like what Scarborough did on MSNBC.

          "We don't have government anymore, we have an auction." -Lori Compas

          by DownstateDemocrat on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 04:51:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  Your headline alone gets a rec (0+ / 0-)

    and  a tip.  :)

    "If you tell the truth, you'll eventually be found out." Mark Twain

    by Steven D on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 04:13:49 PM PDT

  •  Well, it's complicated (as usual) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CatM, ProfessorWho

    Now that i see more of what he actually said, i have to agree that it seems like he's jumping ahead here.

    However, as i've learned more about this guy (the shooter) my instincts have been leading me to a similar conclusion. I, too, am on the spectrum, and over the years i've learned to recognise certain traits. I've come to no firm conclusions (who could?) but i have to admit that the spectrum appears to much wider than has been previously thought. It's freaking complicated.

    Should he have said that? Probably not. Not in that way, at least. It seems to me that he was trying to articulate a valid point but it came out pretty badly.

    And i have a very low opinion of Scarborough to begin with, so please don't think i'm a fanboy. Very far from it.

    All things in the sky are pure to those who have no telescopes. – Charles Fort

    by subtropolis on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 04:37:40 PM PDT

  •  Joe Still Hasn't Explained That Dead Intern.... (0+ / 0-)

    in his office to my satisfaction.  Until & unless he does, I discount everything he says.  His nonpartisan act is just for TV.  Joe's a right winger.....just a little more subdued for the TV camera.

    Get him in a bar, & he could put Pat Buchanan to shame.
    Keep your eye on him.  He's got a microphone 5 days a week.  

  •  sorry Ido not fully agree (0+ / 0-)

    You do know that Joe's son has Asperger's? I am well steeped in Asperger's because I have it, two of my sons have it, and my ex- husband had it and when I heard about descriptions of Holmes behavior when younger, my boyfriend and I also thought he sounded a bit like he might be on the spectrum. I did not get the impression Joe was maiing a diagnosis. He was applying what he knows about it from his very personal experience and saying that our society does not d enough to help people with social disorders like autism and it can sometimes lead to them having problems like depression (which is true), which can lead to substance abuse or other problems (also true).

    Why is it any different than all the people and journalists speculating that he might be schizophrenic? Most people with schizophrenia are not violent either and we have even less evidence to suggest that as a diagnosis.

    I am not offended at the idea that some might think he is on the spectrum. We aspies are represented in all walks of life, like all human beings. And it wuld not be the first person with autism to have comitted a crime (VA Tech shooter was diagnosed as on the spectrum as a child as was a killer in Massachusetts). It is fortunately not common, and I did not get the impression Joe was saying it was common.

    Where I do agree with you is that the amount of information available is way too scant for a cable show host to speculate about it before a large audience and possibly cement that in people's minds. I suspect he was thinking aloud as I am sure other people who know aspies were when they heard he was very "shy" and socially inept, excelled in sciences, had a long deep interest in a subject, and was described as quiet, pleasant, and nice by various people. Maybe Joe was empathizing a bit because maybe he saw a little of his son in Holmes. I don't think that is all that shameful.

    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

    by CatM on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:25:44 PM PDT

  •  One more point (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There is a difference between saying people who commit mass murder are more likely to have social disorders like autism spectrum disorders than saying people with autism spectrum disorders are likely to become mass murderers. I don't think he was saying the second of those two things, and he is right that most mass murderers have some sort of social isolation, which in some cases might be related to an autism disorder or schizophrenia (note that asperger's and schizophrenia do not have a high rate of comorbidity).

    I have one son with Aspergers and huge problems with impulse control who worries me because he has always had an out of control temper. He used to be pretty violent sometimes, especially toward his older brother to the point where I told him he would have to go live with his dad if he could not stop resorting to violent reactions. Fortunately, we seem to have that under control. Nevertheless, when he loses video games (even to the computer) he stomps his feet, curses, and throws things. And I worry. So I have had talks with him because I know he has been bullied, and I have told him if he ever finds school intolerable to where he wants to hurt someone, come tell me because if we can't fix the problem, I will homeschool him if necessary--he will not have to go to school if he is miserable. My point is that when I hear about cases like this, I can see how without a strong support network, my son could end up doing something irrational and hurting someone seriously.

    Someone with issues like my son but no support who turns to drugs or develops a concomitant mental health issue could easily do something very bad. And if you are an unsocial young adult who moves away from home, you might lose your social support system (I told my son he can live with me as long as he wants if he is not violent).

    I guess my point is there are factors that could lead someone with asperger's to exhibit violence just as there are factors that cause some schizophrenics to become violent or people with social anxiety disorders. But fortunately, it is rare. Nevertheless, it is not too often that someone everyone considers socially well adjusted does something like this. There is usually something going on, which is the point I thought Joe was making when listening to all his remarks and not just the excerpt you provided. And I don't even like Joe, btw.

    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

    by CatM on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 06:53:21 PM PDT

  •  Offtopic comment to Downstate Democrat (2+ / 0-)

    I inadvertently clicked your profile when trying to read one of your posts, and I was blown away by how much you look like my eldest son. It is really uncanny. You could have been using his picture -- that is how much your profile pic looks like him. I had my two younger sons look at it separately and tell me if they thought it resembled anyone they knew and both named their older brother and chuckled at the close resemblance. Then I showed my oldest, thinking he would be least likely to think you looked like him, but he could not believe it either. Except your mustache is thicker than his, much to his chagrin (he wants his mustache to grow thicker). Of course, it could just be the particular photo you are using.

    We Won't Let Republicans Replace Medicare with GOP Vouchercare!

    by CatM on Mon Jul 23, 2012 at 07:07:00 PM PDT

  •  Signed and sent it all over the Internet (0+ / 0-)

    Thanks, Downstate Dem.

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