Jerry Lewis, who just died, was as famous for his telethons as his slapstick comedy.  But, his telethons were controversial and some said revealed a man out of touch with the disabled.  It mattered little to the ones afflicted with muscular dystrophy that he was soliciting money for them.  They were unhappy with the way Lewis described them as damaged individuals deserving of pity.  Lewis could be faulted for failing to communicate in a way that respected his audience.  It is a matter of perception and of reality.  The disabled didn’t want to be type-cast, and they perceived Lewis’ pleas as insulting.  It mattered little to them that he raised $2.5 billion in his 44 years on the air.  It is sad that one who started out to do good gained a reputation for talking down.  

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