The “Let’s go Brandon” phrase has gone viral and is triggering reactions from both sides of the aisle. Recently, a Southwest Airlines pilot used the phrase as he concluded his welcome aboard speech and one news organization is claiming that an Associated Press reporter “stormed the cockpit” in protest. Did this really happen? We investigate.
The pilot in question was alleged to have used the now-infamous phrase – a veiled remark against President Biden – as he wrapped his welcome aboard speech on a Houston to Albuquerque flight last week. Southwest Airlines recently issued a statement indicating they were conducting an investigation into the incident.
However, in the hubbub surrounding the many reactions that have poured in over the incident was a tidbit of information regarding an Associated Press reporter who happened to be on the flight. Colleen Long, an AP reporter, tweeted about the incident noting, “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.”
However, Fox News characterized it a little differently. In a piece written by Fox News reporter Brian Flood and entitled “Let’s Go Brandon Causes Media Freakout” Long’s account was stated differently:
“An Associated Press reporter even admitted to nearly getting kicked off a plane for storming the cockpit when a pilot on a Southwest flight from Houston to Albuquerque allegedly signed off his announcement for passengers by saying, “Let’s go Brandon.””FoxNews
According to Flood, Ms. Long “stormed” the cockpit whereas she herself indicated she attempted to get a comment from the pilot – something a reporter would very likely do. After all, she’s a reporter. And they get comments. Kinda their job.
So what really happened?
One thing both accounts are consistent on is that Ms. Long was almost removed from the flight. That would seem to indicate the conversation was more than casual. Was it storming? Or was it just a reporter doing reporter stuff…like pressing for a comment?
CNN, which has published at least three stories on the event, noted this in its coverage with no mention of Ms. Long’s attempts to get a comment:
“The Associated Press, which had a reporter on board the flight, first reported that a pilot of a Friday flight from Houston to Albuquerque ended his typical greeting to passengers with the phrase “Let’s go Brandon,” which has become right-wing code for “F**k Joe Biden.” The AP report said passengers responded with audible gasps”CNN
Ms. Long herself published an AP piece describing a portion of the incident:
“On Friday morning on a Southwest flight from Houston to Albuquerque, the pilot signed off his greeting over the public address system with the phrase, to audible gasps from some passengers. Southwest said in a statement that the airline “takes pride in providing a welcoming, comfortable, and respectful environment” and that “behavior from any individual that is divisive or offensive is not condoned.”AP
But, it’s probably her own tweet that tells the best story. As Ms. Long explained on Twitter, it’s likely that because she was asking them to open a locked door they felt more concerned than usual and considered removing her.
Doesn’t sound like storming to us, but definitely the kind of thing that might rattle a flight crew that is already rattled every day on their job given the current political unrest and abuse they take.
We rate FoxNews’ “storming” comment as inflammatory, but with a kernel of truth…buried deep.
Cover image credit: Canva stock photo and not Ms. Long.