Right-wing media figures -- many of whom deny the evidence of human-caused climate change -- have been making deranged attacks on Swedish teenage climate activist Greta Thunberg in recent weeks and after she addressed the United Nations.
On Monday, Daily Wire podcaster Michael Knowles attacked Thunberg on the Fox News program The Story with Martha MacCallum as a “mentally ill Swedish child who is being exploited by her parents.” The segment was widely covered by news outlets after the other guest, Christopher Hahn, immediately shamed Knowles for his “despicable” comment. Although the Fox show’s anchor failed to object to Knowles’ attack as it happened, the network later apologized to Thunberg for his “disgraceful” comment.
Fox also told The Hollywood Reporter that it likely won’t book Knowles as a guest on its shows again, but many other conservatives have made unhinged attacks on Thunberg in recent weeks as well. Some conservatives have advocated using violence against her; others have likened her to Nazi leaders and propaganda; and more, like Knowles, have denied her agency by smearing her as “mentally ill” and/or controlled by others. Notably, shortly after Knowles used his Fox News appearance to attack Thunberg, Fox host Laura Ingraham broadcast a segment that compared the climate activist to an evil character from the horror film Children of the Corn.
Here are some of right-wing media figures’ worst attacks:
Conservative blogger Stephen Miller: “Tase and arrest her.”
Breitbart.com editor John Nolte: “I can’t tell if Greta needs a spanking or a psychological intervention … Probably both.”
Conspiracy theorist website Infowars and Alex Jones: “Watch Greta Thunberg channel Hitler In Hate-Filled Rant.”
Conservative author Dinesh D’Souza compared Thunberg to “Nordic white girls with braids and red cheeks” who “were often used in Nazi propaganda. An old Goebbels technique!”
Far-right troll Milo Yiannopoulos shared an image on Telegram suggesting Thunberg has fetal alcohol syndrome.
Pro-Trump social media figure Logan Cook, known online as Carpe Donktum, edited a video of Thunberg’s speech in the style of a Nazi rally and posted it to YouTube in a video titled “Mein Climate Change.”
Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk lamented that “we can’t criticize 16-year old ANTIFA climate activist Greta Von Thunburg.”
Far-right “The_Donald” subreddit: Thunberg is “like a Nazi but kinda tarded.”
Turning Point USA’s Benny Johnson: Thunberg is an “annoying, foreign, communist propagandist.”
Climate denier Marc Morano: Thunberg is “causing and instilling fear in millions of kids around the world.”
Grabien founder Tom Elliott: Thunberg’s speech is “what brainwashing looks like.”
Media Research Center Vice President Dan Gainor: Thunberg is “being taken advantage of by liberals.”
Pro-Trump Twitter troll Amy Mek: Thunberg is a “creation of powerful Marxists, Soros-backed NGO's, Al Gore, and more.”
American Greatness senior contributor Julie Kelly: Thunberg is acting like “a hostage attempting to please her captors.”
[The Global Climate Strike] is the latest stunt orchestrated by the international climate cabal and yet another example of how the Left shamelessly exploits and manipulates children to propagandize any cause. (Think of the high school students in Parkland, Florida.) But this time, the climate cabal is using a special-needs teenager from Sweden to indoctrinate more children and adults with climate change dogma.
Greta Thunberg is a 16-year-old from Stockholm—which is ironic because the teen exhibits many traits associated with a hostage attempting to please her captors.
In a way, Thunberg is not the face of a climate crisis but an alarming example of how the climate cabal has needlessly terrified two generations of young people. The emotional, physical, and intellectual damage wrought by the climate change movement now is coming into clear view and it’s an outcome that should enrage every parent.
Climate denier Steve Milloy: “Greta the Climate Puppet leads a twisted cult.”
Conservative author Ann Coulter: Thunberg is a “human shield” of the left.
National Review Editor Rich Lowry: Thunberg is “a pawn being used by adults for their own interests.”
Someone may have stolen her childhood, but the guilty parties can’t be found at Turtle Bay. A 16-year-old from Sweden, Thunberg thundered, “I should be back at school on the other side of the ocean,” which would have been easy enough to achieve, beginning with not taking two weeks to sail across the Atlantic last month in a jet-travel-eschewing publicity stunt.
Greta Thunberg is the leading edge of a youth movement against climate change — including a global “climate strike” last week — that is being promoted and celebrated by adults who find it useful for their own purposes.
Kids are powerful pawns. The catchphrase “for the children” has a seductive political appeal, while kids offer their adult supporters a handy two-step. The same people who say, “The world must heed this 16-year-old girl” will turn around and say to anyone who pushes back, “How dare you criticize a 16-year-old girl?”
Pro-Trump commentator Candace Owens: “One day, #GretaThunberg will realize that she is a victim of child abuse, not climate change. … The Left is stooping to new lows with this blatant example of child exploitation.”
Daily Wire podcaster Matt Walsh: “Greta Thunberg Is A Child Abuse Victim.”
Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old girl selected by the media to be the poster child of climate alarmism, gave another hysterical speech on Monday. This time, at the U.N., she declared that the Earth is undergoing a “mass extinction" which, she warns, probably cannot be averted.
“How dare you," the distraught teen cried. “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood." On one level, I can relate to this sentiment because it's exactly what I said after watching the “Lion King" remake. On another level, as a parent, I find this girl very hard to watch. It is obvious that she really believes her delusional doomsday fantasies. That is because they are not her fantasies — she is merely repeating what she has been told by adults who know better.
But what we're being told is that an obsessive, mentally troubled young girl came to believe — mistakenly — that the apocalypse is upon us. Rather than calm these terrible fears, and redirect her in a healthier direction, the adults in her life have only encouraged her paranoia. And now the media is only too happy to exploit her fear in order to stoke even more fear. Creating fear with fear. That is the media's specialty.
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. Yes, the climate is changing. Climates tend to do that. But whatever role humans play in that process, and to whatever degree, it is not going to result in the end of all life as we know it.
National Review Senior Editor Jay Nordlinger: “I've never liked it when little girls are manipulated for politics.”
Right-wing website PragerU: Thunberg is just a “terrified kid” victimized by “leftists.”
Infowars-affiliated conspiracy theorist Paul Joseph Watson: Thunberg is a “child human shield” being used for “hysterical propaganda.”
The Federalist Senior Editor David Harsanyi: “Adults have spent a year creating” Thunberg.
Sixteen-year-old Swedish climate change activist Greta Thunberg lives in the healthiest, wealthiest, safest, and most peaceful era humans have ever known. She is one of the luckiest people ever to have lived.
In a just world, Thunberg would be at the United Nations thanking capitalist countries for bequeathing her this remarkable inheritance. Instead, she, like millions of other indoctrinated kids her age, act as if they live in a uniquely broken world on the precipice of disaster. This is a tragedy.
“You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words,” Thunberg lectured the world. And maybe she’s right. We’ve failed her by raising a generation of pagans who’ve filled the vacuum left by the absence of faith, not with rationality, but with a cultish worship of Mother Earth and the state. Although, to be fair, the Bible-thumping evangelical’s moral certitude is nothing but a rickety edifice compared to the moral conviction of a Greta Thunberg.
It’s not, of course, her fault. Adults have spent a year creating a 16-year-old because her soundbites comport with their belief system. It was “something about her raw honesty around a message of blunt-force fear [that] turned this girl from invisible to global,” says CNN in a news report about a child with a narrow, age-appropriate, grasp of the world.
It should be noted that “blunt-force fear” is indeed the correct way to describe the concerted misinformation that Thunberg has likely been subjected to since nursery school. There probably isn’t a public school in America that hasn’t plied the panic-stricken talk of environmental disaster in their auditoriums over and over again.
Pro-Trump comedian Terrence Williams: “Why exploit children?”