I got a call and the email below from a very passionate therapist who works with people on the spectrum. On her morning commute she tuned into a radio show, just in time to catch the hosts making jokes about people with Aspergers and was shocked to hear what they were saying.
I listened, and then did a little informal research and I learned that Bean - one of these two guys - is reported to have Aspergers himself, and they have a long history of talking trash and lawsuits. It also seems they also support many charities which improves their image in the eyes of many. For me, not so much. I'm tired of people asserting humor and the first amendment as protection for bad behavior. I don't believe our social conscience or founding fathers intended these to be a veil cowards and selfish people hide under. What do you think? Have I gone bonkers, as I too sensitive, do I want a world for my son that can't exist?
The radio hosts then made reference to a particular individual with Asperger Syndrome. The butt of the joke was delivered by reading statements that this individual had made and then laughing at each one of the statements due to the social ineptitude the statements demonstrated. While laughing, the radio show hosts would make comments such as "nobody cares!"
I do believe that it is very important that information about Asperger's be disseminated to the general public to create a climate of understanding, care, and support. But not so that these individuals can be the object of shame and ridicule due to their disability.
Words have power--especially those that are broadcast on air to a listening audience of thousands. When this is the case, it is crucial that these words don't bring about harm. Publicly humiliating and shaming an individual because of his or her disability is never worth a laugh. It is both harmful and unacceptable.Radio Program:The Kevin & Bean Show
Producer: Dave Sanchez (since feb 2010, I believe)
Station: KROQ (106.7, also streams online)
KROQ Station Information:
CBS Radio Inc. of Los Angeles
5901 Venice Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90034
KROQ-FM Technical Info:
Station Status Licensed Class B FM Station
Area of Coverage View Coverage Map
Effective Radiated Power 5500 Watts
Height above Avg. Terrain 423 meters (1388 feet)
Height above Ground Level 63 meters (207 feet)
Height above Sea Level 868 meters (2848 feet)
Antenna Pattern Non-Directional
Transmitter Location 34° 11' 49" N, 118° 15' 30" W
License Granted January 13 2000
License Expires December 01 2013
Last FCC Update January 13 2000