Fox News issues apology after commentator calls teen climate activist “mentally ill”

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Fox News felt it was necessary to issue an apology after a panelist described Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg as “a mentally ill Swedish child.”

The comments came on a Monday night “The Story with Martha MacCallum” who in which a panel featured conservative podcaster Michael Knowles matched up against Democratic Party activist and frequent Fox News contributor Chris Hahn. 

Hahn made dramatic comments about Knowles’ characterization of Thunberg during his commentary about environmentalists’ opposition to eating meat.

“[Meatless diets] increase emissions, the increased energy use, water use, but none of that matters because the climate hysteria movement is not about science,” said Knowles. “If it were about science, it would be led by scientists rather than by politicians and a mentally ill Swedish child who is being exploited by her parents and by the international left. So what you’re seeing is a political movement and a religious movement, and it’s fulfilling religious and political goals of the left, but it isn’t doing that much for science.”

Hahn could be heard saying “how dare you” in the background, reacting to Knowles’ comment.

“You’re a grown man and you’re attacking a child,” he said later. “Shame on you.”

“I’m not, I’m attacking the left for exploiting a mentally ill child,” Knowles responded.

“Relax, skinny boy!” said Hahn. “I got this, okay? You’re attacking a child. You’re a grown man. Have some couth, ok, when you’re on television.”

Knowles insisted that he was simply “attacking the left for exploiting a mentally ill child.”

“Maybe on your podcast you can get away and say whatever you want because nobody is listening,” said Hahn. “You’re on national television. Be a grown-up when you’re talking about children. She’s trying to save the planet because your president doesn’t believe in climate change. And kids need to take to the streets to worry about their future. You are despicable for talking about her like that and you should apologize on national television right now.”

Knowles retaliated by saying that Thunberg is, in fact, “mentally ill” through Hahn’s insistence on taking the comment back.

“She has autism,” he said. “She has obsessive-compulsive disorder. She has selective mutism. She had depression.”

Later, the network provided a statement of apology:

“The comment made by Michael Knowles who was a guest on The Story tonight was disgraceful. We apologize to Greta Thunberg and to our viewers.?

Knowles later defended himself on Twitter, retweeting several tweets of support and commenting back at some of his critics: “There is nothing shameful about living with mental disorders. Your suggestion to the contrary is not only wrong but deeply offensive. 

Did Greta’s mother insult her when she wrote a book describing the child’s struggles with mental and developmental disorders?” 

Credit: Daily Caller