Celebrity Families

Fox News blatantly mocks an autistic boy and we just can’t handle it

Like, honestly.

By Ellie McDonald
When Vice President Mike Pence addressed an event for military families over in the US earlier this week, he was asked by a 10-year-old boy to say sorry for accidentally “bopping” him on his nose during his speech.
But what is most unexpected about the innocent exchange of words is that two Fox News reporters, Bill Hemmer and Tammy Bruce, took to the airwaves to suggest the young boy was entitled.
Little did they know that this child was, in fact, autistic.
“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,” says Hemmer, as reported by PEOPLE.
“The 8-year-old pretty much stalked the vice president afterwards. He wasn’t even — the headlines said he was ‘hit, he was struck, he was smashed, he was bumped,’” Bruce adds.
“The fabric on his sleeve touched his nose maybe. He stalks the vice president, says, ‘You owe me an apology’… This is crazy. Now look, he’s seen it either on television, maybe he’s seen it at home perhaps, but he felt aggrieved.”
“I guess we’re giving birth to snowflakes now because that looked like that kid needed a safe space in that room.”
Following the TV news report, the boy’s mother, Dr Ingrid Herrera-Yea, stated to CNN that her son, Michael, is actually on the autism spectrum.
The young boy also has only been verbal for five years.
“Michael is 10 years old. He is on the autism spectrum. He’s a military child. And he loves the White House,” she says, adding that his comment to the Vice President was in no way meant to come across in “any sort of negative way”.
With this in mind, it is understandable to see why Dr Herrerra-Yee is “devastated” by the way Fox News spoke about her son.
“Please don’t use kids. Whether they’re typically developing 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,” she explains, saying that Fox News’ coverage of her son was taken “out of context”.
“First of all, I am so sorry to the family. My intention was never to hurt a kid and his mom,” she said. “I get it and I apologise."
“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.”
Better late than never, we guess…

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