After a Southwest pilot was heard to say “Let’s go Brandon,” an anti-Biden meme, over the intercom of a plane, that airline has launched an “internal investigation.”
In a statement to Twitter, Southwest said that “Southwest does not condone Employees sharing their personal political opinions while on the job serving our Customers, and one Employee’s individual perspective should not be interpreted as the viewpoint of Southwest and its collective 54,000 Employees. Southwest is conducting an internal investigation into the recently reported event and will address the situation directly with any Employee involved while continuing to remind all Employees that public expression of personal opinions while on duty is unacceptable.”
The pilot said this during a flight on which an AP reporter was a passenger. She wrote about the meme, and its origins, for the AP, and tried to speak to the pilot as well, though the locked cockpit doors posed a problem.
That reporter, Colleen Long, reported that Southwest Airlines did respond to her query, saying that the airline “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 is not condoned.”
The reporting of the pilots words generated a firestorm of outrage at the pilot, the flight crew, and Southwest. Juliette Kayyem, who worked in the Department of National Security under the Obama administration, said that the pilot’s joke “reflect possibility of anger management or substance abuse.”
Pilots and airline employees have been at the front lines of the vaccine mandate debate, with President Biden demanding that they all get vaccinated or risk losing their jobs, and pilots and flight crews demanding the freedom to make their own medical decisions.
Pilots and flight crews were working throughout the pandemic, following strict safety procedures, and ferrying passengers to and from their destinations. Evidence of natural immunity obtained through having had COVID and surviving it is not deemed to be an adequate substitute for taking one of the three vaccines being pushed by the government.
Southwest Airlines has said that they do not intend to fire employees who do not comply with the federal vaccine mandate.
“Let’s go Brandon” was popularized as a way to say “f*ck Joe Biden” after a crowd of NASCAR fans who were shouting the latter during an NBC interview of race winner Brandon Brown was reported by that NBC interviewer to be the former.
Former ABC anchor Dan Rather claimed that the chant of “Let’s go Brandon” is vulgar, despite more than four years of leftists screaming “f*ck Donald Trump” from every platform they could find.