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MSNBC's Starschmucks Morning NO.

Morning joe

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.

There's a petition on where you can share your dismay at Scarborough's suggestion. I'm going to hope Joe apologizes or at least clarifies what on earth he meant by the time this post goes live.

I'm pleased to report that there are organizations like Dennis Debbaudt's Autism Risk Management who are working to educate law enforcement, legal and yes, media personnel on what autism looks like in varying degrees.  From the Debbaudt Legacy Productions Page: "In 2008, the General Assembly provided funding to the TEACCH Autism Program (TEACCH) at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Medical School to develop this "video to raise awareness of autism for those involved in government and public service, including information on recognizing the signs and symptoms of autism spectrum disorders, and contacts for further information on appropriate responses to individuals with autism." See NC Session Law 2008-83. TEACCH was assisted by the UNC School of Government and the Autism Society of North Carolina in the development of the video. The video is reproduced here with permission of TEACCH."  We invite you to watch and share THIS VIDEO from UNC which:
  • illustrates verbal and non verbal communications difficulties experienced by persons with autism who may become victims, witnesses or offenders in the criminal justice system; offers advice and information for criminal justice professionals they may interact with
  • features persons with autism, criminal justice professionals and autism professionals through vignette and interviews
  • enhances communications and facilitate understanding of autism in the criminal justice system

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.

House of Cards 200 pixelsKim Stagliano is Managing Editor of Age of Autism. Her novel,  House of Cards; A All I Can Handle 50 pixel 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.


Theodora aka Tiffany

As someone who was practicly a lab rat for a year, I know what drugs can do to you. I was in highschool when they kept shoving different medicines down my throat to see if one would stick. I had major mood swings, bouts of depression, anger managment issues, hyper one minute and no energy the next, complete personality changes... It was awful!! So I agree this should be looked into. For everyone's sake!!

Speaking of HIPPA, as someone who left her job at the state who pretty much strangled her from being the activist she wanted to be and had to conceal her real name due to those laws, it feels good to have my first full time job in a great corporation with wonderful benefits! :D Now I can go and confront things in the autism realm head on using my real name plus have the job and the chance I've wanted for so long! Huzzah!!! FREEDOM!!!!!

And can I say that the goverment and it's strangeling gag laws sucks?!?! :P

Theodora aka Tiffany

ps, I chose Theodora as a name on here because she is one of my fictional characters I modeled after me. lolz

Jeannette Bishop

As far as the Aurora shooting, I'm not even certain that James Holmes has not been set up to take a fall for this atrocity. I think MSM coverage of this story has been rather directive or selective. No one is telling us what security cameras caught. They won't even say there is or is not camera footage, last I heard. I don't know if anyone can give a positive facial ID of the shooter. Some witnesses believe more than one person was involved. Holmes was supposedly found locked in "his" car with Vicodin in his system. They imply he confessed by saying "I'm the joker," and surrendered without resistance, and what was the context of such a quote? ABC misrepresented his mother's statements. I'm not sure how that could have been accidenctal. Now the guy is saying he doesn't know why he is in jail, and the media is calling that "claiming amnesia" or "acting like he has amnesia," but we have no way of knowing it is an act.

I guess at this point regarding Scarborough's words, I don't know whether to worry that they were his personal opinion that may unjustly take hold or more misdirection.


Cherry Misra,
YES! And while my son has autism, and my neighbor's son has aspergers, we keep our "own" under their labeled umbrella,we've set up a little class system with our damaged kids, and certainly no one wants a killer under their umbrella, so let's put him in the simply vaccine damaged category. Maybe one day we will strip off the labels and call all of this what it is "vaccine damage".

Cherry Sperlin Misra

The Denver mass murderer may not be autistic, but he may share this in common with the autistic children- He is probably the victim of modern medicine, or a victimof the suppression of truth in science (For example, he may be suffering from mercury poisoning)

Med Horrors

Bob- I think you make a really good point about the antipsychotics or antidepressants. There have been so many published connections to past murders, yet the media seems to forget about it. They seem to jump to their arm chair psychiatry dx the accused with "schitzophreniz, bipolar, dellusion...autism" when infact, they are not qualified to make a diagnosis, and even if they were, have basically no information.

I personally have had several bad experiences with meds. An anti-anxiety med made me suicidal, I stopped that and went on an new anti-depressant that was working ok, but my doctor wanted me to switch. The withdrawl from the anti-drepressant was so bad, I had move out into a vacant house because I thought I might kill someone. It was the first time I'd ever felt homicidal. As soon as my med levels were back, I was fine. I tried to switch meds another time using a longer transition/titration, but I still had serious, dangerous withdrawl. If I forget to take my med, within 6 hours, my mood will change and I'll rage. One time I forgot and became disoriented and hit another car. Just google "Effexor Withdrawl" and you'll see tons of horror stories. I feel like I'm a slave to this stuff for life. BTW, I had been on Prozax/Lexapro/Celexa and had no problem stopping.

Sue Morgan

He looks like someone who abruptly stopped taking his risperdal, now that I think of it... Or maybe just isn't getting any more meth. It looks sort of similar.


YES--what CT Teacher said!

I've been wondering why nobody is questioning what drugs the Aurorashooter was on. It's obvious from the descriptions of him in the courtroom that he's on something--glazed eyes, constantly nearly falling asleep....or maybe he just got a vaccine that gave him narcolepsy, like a European flu shot.


As I recall, the shooters in all the rcnt massacres (Columbine, Virginia Tech, California, Pittsburgh, etc) were all under the care of one or more doctors--and were all on antidepressants and/or other psych drugs that carry a side effect of violent thoughts and behavior.

The news media has been deafeningly silent on whether or not the Aurora shooter was under the care of a doctor, and whether he'd been on any medications, but they dare to speculate that he has a neurological disorder (which they completely mis-characterize as a mental disorder).

I'm not sure which is worse--reporters or psychiatrists.

Raymond Gallup

How many people watch MSLSD (MSNBC)? Maybe thirty people at most!!

I don't pay any attention to anything from MSLSD.....they so full of baloney, you could use it to stuff a few hundred subs/heros.


Now this bothers me, companies cashing in on the autistic "qualities". Let's see, our kids have no social skills, so no time wasted with verbal exchanges during the day, so now we've created a marketable generation nothing short of robots . We are so thankful that there's a niche , yet what about these people, aren't they breathing with blood in their veins, shouldn't they have human needs , what happens when there is no group support, no loving wife and children, can we suppress the basic human need for love with medication and keep these kids on a corporate clock, or an educational fast track to an end that makes "us" happy? Sorry, I feel responsible for being a consumer, for playing a part in allowing these companies to brainwash us and our doctors to hold our kids down , shoot them up with poisons and destine them to a horrible life. We are "wusses", why aren't we picketing doctors offices, screaming, I know why, because we are playing by their rules, money and power wins, tv buys in, soothes us with "big bang theory" nonsense, suggesting there is love and relationships after lego play. We are fed so many lies , are told day after day that there's no relationship between vaccines and autism, that we are afraid to be "one of those wingnuts" that buy into such a thing. Great doctors, including nobel scientists are being degraded and thrown in the wingnut pile, while paid for sign off bogus studies make their way into well pharm sponsored journals. Mainstream..has become their bible, and mainstream is what is going to continue to take the futures of our kids. Now here we are. with Nancy and the corporations pretending that our kids can be slotted into jobs, but a job does not make a life.

CT teacher

Thanks, Bob Moffit for the link. It was definitely worth reading. Everyone who is skeptical about the link between prescription anti depressants and violence should research this subject on their computers. You will find a list of extremely violent incidents, the perpetrators of the violence and the name of the drug they were taking.....all the way back to Columbine. I even saw a video of Michael Moore discussing this subject...long after he made his movie. It was info that he did not have at the time. We MUST get this subject into the national conversation. It affects all of us. Seems to me the Canary Party is the perfect vehicle to do so. Isn't a safer drug policy part of their mission? Our media will continue to portray these perpetrators as evil, sick and twisted, when in reality it is the drugs that are evil. The Pharmaceutical companies are sick and twisted, because they KNOW about this problem. I know that autism is the major concern of everyone who posts here, but this is just another manifestation of everyone's concern....the over medication of America's children. We MUST do something about this.


Media Ad's =$ Prescription medications =$ Paycheck =$ profits$
Mention the possible cause Prescription medications, no paycheck, no profits, go broke....

Why would the Media mention any anti depressants or psychotrpic meds!

Media programing the public with a mix of some truths and some lies. Keep mixing it in, and watching TV will be hard to figure out who said what and why, what was it true.
The public is being programed 24/7. Great hypnotic state sheep...


This is the same guy who takes crap from Nancy Snyderman. What can we expect? I don't know how he sits in the same room with her, much less acts so hospitable towards that witch.

Freaking idiot shill.

You'd think he'd have more sense, too, in light of his son.


I don't know but the guy was in neuroscience-who knows maybe he went crazy with all the pharma bull crap.


As told to us by the headmaster of the prestigious private school that my children were attending, upon sharing with him that my almost 6 yo son was diagnosed by outside experts with asperger's.

Headmaster: I don't know much about asperger's, but from what I do know, these kids are kinetic. Dangerous. Like the movies they showed us back in the '50's about the atomic bomb. They showed us a box of ping pong balls set with a mouse trap. They dropped another ping pong ball into the box, and SNAP, the trap goes off and all the balls go crazy. Kinetic, just like these kids. They are dangerous and they don't belong in THIS school. Perhaps, we can learn more about your son's aspergers, maybe they can give him drugs. I myself, take Ritalin. Keep it right here in my pocket. Drugs aren't bad. They make us better. Maybe after you get him on some drugs and we understand this aspergers better, we can reconsider his re-enrollment. But right now, he does not belong in this school."

Our true-life experience only 5 years ago. This conversation with the headmaster of this midwestern private school a few weeks after being told by his teachers to institutionalize my bright, verbal child who the school dubbed as wilful, defiant, bi-polar, emotionally disturbed and too smart to request a district-based evaluation...we privately sought help and got a diagnosis that my son had aspergers and huge receptive and expressive language delays.

People like this Morning Joe, needs to stop and think before they speak because it affects lives and people will believe the crap he says....thank goodness we did not trust the "experts" in our situation....

Bob Moffitt

@ CT teacher:

"Nobody talks about the real problem with these mass murders...prescription antidepressants. Almost all of the perpetrators of these horrific slaughters were on prescription drugs that list violent and suicidal thoughts as a side effect. I would be truly surprised if James Holmes was not taking a psychotropic drug."

I wholeheartedly AGREE!!! Here is an article on THIS subject that is very worth reading:

Unfortunately, the "cynic" in me suspects we will NEVER learn what "psychotropic drugs" this individual has been taking for YEARS .. because .. the HIPPA laws will PREVENT anyone .. the media or law enforcment officials .. from disclosing them.

We are told the HIPPA laws are meant to "protect the individual's privacy" .. but .. in the real world .. they ALSO PROTECT THE DRUG INDUSTRY FROM BEING EXPOSED AS A POSSIBLE CONTRIBUTING FACTOR WHEN THESE TYPES OF BIZARRE .. VIOLENT .. ATTACKS OCCUR.

Anyone who watched this cretin's "court appearance" immediately KNEW he had been "medicated" .. but .. when authorities are asked "what medications" he may have been given we are DENIED THAT INFORMATION.

Why is that? Who are these law enforcment officials protecting .. the cretin .. or the DRUG MANUFACTURERS?

In any event .. like MOST people .. I know very little about "pyschotropic drugs" .. but .. even I KNOW they are "prescribed" with FDA MANDATED WARNINGS THEY MAY INDUCE HOMICIDIAL OR SUCIDIAL THOUGHTS IN THE PEOPLE RECEIVING THEM.

When this cretin "bought his guns" .. did he receive some type of WARNING the gun may cause HIM TO COMMIT HOMICIDE OR SUICIDE?

CT teacher .. thanks for "putting it out there".


Barbar J
Black and white
Right and wrong
is a blurr for me - when it comes to human behavior when the brian is messed up.

They said he had to plan it for ??? I don't know yet - days or weeks or months. Even if he bought a gun a year ago it does not mean he planned to use it in this way - but it was not safe once what ever happened happen.

Psychosis is a walking sleep and a scary thing.
Kids (teenagers) are so scared of the zoombies that CDC actually put out a news report saying it is not true.

Wrong he did what he did, so maybe we should start saying the word "blame" "at fault"

I lay this back on the government joined at the hip pharma
the ones that are not sleep walking.
True they are dreaming - dreaming of a world were measles and other childhood diseases are gone - but there is a differnce in psychoisis - can't wake up
Refusing to give up dreams and ideas even if it they have become diasters.


Here is the deal- Joe blurted this out before ANY kind of evidence was collected regarding this man's mental health. Hell- they had just gotten through THREE layers of bomb squads just to get into his apartment. Yes- a person on the spectrum could be violent- and possibly could be the perpetrator of such a heinous act. But with absolutely nothing pointing in that direction- Joe just puts that out there. And people, scared and confused people who desperately want some kind of answers will cling to this and then BAM- yet another stigma attached to an autism diagnosis. You can't compare Autism to a brain tumor- people here Brain Tumor and they generally automatically think - Ohhhhh- a brain tumor- well that explains A LOT! But , Autism is already looked upon as a "behavior issue" and is invisible- so this could be a HUGE setback in what little we HAVE accomplished.


Hmm..I wasn't disturbed by this? I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't have it documented in his medical history, as I believed they found with the VA Tech murderer, and why should what he did, an extremely rare incident, affect my son? When the Texas sniper was found to have a brain tumor, everyone with brain tumors didn't take up a scarlet letter. I think being sensitive is normal, but not if it blocks us from accepting that yep, something is wrong with this youth and if it happens to be aspergers, so what,wasn't it in BLF book that someone suspected Ted Bundy was vaccine damaged? It is what it is. He may just be an evil sob, and perfectly nt, serial killers are psychopaths, yet being a sociopath can make you a killer or a ceo, depends on your decision making. So no matter what this guy's pathology, right from wrong is a choice, and he should pay the penalty.


Dear AoA-

Interestingly, the VA Tech murderer was described as "autistic" by his mother in the first paragraph of the first article of the first edition of the Washington Post to report on that tragedy.

Subsequent editions of The Wash Post omitted any further mention of the "a" word.

I agree that Morning Joe's speculation is out of bounds.

Jake Crosby

"Why didn't you just blurt out "Asperger's" - I think you know that term pretty well having a son with the same diagnosis."

Better yet, why couldn't he have said nothing at all? The shooter had nothing to do with autism before MSNBC aired Scarborough's irresponsible comments.


James Holmes was just evil then - end of story?
We have him captured and hopefully there will be some answers on his mental state - unlike Seung-Hui Cho Joe.

No Joe ; it was not autism. Nothing on the scale (spectrum) either.
At an autism meeting years ago, one parent said that one thing about our kids that we do know --- they will never have a drug problem, they will always follow the rules, and that was the one great blessing we had. That is my son, and our kids have enough problems without fear they are going to get ahold of a gun and go berserk.

But what if it is vaccine injury for --- the others?

I have stated before that there is a BAD" drug problem in my part of the country.
Kentucky is not the only midwest state to have this problem.
In my county (not country) - the newspaper says we; our community, our county has the highest rate in the state.

I have to admit that everyone I know/knew has been touched, by this.
I could list them - and it would be a very, very long list - Many of our county's parents that have the money ship it down south to the drug rehabs.

Close up looking into these friend's windows (metaphor) I see parents knowing there is something wrong, but they cannot put their finger on the problem. Their kids are brillant in school. Yes, I do mean they are good at school -- the old teachers that were friends to my mother said so!

These parents pack these kids off to college with their ACT scores of 25 - to 30 expecting engineers and doctors to emerge in about four years.

Instead they bring them home -- bewildered????
They can't finish their courses in school, they drink, they run wild, then they lay in bed or sit in their rooms for days- and days at a time. They are short tempered, their rooms looks like the hoarders on the television show, they are depressed. The parents think the kids just hate them because after laying around in their room all sullen toward the parents - they are then up and off and out running again - with so many friends that they can't all fit into a car.

Next thing we hear one has climbed an electric pole and has been electrocuted stealing copper wire from electric lines.
But he was brilliant - how could he be so dumb. Maybe he was on a mannia and thought he could do anything?

Mania hmmmm and then depression - hmmmm
How many kids our there have bipolar from the vaccines?

Seung-Hui Cho -- his mother knew - she beg the other students when she left him to help him.

James Holme's mother was not surprised either -- but he was brilliant he had a degree in neuro something science.

Now why did he choose that study?

Bipolar young adults and children - MRI shows pituitary glands are enlarged.

It is all fits together in this mess.

No, not autism -- but something real close that we can't put our fingers on.

Anne McElroy Dachel

Joe does his son and everyone else with ASD such a disservice by remarks like the ones he made on MSNBC.

He equated autism with mental illness and with acts of mass murder.

I can't imagine a worse insult to the thousands of parents out there scared to death their non-verbal child with autism is going to get out of the house and end up dead in someone's swimming pool. Or to the countless parents with low-functioning children who can't do anything for themselves. The accused CO man was a PhD candidate who lived independently. Why would Joe Scarborough try and make him the face of autism?

We live in the Dark Ages of Autism where there is no understanding about the disorder. Experts talk about autism as a perpetual mystery with lots of conflicting theories and guesses. I hope Joe Scarborough learns to use his public voice for the good of the autism community.

Anne Dachel, Media


Something the autism awareness campaigns may actually achieve is to better educate broadcasters on the specific nature of ASD versus other illnesses, all of which need to be addressed.

With the rates of mental illnesses across the board rising rapidly it is entirely possible that such shootings are a manifestation of the extreme - who of us would have thought thirty three years ago when the sixteen year old girl in San Diego had 'the silicon chip inside her head get switched to overload' that we would see so many similar events unfold?

CT teacher

Nobody talks about the real problem with these mass murders...prescription antidepressants. Almost all of the perpetrators of these horrific slaughters were on prescription drugs that list violent and suicidal thoughts as a side effect. I would be truly surprised if James Holmes was not taking a psychotropic drug. When are we going to start talking about this? It's frightening to go online and look at the list of violent behaviors and mass murders and the drugs the perpetrators were taking. Big Pharma is aware of this but our media doesn't go there. Yes, lack of gun control in this country is a huge issue, but the bigger issue is that these drugs turn otherwise quiet, intelligent young men into horrific, evil murderers. Our society is so drug saturated that people don't even think about what these drugs are doing to us. Wake up America!


Sadly it is this type of "source" that most people will get their misconstrued "news" from. Few people think for themselves anymore and our students certainly aren't encouraged to. Honestly, unless you have this problem in your face day in and day out, who has the drive to find the truth because it is like digging for gold to find it.

Meanwhile, "they" will be pleased to know that many people are following along as instructed. Overheard at the subdivision pool:
Mom 1: Yes, his (boy starting kindergarten next month)leg got a bump the size of a grapefruit where he got his shot. He got 4 at the same time. Dr. says it might be a reaction to the preservatives. No problem.
Mom 2: With all the problems with shingles you just have to make sure that you get all the shots.

Mom 1 then goes on to talk about her youngest (2 yr old boy) that will be starting a developmental pre-preschool in August.

I can see how parents trust doctors - that is what we pay them for. We assume they have the training and it never occurred to me that they didn't have any liability in their decision making. BUT, how can a trained doctor carry on so carefree......they have to know that there is a problem....

Chuck Hancock

Nice piece. Meanwhile Joe -- Here's a "scale." Let's measure your brain with it.

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