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Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2008

Dennis Leary's Comments Taken Out of Context

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Denis Leary tells Usmagazine.com that controversial comments about autism from his new book were taken out of context.

In the tome, Why We Suck: A Feel-Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid, the comic blames the disorder on "inattentive mothers and competitive dads who want an explanation for why their dumb-ass kids can't compete academically, so they throw money into the happy laps of shrinks . . . to get back diagnoses that help explain away the deficiencies of their junior morons."

Leary tells Us in a statement:

The people who are criticizing the "Autism Schmautism" chapter in my new book Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid clearly have not read it.

Or if they have, they missed the sections I thought made my feelings about autism very clear: that I not only support the current rational approaches to the diagnoses and treatment of real autism but have witnessed it firsthand while watching very dear old friends raise a functioning autistic child.

The point of the chapter is not that autism doesn't exist - it obviously does - and I have nothing but admiration and respect for parents dealing with the issue, including the ones I know.

The bulk of the chapter deals with grown men who are either self-diagnosing themselves with low-level offshoots of the disease or wishing they could as a way to explain their failed careers and troublesome progeny.

Of course, this entire misunderstanding can be easily avoided simply by doing one thing-reading the book.

Taking one or two sentences out of context - especially when it involves an entire chapter devoted to the subject - is unfair and ill-advised.

Too often in this country, everything gets reduced to simple sound bites and very very often those sound bites are not truly representative of an author or artist's point of view.

Please give me the benefit of the doubt by reading all of what I wrote before attacking me.