A group of veterans are formally critcizing Fox News' Greg Gutfeld and Eric Bolling after they made some incredibly tasteless remarks about a female fighter jet pilot.
Earlier this week, Fox News reported on Major Mariam Al Mansouri, United Arab Emirates' first female fighter pilot who led the strikes against ISIS in Syria, only to have two numbskulls Gutfeld and Bolling trash the report with ridiculously sexist jokes. After Gutfeld sniped, that after "she bombed it she couldn't park it," Bolling asked, "Would that be considered boobs on the ground?" After a couple days of apologies and non-apologies (yep Gutfeld claims his joke was misinterpreted the poor baby), a crew of veterans have signed off on an open letter, calling Fox News out on its shit and apologizing to Major Al Mansouri on their behalf.
60 veterans, members of Truman National Security Project, the progressive national security leadership institute, all signed an open letter posted to Talking Points Memo that expressed their disappointment and disgust with the remarks. They wrote:
We are veterans of the United States armed forces, and we are writing to inform you that your remarks about United Arab Emirates Air Force Major Mariam Al Mansouri were unwarranted, offensive, and fundamentally opposed to what the military taught us to stand for.
After pointing out that women have been flying combat aircraft since before World War II, they went on:
Thus the skill of women as fighter pilots is well established. And before you jump to the standby excuse that you were "just making a joke" or "having a laugh," let the men amongst our number preemptively respond: You are not funny. You are not clever. And you are not excused. Perhaps the phrase "boys will be boys"—inevitably uttered wherever misogyny is present—is relevant.
The less obvious implication of your remarks, however, is that by offending an ally and cheapening her contribution, you are actively hurting the mission. We need to send a clear message that anyone, male or female, who will stand up to ISIS and get the job done is worthy of our respect and gratitude.
The letter probably won't create a sudden movement to address the nuclear family-style sexism that saturates and, well, defines Fox News, but it is certainly a strong statement.