Fox News Apologizes To Greta Thunberg After Michael Knowles Calls Her ‘Mentally Ill Swedish Child’

Stephanie KeithGetty Images

Fox News has issued an apology after guest Michael Knowles called 16-year-old climate activist a “mentally ill Swedish child,” Yahoo Entertainment reports. Later, Fox News host Laura Ingraham mocked the teenage climate activist as well.

On Monday’s edition of The Story With Martha MacCallum, Knowles and the other guests were discussing the teen, who had earlier in the day given a speech to the Climate Action Summit. During the discussion, Knowles called Thunberg, who has Asperger’s Syndrome, “a mentally ill Swedish child.”

Radio host Christopher Hahn, who was also a guest on the show, was livid.

“How dare you. You’re a grown man and you’re attacking a child. Shame on you,” Hahn said.

This led to some rancorous back-and-forth between Knowles and Hahn, with Knowles calling Hahn “skinny boy,” and Hahn calling Knowles “despicable.”

Knowles further insisted that his “mentally ill” remark was in reference not to the teenager, but to her parents.

You can see portions of the exchange in this clip.

When the dust had settled, however, Fox News was on the side of Hahn in believing that Knowles’ comment was out of line. The network issued an 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,” the network said in a statement.

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 20: Led by Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg (C), young activists and their supporters rally for action on climate change on September 20, 2019 in New York City. Thousands of young people across the globe are participating in a day of protest calling for urgent action to fight climate change in what organizers are calling the Global Climate Strike. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)
Featured image credit: Drew AngererGetty Images

That apology apparently didn’t catch the attention of Fox News host Laura Ingraham. Later Monday night, on her show The Ingraham Angle, she mocked Thunberg as well, albeit not as directly or as egregiously. After playing several clips of Thunberg’s speech, Ingraham asked her audience if they found it “chilling.”

She juxtaposed clips of Thunberg’s speech with clips from the 1984 film Children of the Corn, adapted from the Stephen King novel of the same name.

“I can’t wait for Stephen King’s sequel: Children of the Climate,” she said.

Thunberg took an interest in climate activism at around the age of 15, as reported by Time, demonstrating in front of the Swedish parliament, organizing strikes to pressure governments and businesses to address climate change, and even being invited to speak before the 2018 United Nations Climate Conference.

Thunberg also convinced her parents to take up lifestyle changes in the advancement of reducing the family’s carbon footprint, such as going vegetarian and eschewing air travel. Indeed, when Greta and her family traveled to the U.S., rather than take a flight, they took a 15-day voyage across the ocean in a yacht equipped with solar panels and water turbines.