TPM Cafe: Opinion

An Open Letter To Fox News About 'Boobs On The Ground'

AP Photo / Anonymous

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.

Very Respectfully,

Michael Breen, U.S. Army

Shawn VanDiver, U.S. Navy

Kristen Rouse, U.S. National Guard

Andrea Marr, U.S. Navy

Kristen Kavanaugh, U.S. Navy

Richard Wheeler, U.S. Army

Leo Cruz, U.S. Navy

Aryanna Hunter, U.S. Army

Geoff Orazem U.S. Marine Corps

Scott Cheney-Peters, U.S. Navy

Jonathan Murray, U.S. Marine Corps

Timothy Kudo, U.S. Marine Corps

Welton Chang, U.S. Army

Michael Smith, U.S. Army

Gordon Griffin, U.S. Marine Corps

Kelsey Campbell, U.S. Air Force

Matt Runyon, U.S. Army

Richard Weir, U.S. Marine Corps

Scott Holcomb, U.S. Army

Jon Gensler, U.S. Army

Erik Brine, U.S. Air Froce

Rob Miller, U.S. Marine Corps

Josh Weinberg, U.S. Army

John Wagner, U.S. Air Force

Terron Sims II, U.S. Army

Sonia Fernandez, U.S. Marine Corps

Dan Hartnett, U.S. Army

Dan Futrell, U.S. Army

John Margolick, U.S. Marine Corps

Daniel Savage, U.S. Army

Matt Pelak, U.S. Army,

LaRue Robinson, U.S. Army

Anthony Woods, U.S Army

Margot Beausey, U.S. Navy

Dustin Cathcart, U.S. Army

Kayla Williams, U.S. Army

Dan Espinal, U.S. Army

Jonathan Hopkins, U.S. Army

Tony Johnson, U.S. Navy

Andy Moore, U.S. Army

Kevin Johnson, U.S. Army

Brett Hunt, U.S. Army

Russell Galeti, U.S. Army

Gail Harris, U.S. Navy

Katelyn Geary van Dam, U.S. Marine Corps

Mick Crnkovich, U.S. Army

Jonathan Freeman, U.S. Army

Chris Finan, U.S. Air Force

Robert Mishev, U.S. Air Force

Matt Zeller, U.S. Army

William Allen, U.S. Marine Corps

Sharmistha Mohpatra, U.S. Army

Adam Tiffen, U.S. Army

Alex Cornell du Houx, U.S. Navy

Jason Cain, U.S. Army

Rob Bracknell, U.S. Marine Corps

Karen Courington, U.S. Air Force

Justin Graf, U.S. Army

Lach Litwer, U.S. Army

Andrew Borene, U.S. Marine Corps

The Truman National Security Project unites next-generation veteran, political, and policy leaders to develop and advance strong, smart, and principled solutions to the global challenges Americans now face. Views expressed are the authors' and do not reflect the opinion of the U.S. Department of Defense.