Fox News contributor Tammy Bruce apologized on Tuesday for calling a 10-year-old autistic boy, who doggedly sought an apology from Vice President Mike Pence after being bumped in the nose, a “snowflake.”
As reported by Western Journalism, Micheal Yee was among the military family members honored at the White House last Friday. The young boy appeared to at least get brushed in the nose by Pence’s outstretched arms as the vice president concluded his remarks to the group.
Yee then doggedly, though politely, sought an apology from the nation’s second highest ranking government official, which he eventually received after getting Pence’s attention.
Video of the incident went viral. Bruce, appearing on Fox News Friday night with Bill Hemmer, criticized the boy’s response, not knowing he was autistic.
“I guess we’re giving birth to snowflakes now, because that looked like that kid needed a safe space in that room,” she said.
“It is a bit, 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.’ The fabric on his sleeve touched his nose maybe. He stalks the vice president, says, ‘You owe me an apology.’”
Michael’s mother, Ingrid Herrera-Yee, appeared on CNN on Monday, explaining that her son is autistic and giving further context to his behavior.
“Michael is 10 years old,” she said. “He is on the autism spectrum. He’s a military child. And he loves the White House. He called it the people’s house. He was excited to go visit.”
“For those who don’t have a child with autism, they (the children) need to really rehearse. A lot of their therapy involves practicing social interactions,” Herrera-Yee stated, which is why her son felt that an apology was needed.
“It’s not meant in any sort of negative way,” the mother added. “Just him learning social interaction with someone else. What is appropriate and what isn’t.”
Herrera-Yee said that just as Michael sought an apology from the vice president, which Pence graciously offered, she hoped Fox News would apologize to her son for “using those really horrible words to describe him and our family.”
“Please don’t use kids,” she implored. “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.”
Bruce returned to Fox News with Hemmer on Tuesday to concede that she was clearly in the wrong.
“First, I’m so sorry to the family. My intention was never to hurt a kid and his mom. We had absolutely no idea Michael was on the autism spectrum. And as a gay woman and feminist I have spent most of my adult life working to improve the lives of women and children and those who are disenfranchised. I get it and I apologize,” said Bruce.
“I also appreciated the boy’s mother — Dr. Herrera-Yee’s — public comments and her clarity on this,” she continued. “A main lesson here, no matter (the) intent, is to leave kids out of our political discussions. We certainly agree on this.”
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