US military veterans from theTruman National Security Projecthave written an open letter to Fox News complaining that offensive comments about a female United Arab Emirates pilot were”unwarranted” and “fundamentally opposed to what the military stands for.”
During Wednesday’s broadcast of “The Five,” co-hosts Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld ridiculed Maj. Mariam Al Mansouri, the first female UAE pilot and F-16 squadron commander leading airstrikes against ISIS.
“Problem is, after she bombed it, she couldn’t park it,” Gutfeld said. “Would that be considered boobs on the ground, or no?” Bolling followed up.
Bolling apologized on-air on Thursday for his “wholly inappropriate” comment saying:
“I want to go back to last night, about this time I made a joke. When I got home, I got the look and I realised some people didn’t think it was funny at all. I said sorry to my wife and I apologise to all of you as well, I just want to make that very clear.”
During Friday’s broadcast, Bolling stated that his prior apology was “inadequate” and gave another on-air apology to viewers.
Here is the full letter via TPM:
Dear Mr. Bolling and Mr. Gutfeld,
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.
First, foremost, and most obvious to everyone other than yourselves, your remarks were immensely inappropriate. Your co-host Kimberly Guilfoyle was so right to call attention to an inspiring story of a woman shattering glass ceilings in a society where doing so is immeasurably difficult. We never heard an answer to her question: why did you feel so compelled to “ruin her thing?”
As it turns out, women have been flying combat aircraft since before either of you were born.Over 1,000 Women Airforce Service Pilots (WASPs) flew during World War II. Seeing as U.S. Army Air Forces Commander “Hap” Arnold said “Now in 1944, it is on the record that women can fly as well as men,” we can probably guess he thought their parking was adequate. The WASP legacy reaches into the present day; on 9/11, then Lt. Heather “Lucky” Penney scrambled her F-16. Completely unarmed, she was ready to lay down her own life to prevent further devastating attacks on American soil.
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. Men would never insult and demean a fellow servicemember; boys think saying the word ‘boobs’ is funny.
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.
We issue an apology on your behalf to Major Al Mansouri knowing that anything your producers force you to say will be contrived and insincere. Major, we’re sincerely sorry for the rudeness; clearly, these boys don’t take your service seriously, but we and the rest of the American public do.
U.S. Army: Michael Breen, Richard Wheeler, Aryanna Hunter, Welton Chang, Michael Smith, Matt Runyon, Jon Gensler, Scott Holcomb, Terron Sims II, Josh Weinberg, Daniel Savage, Matt Pelak, LaRue Robinson, Anthony Woods, Dustin Cathcart, Kayla Williams, Dan Espinal, Jonathan Hopkins, Andy Moore, Kevin Johnson, Brett Hunt, Russell Galeti, Mick Crnkovich, Jonathan Freeman, Dan Hartnett, Dan Futrell, Matt Zeller, Jason Cain, Adam Tiffen, Sharmistha Mohpatra, Justin Graf, Lach Litwer.
U.S. Navy: Shawn VanDiver, Andrea Marr, Kristen Kavanaugh, Leo Cruz, Scott Cheney-Peters, Margot Beausey, Tony Johnson, Gail Harris, Alex Cornell du Houx.
U.S. Marine Corps: Geoff Orazem, Gordon Griffin, Timothy Kudo, Jonathan Murray, Richard Weir, Rob Miller, Sonia Fernandez, John Margolick, Katelyn Geary van Dam, Rob Bracknell, Andrew Borene, William Allen.
U.S. Air Force: Kelsey Campbell, Erik Brine, Chris Finan, Robert Mishev, Karen Courington.
U.S. National Guard: Kristen Rouse.
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