There's nothing worse than someone laughing at their own awful joke, right? By now you've probably heard about the dismal commentary that emerged from Fox News (shocking!) on Wednesday, when The Five hosts Eric Bolling and Greg Gutfeld both felt compelled to crack sexist jokes about Major Mariam Al Mansouri, the first female fighter pilot of the United Arab Emirates. Both have since made flimsy pseudo-apologies and would love to move on — but not so fast, guys! A new open letter roasts Fox News over "boobs on the ground," and it's coming from the perfect source — members of the U.S. military, both male and female.
The big takeaway? Men respect Al Mansouri's accomplishments, and boys giggle about women's chests.
Posted on Talking Points Memo today, the letter is cosigned by 60 American servicemembers, who were clearly incensed by the Fox News duo's one-two punch of tired, nakedly juvenile jokes directed at Al Mansouri. To recap, here's how it all went down:
- The Five host Kimberly Guilfoyle introduced the story with enthusiasm — "Hey, ISIS? You were bombed by a woman." Whatever you may think of Guilfoyle and her vociferously pro-war conservatism, her appreciation for Al Mansouri's trailblazing was evident and sincere. "I'll take a woman doing this any day to them. I hope this hurt extra bad, cause in some Muslim countries, women can't even drive."
- Her co-host, the eternally unfunny Greg Gutfeld, jumped in right after her with the first of two epic clunkers: "Problem is, after she bombed it, she couldn't park it."
- Eric Bolling then chimed in with the remark that spurred the bulk of the controversy: "Would that be considered 'boobs on the ground,' or no?"
- A consternated Guilfoyle could only droop her head and rub her temple at her co-hosts' boneheaded remarks, offering a pretty fair and straightforward question — "Why'd you ruin my thing?"
Beyond the overt sexism, both Gutfeld and Bolling's jokes carry the additional burden of being aggressively unfunny, and making no sense. You don't "park" a jet, you land it. And, no, pilots don't qualify as "boots on the ground," that's the entire thing the "on the ground" distinction refers to. Gah! Luckily, the authors of the open letter were deliciously unforgiving.
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?”
... 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.
Point, set, and match, no? Bolling apologized after making the remarks, apparently because his wife gave him a nasty look — no way to figure out you messed up on your own, huh? Gutfeld, on the other hand, dismissed the criticism as misinterpretation, saying "I make very hacky jokes, knowing they are hacky." At the very least, there's something we can agree on.
Images: Fox News