June 23, 2011, - 1:43 pm

Sick of the Faux “Outrage” Over Southwest Pilot’s Private Conversation?

By Debbie Schlussel

Is it just me . . . or are you sick of the faux moral “outrage” over the frank private conversation of a Southwest pilot who forgot to turn off his microphone?  I have a theory about why the tape was suddenly released.  Gold-digging flight attendants and blood-sucking lawyers are preparing to file suit over the tape of the pilot’s comments (despite the fact that he was already required to go to political correctness mind programming, er . . . “sensititivity training”). Cha-ching! After the release of this tape and all the absurd false piety over it, good luck at getting a fair jury to try this thing. Southwest will quickly settle.

Yes, the pilot’s slurs against gays and repeated F-bombs are offensive.  But let’s be honest.  America has a schizophrenic relationship with airline pilots.  Over the decades, we’ve glamorized exactly the kind of stuff (other than the attacks on gays) that the pilot said over the airwaves.  There have been countless movies, TV shows, novels, etc. about pilots who supposedly live the life of James Bond:  women, drinks, and a whirlwind lifestyle. And then we’re OUTRAGED! that one of ’em actually might live something close to that life … or, rather, whines that he can’t.

Listen to the Southwest Pilot’s Rant:

In real life, most pilots don’t live this life, especially not today, now that planes have been reduced to Amtrak cattle cars in the sky.  And, clearly, this pilot doesn’t live that life either, since he pointedly says on the audio that only one airline stewardess, er . . . flight attendant was “part doable.”  Most pilots are not paid a lot, don’t meet glamorous “flight attendants” in sexy outfits, and are just tired out, unappreciated men in danger of the next job lay-off.  Oh, and many of them are in affirmative action fights against less qualified female pilots who fly fewer hours and get pushed into slots because the accident of birth gave them female plumbing.

The Southwest pilot in question thought he was engaged in a private conversation with a fellow co-pilot.  And it’s not as if his conversation went out to the passengers on the plane.  It went out to fellow pilots and air traffic controllers, one or more of whom recorded it for posterity.

Yes, if you or I engaged in a similar conversation within the hearing capability of others, we’d probably be fired from our jobs.  But let’s get real.  This is how many men talk in private when they are among other guys.  Does anyone really think that this is the first guy on earth rating women’s looks and talking about the prospects?  Again, isn’t this how our culture–both pop and otherwise–has portrayed pilots for decades?  And now, suddenly, we’re shocked–shocked!–that some pilots actually talk about it in private conversations?

Frankly, other than the attacks on gays–and if we’re honest, we know that 102.3% of male flight attendants are gay–I thought some of his comments were funny, even if I was laughing more at him, though a little with him.  Calling larger flight attendants, “grandes”–that’s very creative.  I think I’ll steal that.  We know that in the more glamorous days of flight, airline stewardesses were carefully chosen because they were good-looking, glamorous, and passed certain weight and appearance requirements.  In this day of flying cattle cars of the great unwashed and discrimination lawsuits by every fat, ugly woman, airlines simply can’t provide that atmosphere anymore.

And while the pilot may sound like a pig–and probably is, it’s not like it’s rare or unusual for BOTH male AND female employees in most employment settings to size up the looks of their co-workers in private conversation.  Anyone who thinks this doesn’t go on, is living on another planet.  And anyone outraged–OUTRAGED!–by this is a fraud.  That’s the society we live in, today.  It’s, sadly, very vain and emphasizes looks and plastic surgery.  That’s why skanks like Kim Kardashian and Lindsay Lohan are all over celebrity magazines.  It ain’t for reasons of talent . . . at least, vertical talents.  It’s not a good thing.  But this pilot wasn’t the inventor of this ethos.  He won’t be the first to comment on which employees are “doable,” “grandes,” and “grannies,” and he won’t be the last.

It’s a sign that pilots are decent men–or, at least, watching each others’ backs–that the other pilots heard on the recording are warning and/or admonishing the pilot.  But how many of them have private conversations just like this? More than this one pilot, I guarantee you.  Yes, probably most pilots are classy and not foul-mouthed like this.  But I’m sure there’s a significant percentage who talk just like this guy. . . when they think it’s a private conversation.

One pilot’s chastising on the recording says that this is why airline pilots have a bad reputation.  No, I don’t think most passengers care if the pilot is sizing up “doables,” “grandes,” and “grannies.”  Passengers care that they land safely and in one piece.  And many of the stories that have led to a bad public image for pilots involve drunk pilots, texting/net-surfing pilots who missed their destination, and pilots who don’t get enough sleep and crash.  All of these involve safety.  A private conversation about female and male co-workers doesn’t even approach those hazardous behaviors by some pilots. Frankly, I’m more concerned about the pilot pressing the wrong buttons on a flying plane than with what he said thereafter.

Last night, when I couldn’t fall asleep, I watched the same ABC News overnight anchors who gushed over a story about parents allowing their teen kids to have sex at home, get all upset over this adult pilot’s private comments. Puh-leeze. You people are morons. It’s okay for kids who are still kids to start having sex at 15 under your own roof with your permission, but you get upset when a pilot talks about how only one flight attendant is “part doable?”

The same Americans who have no problem with a society that worships Paris Hilton and the Kardashians are the same Americans who are suddenly outraged by this pilot’s private conversation that is more typical than not. These are the same people who went to see both installments of the far more offensive and graphic, “The Hangover,” and made those and most Judd Apatow movies hundreds of millions of dollars each. If you’re outraged at this pilot’s private conversations, but not at these far more disgusting, offensive movies, you’re a fraud. And sadly, most Americans with this kind of moral outrage are frauds. They’re simply not consistent with their political correctness.

Yup, we’re a nation of hypocrites.  And this piggish pilot is the scapegoat.  Lighten up, people. And get a sense of priorities. And proportion.

One guy’s private conversation in the air isn’t nearly as destructive as the shows that appear nightly on E!, VH-1, and MTV.

The most offensive thing the Southwest pilot did here was that he forgot to push the off button on the mic.

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23 Responses

Imagine the public service the various media outlets would do if, instead of highlighting this particular pilot, they focused on the EgyptAir jihadi pilot and the near terrorist act that occurred at JFK, which you wrote about, earlier. The press has become a tool of obfuscation, an enemy of the people and to many of us irrelevant.

Mark Hammond on June 23, 2011 at 1:53 pm

“It’s okay for kids who are still kids to start having sex at 15 with your permission, but you get upset when a pilot talks about how only one flight attendant is “partly doable?””

Nice, Debbie. Very succinct summary of the ridiculous hypocrisy in our decaying world of P.C. “thoughtcrimes” and the like.

DS_ROCKS! on June 23, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Debbie in the interest of full disclosure kindly post several DS pictures and don’t forget the tush shots. If you look good I will come visit you for Rosh Chodesh July.

A1 on June 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm

Yup. I wonder the EgyptAir pilot said. People need to get a grip!

We live in a society in which people are interested in trivial and stupid things that don’t really determine where our society is going.

People say things in private they wouldn’t want the public to hear. That’s as old as human nature.

The offense over what was said is ridiculous. No one was hurt, killed or died in the course of those remarks.

NormanF on June 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    People say things in private they wouldn’t want the public to hear. That’s as old as human nature.

    The offense over what was said is ridiculous. No one was hurt, killed or died in the course of those remarks.

    NormanF on June 23, 2011 at 2:47 pm


    Right. The important thing is that he landed at the right airport and didn’t crash the plane.

    Miranda Rose Smith on June 24, 2011 at 3:50 am

Although I would agree that too much is being made of the pilot’s comments, he is pretty stupid to not check and make sure that his microphone button wasn’t depressed while he was making these comments. Especially in this age of political correctness where speech Nazis are waiting to pounce, you can’t make comments like this if there’s ANY chance of them being overheard by an “unauthorized” person.

Jack Meyhoffer on June 23, 2011 at 2:53 pm

Last night I watched Brian Williams/NBC report on the Egypt Air incident as though its an everyday occurrence. Then do a report on the Southwest Air pilot with an offended tone in his voice.
Brian I think you should be more offended with Egypt Air and the possible outcome.

Dave on June 23, 2011 at 3:26 pm

Since when does anybody have the right NOT to be offended??
90% of the crap that is on TV in any given night is offensive to me.
Oh yeah, that’s gonna change.

Vuulfie on June 23, 2011 at 3:34 pm

It’s not just you…I’ve had enough also.

ebayer on June 23, 2011 at 4:05 pm

I miss hot looking young stewardesses, with their hair done just right, tight uniforms, tiny waists, and nice tushies, who were pleasant and helpful. Now, you often have some nasty behemoth who, if they didn’t walk sideways, would get stuck in the isle. They act as if they are doing you a favor by allowing you to fly on their airline.

In truth, I generally like many of the stewardesses; however, like us, they also crave the good old days, when flying was fun, and stewardesses were cute and perky. Many of the older stewardesses are still working because their retirement plans went out the window when their airlines financially crashed and burned. Meanwhile, the fatcat at the top is making multiple millions of dollars a year for mismanaging a company.

Jonathan Grant on June 23, 2011 at 4:11 pm

I should clarify. Many stewardesses are nice, but useless due to the restraints the airlines put on them. However, there are also a number of stewardesses are downright, ugly, rude, fat, and nasty. You certainly would not want to “fly them.”

Jonathan Grant on June 23, 2011 at 4:13 pm

So if I understand this, tbe Flight Attendant’s union, is filing a lawsuit because of hurt feelings, and being offended? Are we screwed up as nation, or what?!

sgtvinnie16 on June 23, 2011 at 5:28 pm

We have freedom of speech and thought in this country. We just can’t use it.

david7134 on June 23, 2011 at 5:41 pm

Instead of spending money on a law suit, shouldn’t the the Flight Attendant’s Union spend the money on treadmills for the fatties amongst them?

Jonathan Grant on June 23, 2011 at 5:47 pm


Bob Porrazzo on June 23, 2011 at 5:59 pm

Absolutely right, Debbie. And tons of women in real-life talk about men in the same way. It’s phony outrage, but good for the lawyers. The pilot’s real offense was saying something about gays, the most protected class in the once great United States.

Timothy on June 23, 2011 at 6:50 pm

They have finally released the identity of the airline pilot:


Irving on June 23, 2011 at 6:53 pm

We know that in the more glamorous days of flight, airline stewardesses were carefully chosen because they were good-looking, glamorous, and passed certain weight and appearance requirements.

My mother told me that when she was a little girl, you had to be a registered nurse to be an airline stewardess.

Yes, the pilot should have been more discreet, should have realized there was an open mike in the cockpit. We all have conversations with co-workers that we wouldn;t want broadcast.
But more offensive stuff gets said, at dinner tables, in factory or office or store employee’s lounges and lunchrooms, including, I’m sure, the employee’s lounge at ABC News every day of the week. I’ve heard stuff that was far more offensive. The uproar is hypocritical.

Miranda Rose Smith on June 24, 2011 at 3:48 am

    We all have conversations with co-workers that we wouldn’t want broadcast.

    Miranda Rose Smith on June 24, 2011 at 3:52 am

This pilot said what any normal straight man would say. All these flowery pronouncements from straight men about how homosexuality is great and how they have “gay” friends is mainly BS just to appear to be “tolerant.” Straight men don’t find a lifestyle mainly consisting of brutal sodomy as enviable and acceptable.

GianniV on June 24, 2011 at 9:53 am

The 60s-era airline stewardesses depicted in Steven Spielberg’s “Catch Me If You Can” (2002) — ah, that was the way to fly!

Seek on June 24, 2011 at 11:46 am

Now I thought it was funny! 😀

Pat in Michigan on June 24, 2011 at 2:41 pm

Flight Attendants are older than in the past because of the flood of layoffs and union seniority. But it’s a terrible job and there is a vast over-supply for those jobs. You can work for years at a major airline as an FA and still not make $20k.

Same for pilots. For every flying job there are hundreds or thousands of applicants. New-hire pilots often make less than $20k per year. They often have to illegally share apartments in expensive cities, where dozens of pilots rent a bunkbed. These flop houses make a college dorm room look like The Four Seasons Presidential Suite.

Airlines do nothing about gay flight attendants hitting on straights yet you will be busted as a straight guy if you mention an unflattering comment about the war horse FA with a moustache on her lip or the creepy gay FA coming on to you.

And yes, as a rule the airlines hire female new-hire pilots with about one-half of the experience they require of male pilots. Women pilots are usually pretty darn good, take instruction better than the average guy, but it’s terrible they get breaks left and right over men.

Scott M on June 25, 2011 at 11:32 pm

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