Fox News pundit Michael Knowles is coming under fire after referring to teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg as a “mentally ill Swedish child” in a controversial appearance on Fox News on Monday.
Knowles, who hosts a conservative podcast for the right-leaning Daily Wire, was invited to discuss the Swedish teenager’s appearance at the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York on Monday, during which she gave an impassioned address taking world leaders to task for failing to address climate change.
During the appearance, Knowles claimed that the attention on climate change is not really about science and took aim at the now world-famous teenager whose activism on the issue has led to worldwide demonstrations calling for action on climate change. Knowles asserted that the fact that a teenager is the face of the movement means that there is no science backing it.
“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,” he said, via the left-leaning media watchdog Media Matters for America.
That drew a sharp reaction from fellow guest Chris Hahn, who grew visibly angry at Knowles’ attack on Thunberg.
“You’re a grown man and you’re attacking a child. Shame on you,” Hahn said.
The appearance also led to some angry reactions online, with many sharing videos of Knowles’ appearance and calling him out for his attack on the teen activist.
Michael Knowles was not the only pundit from The Daily Wire pushing the idea that Greta Thunberg is mentally ill. The conservative news site published another essay from Matt Walsh, which also called her mentally ill and pointing to the fact that she suffers from autism and obsessive-compulsive disorder as justification. Walsh also repeated the criticism that she is suffering from child abuse.
“This is child abuse. If any grown up in Thunberg’s life really cared about her psychological and emotional well-being, they would sit her down and explain that climate change is not going to destroy human civilization,” Walsh wrote, adding that the changes to the climate are “not going to result in the end of all life as we know it.”
Greta Thunberg had plenty of passion in her own speech on Monday, taking on world leaders who have left the bulk of climate change activism to the youngest generation.
“How dare you? You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words, and yet I’m one of the lucky ones,” she said. “People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing.”
Editor’s note: A Fox News spokesperson reached out to The Inquisitr with the following statement.
“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.”