STOP USING KIDS

Fox News’ Tammy Bruce: Sorry I Called an Autistic Boy a ‘Snowflake’

The long-time contributor and conservative author offered an apology Tuesday for having mocked a 10-year-old autistic boy on national TV as an “aggrieved” “snowflake.”

Fox News

Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce is sorry for calling a 10-year-old autistic boy a “snowflake” who needed a “safe space.”

During last Friday evening’s Tucker Carlson Tonight, Bill Hemmer—taking a break from his “straight-news man” daytime gig to sub-in for Carlson’s right-wing primetime show—showed viral video of a young boy demanding an apology from Vice President Mike Pence for bumping him in the face with his sleeve during a speech.

Dutifully channeling Fox’s obsession with turning minor viral incidents into hand-wringing segments about the decline of American culture at the hands of P.C. liberals, Hemmer remarked of the video: “Kids these days, they’re telling the parents what to do, they’re telling the teachers what to do, and I guess now they’re telling the vice president what to do.”

And long-time Fox contributor Bruce dutifully replied: “I guess we're giving birth to snowflakes now, because that looked like that kid needed a safe space in that room.”

She continued to rail against Michael, the young boy, claiming he “pretty much stalked the vice president,” comparing him to Melissa Click, the Mizzou professor who infamously threatened journalists during a rally, and suggesting he was the product of bad parenting.

“He's seen it either on television, maybe he's seen it at home, perhaps, but he felt aggrieved because, I don't know, the vice president maybe slightly touched his nose,” Bruce mocked. “It's pretty amazing.”

The segment seemed only natural given Fox’s obsession with mocking those who stray from the network-approved ideological line a “snowflake”—a derisive anti-liberal term as ubiquitous among Fox’s commentariat as “cuck” is among the alt-right fringe.

Of course, the segment conveniently overlooked the fact that Michael is a preadolescent boy. Oh, and he’s autistic.

His mother, Dr. Ingrid Herrera-Yee, appeared Monday on CNN’s The Lead, telling host Jake Tapper, “Michael is 10 years-old. He is on the autism spectrum. He's a military child. And he loves the White House.”

Beyond the “devastation” such public mockery has caused for her and the Herrera-Yee family, the mother implored Fox News to apologize and for them to learn a seemingly basic lesson: “Please don't use kids. It doesn't matter that he's autistic or a military kid—forget all that. He's a kid. And you don't use children as examples on national television like that.”

And the message was received. On Tuesday morning, during Hemmer’s straight-news America’s Newsroom broadcast, Bruce briefly appeared to deliver an unequivocal apology:

“First of all, I am so sorry to the family. My intention was never to hurt a kid and his mom. We had absolutely no idea that Michael was on the autism spectrum and, as a gay woman and feminist, I’ve spent my adult life working to improve the lives of women and children and those who are disenfranchised. I get it and I apologize. I also appreciated the boy's mother’s public comments and clarity on this. A main lesson here, no matter intent, is to leave kids out of our political discussions. We certainly agree on this.”