Defending Dennis Leary

I love Dennis Leary. He's smart, acerbic, funny as Hell, and I usually agree with him. He's got a new book, "Why We Suck: A Feel Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid"(Viking, $24.95). The book hit stores yesterday, and Leary's already been on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" having to explain his controversial remarks about autism and parenting.

"For me, the reason for writing the chapter was because I know people who have children with autism, and I'm offended by people actually trying to seek out a low-level diagnosis for their kids because they're too lazy to deal with their kids' behavior," Leary said.

Leary told Joe Scarborough he has friends who have an autistic child. He said these people are excellent parents who are devoted to their child. Leary acknowledged the amount of time and energy raising a child with Autism demands, and he praised parents who face this challenge.

I get what he's saying and I agree. He's talking about parents of emotionally troubled children. Parents who, rather than take a long hard look in the mirror, spin their wheels blaming other people, the school or even an inaccurate diagnosis.

"Why We Suck" also skewers Britney Spears, religion, pop culture, and other subjects he finds attack-worthy. According to an interview he gave the Detroit Free Press recently, he had planned to go after Oprah, but started watching her show and changed his mind. "The Oprah thing completely turned around on me. As soon as I started doing the research, I got sucked into the vortex of Oprah." No one can resist the Power of the Oprah!

Plus, Leary's not someone who attacks for the sake of attacking. "I wrote the book because I think it's funny," he says. "My track record's pretty good. And as a comedian I've been accused of a lot of things -- shocking, controversial, loud. Never stupid. I've never been called stupid. I stand by what I wrote."

Now, if you'll excuse me -- Barnes & Nobles opens in a few and I need to see a man about a book...

Your Daily George: I think it is the duty of the comedian to find out where the line is drawn and cross it deliberately. George Carlin.

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