Update: Reports say Joe Scarborough has apologized (HERE).
By Kim Stagliano
Joe Scarborough, the host of the MSNBC program "Morning Joe," put forth the brazen suggestion that James Holmes, the shooter (OK, "alleged" shooter) in the Aurora, Colorado, midnight showing of the The Dark night last week is on the autism scale.
Joe. Joe. Joe.
First I have to ask: Autism scale? Even a first year special ed student would say "autism spectrum." Why didn't you just blurt out "Asperger's" - I think you know that term pretty well having a son with the same diagnosis.
Scarborough's words were: “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.”
It happens more often than not? Really? Wrong planet, Joe.
In 2007, when Seung-Hui Cho shot up the bucolic campus of Virginia Tech, killing 32 and wounding 25, reports of his odd behavior were chalked up by some as "autism." I went on a verbal tear against this assumption that lumps people with autism in with violent mass murderers. The post was called You Can Call Me Angry, Just Don't Call Him Autistic" in which I wrote, If the media really begins to call this murderous, evil man autistic, or if the general public simply assumes if they heard the word once it must be true, I will blow my stack. It will insult every person on the planet with autism.
Morning Joe is "brewed" by Starbucks (contact them here.). I think I'll have a cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee today.... It's the least I can do to stand in support of men, women, boys and girls on the autism spectrum, like the three I tuck into bed each night.
Kim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her novel, House of Cards; A Kat Cavicchio romantic suspense is available from Amazon in all e-formats now. Her memoir, All I Can Handle I'm No Mother Teresa is available in hardcover, paperback and e-book.