Fox News’ reaction to the segment above was to ban…The Daily Wire’s Michael Knowles from future broadcasts. Not the fact-free, name calling climate change shill who called Knowles “skinny boy” and who took the ridiculous, but familiar, position that children who place themselves in the middle of serious policy controversies cannot be held to the same standards as any other advocate, and judged on the basis of their credibility and credentials. Knowles’ terms may have been harsher than necessary, but they were nonetheless true and accurate. She is definitely being exploited. She is even less credible than a normal 16-year-old because of her multiple behavioral maladies. And she is Swedish.
Chris Hahn, a Democratic Party activist whom Fox News uses as a contributor because he makes progressives look like thugs, was obnoxious, abrasive, insulting and factually wrong. It may not have been nice (or necessary) to refer to Greta Thunberg as “mentally ill,” and it’s certainly politically incorrect, but it is not horrific calumny as Hahn would have us think. The National Alliance on Mental Illness includes autism spectrum disorder (ASD) among its topics, which is prima facie evidence that “mentally ill” is not a false description of Thunberg’s state. It is described as “a developmental condition that affect a person’s ability to socialize and communicate with others. People with ASD can also present with restricted and/or repetitive patterns of behavior, interests or activities. The term “spectrum” refers to the degree in which the symptoms, behaviors and severity vary within and between individuals. Some people are mildly impaired by their symptoms, while others are severely disabled.”
“Illness” is not a unfair description of such a problem. Would Hahn have flipped out if Knwoles said, “mentally disabled”? Is there any doubt?
The site also covers obsessive compulsive disorder, which Thunberg also suffers from. The site says, “Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is characterized by repetitive, unwanted, intrusive thoughts (obsessions) and irrational, excessive urges to do certain actions (compulsions). Although people with OCD may know that their thoughts and behavior don’t make sense, they are often unable to stop them.”
If that doesn’t qualify as a mental illness, then the phrase is meaningless.
Nonetheless, a Fox News spokesperson provided the following statement to The Daily Beast : “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.”
Fox is shallow, cowardly, and supporting political correctness over informing the public. It owes Knowles an apology. The use of children as virtual human shields to make it difficult to call out incompetent and irresponsible policy arguments is a form of policy debate cheating, and will only end when critics refuse to allow it to succeed.