A popular right-leaning pundit appearing on Fox News issued an accurate, if incredibly blunt, assessment of the way in which the radical left is exploiting a young Swedish climate activist with a known history of mental health issues — 16-year-old Greta Thunberg — to push a partisan narrative on climate change.
It would appear that his choice of words in doing so, however, has resulted in him essentially being “fired” by Fox News; it was made clear in a statement from the network that the commentator will not be invited back on air anytime soon, The Washington Post reports.
The Daily Caller reported that the pundit in question is Michael Knowles, host of The Daily Wire’s The Michael Knowles Show, who referred to Thunberg — who had just delivered an emotional speech to the United Nations — as a “mentally ill Swedish child” who was being exploited by her parents and radical environmentalists. Knowles’ controversial appearance happened Monday on Fox News’ The Story with Martha MacCallum, which was being guest-hosted by Harris Faulkner.
In pushing back against the agenda of the “climate hysteria movement,” Knowles said such activists are “not about science. If they 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.”
Knowles’ remark immediately received an intense and outraged response from liberal guest Chris Hahn, and a heated debate ensued as Knowles backed up his assertion with previously known facts, while Hahn accused him of attacking an innocent child.
“No plans to book” in the future
The Daily Caller noted that Fox News has now confirmed that Knowles has effectively been “canceled” or “fired,” in that he won’t be invited to appear on the network again. A spokesperson for Fox News confirmed that the outlet has no plans to book him going forward.
“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 spokesperson said in a statement.
Neither Knowles nor The Daily Wire responded to a request for comment from The Daily Caller with regard to this matter. However, Knowles did take to Twitter to defend himself with a series of tweets explaining the context and facts behind his choice of words to describe Thunberg, namely, her openly admitted mental health issues that were previously been highlighted by her own parents in a book.
“Her mother wrote a book about her mental issues. There is nothing shameful about living with mental disorders,” Knowles tweeted in response to his critics. “What is shameful is exploiting a child — particularly a child with mental disorders — to advance your political agenda.”
“There is nothing shameful about living with mental disorders. Your suggestion to the contrary is not only wrong but deeply offensive,” he tweeted separately in response to continued accusations from the same detractor. “Did Greta’s mother insult her when she wrote a book describing the child’s struggles with mental and developmental disorders?”
While what Knowles said on air at Fox could have possibly been phrased differently, it was not inaccurate, and his underlying point was certainly valid. The decision by Fox to no longer book him as a guest in the future seems to be a bit of an overreaction and plays right into the left’s tactic of using children as human shields to guard against criticism of their indefensible policy positions.