Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Michael Savage: Pro-Socialized Medicine

Please get Michael Savage off the airwaves. I think Obama is paying him to discredit conservatism (if not, he should be.)

If you haven't heard, Savage said some really asinine things about not only autism (that 99% of autistic kids aren't really sick but just misbehaving) but that drug companies have "created" the disease category to make themselves rich:

"'In 99 percent of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out.' Savage offered no apology in a message posted Monday on his Web site. He said greedy doctors and drug companies were creating a 'national panic' by overdiagnosing autism..."

No one should be surprised, of course. This guy has had trouble acting like a grown-up before (and this is what people in the political center today think of when they think about conservatives). Here he again shows not only a total lack of compassion, but a total lack of responsibility in spouting medical nonsense to the public - where does that 99% statistic come from, Mike? I bet a proctologist could answer that.

More frustrating is that Savage's comments show that he must not even understand how private medicine or indeed the free market works in the US. Drug industries can't create a need for treatment. When sick people, or in this case their parents, go to doctors, doctors and patients see the need for treatment and the drug industry fills that need.

I think what must happen is he sees his rating slip and then his producer gives him a cue card with some offensive inane slur on it to read during the show. Never mind that he's directly contradicting the conservative values that he's supposed to support, and clearly doesn't understand. If we have to rely on braying donkeys like Savage to keep public opinion in favor of a predominantly private American healthcare system, then get ready to sign up for socialized medicine at your local politburo. Michael Savage wins the flag-hugger award this month.


Aaron said...

There needs to be a new word for the Savages of the world, because they certainly aren't conservatives. Maybe Patriotists? If he took the time to read up on the position, he probably would agree with most of Fascism, though he'd be put off by the historical connotation. They need a word that they can rally around, so that they clearly leave any mainstream conservative movement.

Patriotist Manifesto
1. The founding ideals of the US are Judeo-Christian values, beginning with belief in 1 God.
2. The role of government is to enact these values.
3. The US through its unique place in history stands as a living embodiment of God's ideals.
4. By moving away from these ideals, Our Country runs the risk of losing God's favor.
5. As long as someone is attacking the US, they are attacking the foundational ideals of God Himself.
6. Attacking God's ideals is an abomination, and as long as a person does not repent of this, they may be acted against in any way to thwart their diabolical plans.

Squid said...

I agree that Savage is an ass, and that's where he got his 99% figure from. That said, he's definitely tapping into a vein of unrest in that we're all bombarded with TV and magazine ads for all manner of medications (not to mention "non-medical" herbal supplements).

Given that the first rule of marketing is "invent a problem that your product will solve," it's not hard to understand how the current situation would lead people to mistrust the philanthropic spirit of Big Pharma.

Aaron said...

It's probably colored by my intense dislike for Michael Savage, but I think it's a stretch to see his diatribe as being targeted against medical advertising. Glen Beck (who I'd hardly call a liberal apologist) was filling in for Larry King, and Savage was on to argue his point. His claim was that he was taken out of context, like you've described. But the quote was pretty long, and centered on how he basically sees autism as being a behavioral issue that can be corrected by parents ("In 99% of the cases, it's a brat who hasn't been told to cut the act out"). It's an age-old weak parenting argument. He was ranting, then backpedaled.

That said, I question how much people want medical ads to stop. It apparently isn't slowing down pharma profits with people leaving in disgust. And people still shell out for the next big placebo herb supplement. If all ads for medicines and supplements were banned, Savage would be out there screaming about the government limiting free speech (talk radio sells plenty of herbal hockum).