Fox News Cares About Respecting The Troops, But Only If They’re Male
Yesterday, Fox News’s program ‘The Five’ covered the continuing airstrikes against militant terrorist group ISIS, with special attention devoted to the fact that American forces were joined by a contingent from the Air Force of the United Arab Emirates. Specifically, they made sure to address the fact that the four-person Emirati strike team included a female pilot: so that they could crack jokes about whether this meant we had “boobs on the ground” in Syria, and whether or not she was able to park her plane after the bombing. This is pretty rich coming from a station that was freaking out just a few hours ago about whether President Barack Obama was way out of line by saluting with a coffee cup in his hand. I guess respect for the troops only actually matters if they’re referred to as “sir” instead of “ma’am” (or as just a disembodied pair of boobs).
What the pack of chuckleheads at Fox left out in their rush to self-congratulatingly chuckle over their obnoxious jokes is that the pilot, Major Mariam Al Mansouri, is not only a member of the Emirati strike team, but also its leader. She’s also the first woman to have joined the Emirati Air Force at all, after overcoming years of sexist challenges to her abilities and authority. She’s a recent recipient of the “Prides of the Emirates” medal in recognition of her achievements, and she’s accomplished more in her life than all five of these schmucks put together. It’s extra cute that Fox has to squeeze a mention of the sexist laws against women driving in some Arabic countries (not including the UAE), even they though they can’t even get through a one-minute segment about an amazing woman in combat without the male presenters tripping over themselves to crack wise about how this decorated veteran doesn’t know how to park her fighter jet.
Let’s not forget, this is a media source that lost its collective shit over the President’s here over what some people are seriously calling “Lattegate” (because this is totally on the same level as a break-in at your political rivals’ headquarters). But when it comes to a groundbreaking female pilot who led seven of the airstrikes that they’ve been agitating for against ISIS, they best they can do is let their male anchors turn her into a punchline while the female anchors laugh and tut-tut a bit. The salute story and the coverage of Major Al Mansouri happened literally a day apart, which tells you exactly how much self-awareness (as well as how much actual concern for how the military is viewed) is going on over at Fox. Yes, the respect for the troops is palpable here; but only as long as they don’t have any pesky boobs that might cause one of the egregious assholes at Fox to start snickering helplessly into his coffee.