December 8, 2021

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Media compare pilot who reportedly told passengers, ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ to a drug abuser, ISIS sympathizer – Fox News

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Media analysts sounded the alarm over an airline pilot who reportedly told passengers “Let’s go Brandon,” accusing him of substance abuse or comparing his actions to terrorism.

A pilot on a Southwest flight from Houston to Albuquerque signed off his announcement for passengers by saying, “Let’s Go Brandon,” according to An Associated Press journalist who was reportedly on the flight. The phrase has become codeword for a more profanity-laced message for President Joe Biden in response to an animated audience at the NASCAR Xfinity Series race at Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama earlier this month. As racecar driver Brandon Brown was chatting about his victory, the crowd began chanting, “F— Joe Biden.” But the reporter interviewing Brown instead reported that the crowd was chanting “Let’s go Brandon.”

“TFW you’re trying to go on vacation and then the pilot says the very thing you’re working on over the loud speaker and you have to try to get him comment but then almost get removed from plane,” the AP’s Colleen Long wrote Saturday.

Long’s critics mocked her for being so offended.

“AP stands for Activist Progressives,” Gov. Ron DeSantis’ press secretary Christian Pushaw responded.

President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the debt ceiling during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci) 
President Joe Biden delivers remarks on the debt ceiling during an event in the State Dining Room of the White House, Monday, Oct. 4, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)  (Evan Vucci)

But several other pundits shared their outrage over the pilot’s purported message, with some pledging to avoid the airline in future.

GOP CONGRESSMAN ENDS FLOOR SPEECH WITH ‘LET’S GO, BRANDON’

“Vulgarity stand-in from ⁦@SouthwestAir cockpit,” Washington Post editor Cathleen Decker wrote.

“Its pilots now giving the ‘f*ck you Biden’ or ‘let’s go Brandon’ GOP line during the flight,” Will Bunch, an opinion columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, tweeted. “I’ve always loved flying Southwest. Don’t plan on doing it ever again.”

A few CNN analysts added to the onslaught. Juliette Kayyem, for instance, suggested substance abuse may account for the pilot’s conduct.

“Yes pilot conduct. His words reflect possibility of anger management or substance abuse. It is worth asking,” Kayyem tweeted.

Social media users hit Kayyem for the “baseless accusation.”

“Your words reflect the possibility of emotional instability,” Pushaw said.

If you actually believe this, you have credibility issues,” Chicago attorney Ari Cohn added.

But the swiftest backlash was saved for CNN analysts Asha Rangappa, who appeared to compare the Southwest pilot to an ISIS sympathizer.

“As an experiment, I’d love for an @SouthwestAir pilot to say ‘Long live ISIS’ before taking off. My guess is that 1) the plane would be immediately grounded; 2) the pilot fired; and 3) a statement issued by the airline within a matter of hours,” she tweeted.

The Washington Examiner’s Jerry Dunleavy, conservative radio host Mark Davis, and New York Post columnist Karol Markowicz were among those who told Rangappa that one of these things is not like the others.

ANTI-BIDEN RAP SONG  ‘LET’S GO BRANDON’ REACHES TOP ON ITUNES CHART

BALTIMORE, MARYLAND - OCTOBER 11: Travelers wait to check in at the Southwest Airlines ticketing counter at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on October 11, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. Southwest Airlines is working to catch up on a backlog after canceling hundreds of flights over the weekend, blaming air traffic control issues and weather. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MARYLAND – OCTOBER 11: Travelers wait to check in at the Southwest Airlines ticketing counter at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on October 11, 2021 in Baltimore, Maryland. Southwest Airlines is working to catch up on a backlog after canceling hundreds of flights over the weekend, blaming air traffic control issues and weather. (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images) (Photo by Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)

The phrase “Let’s Go Brandon” has also popped at other sporting events across the country. Amid the rise in the phrase’s popularity, NPR published a piece that told readers it “is being used in conservative circles in place of a more vulgar message directed at President Biden.” 

Several of the same media critics mocked the outlet for publishing such “hard-hitting journalism” and for being “late to the party.”

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Southwest “takes pride in providing a welcoming, comfortable, and respectful environment for the millions of Customers who fly with the airline each year and behavior from any individual that is divisive or offensive will not be tolerated,” the airline said in a statement following the controversy.

Fox News’ Kyle Morris contributed to this report

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