During Thursday’s episode FOX News Channel’s program Outnumbered, the panel discussed the recent surge of violence among unruly passengers at airports and planes, with much of the blame being laid at the feet of the mask mandate still in place that covers airlines. Fox News contributor Tomi Lahren became the latest conservative to compare COVID-19 restrictions to Nazism.
To start Federalist senior editor Christopher Bedford, while commenting on a video of a fight at an airport said: “there are people acting like animals and staff and stewardesses who are treating people like cattle.” He went on to say that he would discuss with his friends “If I owned an airline men would be in collared shirts with long sleeves and closed-toed shoes.. women wouldn’t be showing up like they just rolled out of bed and hadn’t taken a shower. People need to go out and travel the world acting with a little bit of self-respect and dignity.”
Former White House press secretary and current Fox News co-host Kayleigh McEnany took some by surprise by being sympathetic to flight crews by asking everyone watching to “be nice to our flight attendants” because they’d had a “brutal year” of layoffs and “being the mask police.” She then called for airlines to “follow the science," a departure from the conservative view on climate change, and lift mask mandates, “especially for vaccinated people.”
McEnany was followed by FOX News Contributor Tomi Lahren who noted it was rare, but she was going to disagree with Kayleigh. “I will say there are so many good flight attendants out there. But there are some flight attendants that take their job as the mask police to an extreme, becoming almost Nazis of the air.”
This type of behavior and statement coming from her isn’t out of the ordinary. She has repeatedly called Americans who wear masks “sheep” and she has been calling for everyone to burn their face coverings, she’s also proudly declared that she will not get vaccinated.
Although she did start her statement with a nicety toward crews, she conveyed a disregard for the job flight attendants do, in that they are risking their own health and safety to protect that of the passengers on board. Rather than calling out the passengers who are behaving badly, she decided to take the route that the flight attendants that are enforcing a federal mandate are to blame. A mandate in place that protects the flight attendants who are enforcing it and all of the passengers on board, and the travelers and family members they’ll come in contact with. Lahren doesn't seem to be aware that flight attendants can be held personally liable for not following and enforcing federal regulations, they can be fined, and at some airlines face disciplinary action and termination. Regardless of the crews’ beliefs toward the mask mandate, their livelihood and career are at stake as well.
Sara Nelson, President of the Association of Flight Attendants chimed in on Twitter saying: “This is the kind of hateful rhetoric that has kept us from acting like Americans, mobilizing a national response in solidarity in the face of this crisis. We take pride in saving lives.” “Our union will hold Tomi and her employer personally responsible for the next flight attendant hurt by an irate pax motivated by her hateful rhetoric. ”