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Fri 26 Sep 2014 05:40 PM

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Fox News presenters mock UAE's female fighter pilot

Two male presenters on US cable channel make sexist jokes about Major Mariam al-Mansouri's role in Syria air strikes

Fox News presenters mock UAE's female fighter pilot
Greg Gutfeld, one of the Fox News presenters who mocked the UAEs female fighter pilot.

Presenters on a US cable channel have made a number of sexist jokes about Major Mariam al-Mansouri, the UAE's first female fighter pilot who led her country's air strikes on militants in Syria earlier this week.

Fox News presenters Greg Gutfeld and Eric Boiling reportedly made the comments after reporting on al-Mansouri's role in the US-led air strikes, the UK's Guardian reported.

It said Gutfeld mocked the pilot, saying: “The problem is after she bombed it she couldn’t park it” while Bolling joined in, asking: “Would that be considered boobs on the ground or no?”

Their sexist remarks followed a piece to camera by fellow presenter Kimberly Guilfoyle, who had tried to pay tribute to al-Mansouri.

She said: “Major Mariam al-Mansouri is who did this. Remarkable, very excited. I wish it was an American pilot. I’ll take a woman doing this any day to them.”

But after the her co-presenter's quips, Guilfoyle reportedly hung her head, saying: “Oh my gosh, why did they ruin my thing?” Another voice was heard afterwards saying: “Did you just say what I thought you said?”

The conversation between panellists, which was broadcast on Wednesday, was part of discussion show The Five on Fox News, the Guardian reported.

On Thursday, the UAE's ambassador to Washington confirmed news reports that that al-Mansouri had led air strikes against militants in Syria earlier this week, saying: "She is a fully qualified, highly trained, combat-ready pilot, and she led the mission."

The UAE was one of five Arab allies, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Qatar and Bahrain that supported the US-led airstrikes against IS targets inside Syria. Members of IS and Al Qaeda were reportedly killed during the mission.

Al-Mansouri was born in Abu Dhabi and graduated from the country's Khalifa bin Zayed Air College in 2007, according to a profile published earlier this year. She is one of eight children and has a degree in English literature.

Update: The Fox News presenters have apologised for their
comments. Host Eric Bolling, who made the "boobs on the ground" joke,
issued a statement saying his “remark was not intended to be disparaging of her,
but that's how it was taken."

“I am sorry for what I said. I believe that [UAE
Air Force pilot] Major al Mansouri is a hero. She is courageous, brave, and she
deserves our praise, not inappropriate jokes. I appreciate that she is fighting
the extreme radicals that threaten all of us. She has my admiration and my
very, very sincere gratitude,” he added.

Co-host Greg Gutfield said: "The UAE should
know that I did not mean to slight their progressive move in having this great
woman lead the war on terror, blowing up those heathens. She's pretty

Richard 5 years ago

They were remarks teasing the chuffed and proud American female presenter not insulting the UAE fighter pilot.

Boulos 5 years ago

Leave it to the "brainiacs" on Fox News to diminish an achievement that is truly remarkable for the UAE and the Middle East as a whole. Congrats to Major Mariam al-Mansouri on her accomplishment. The "Five" on Fox News are a bunch of ignorant, opinionated, self-indulgent folk that should really keep their opinions to themselves...

Derek Marshall 5 years ago

Just like Fox to put their foot in it. Like everything else they report, no depth or content.

Adam 5 years ago

Does anyone on really expect fox to give unbiased news and avoid prejudiced bullshit...
@Richard: Spare us the excuses ! There is no ambiguity on the remarks.

Phil 5 years ago

Gentlemen of Fox News, it is sometimes better to keep you mouth shut & let people think you are an idiot than open it & remove all doubt. Believe me you have left no doubt.
Major Mariam al-Mansouri has the courage & conviction to help defend her country, what, if anything, have you done ??????

shaju 5 years ago

Congrats to Major Mariam Al-Mansouri... What a proud achievement you taking part in a combat mission. Respect your courage and wisdom... All the best

Chris 5 years ago

It's Fox News. Enough said. Just move on. Not worth wasting brain cells on.

Veronica Chapman 5 years ago

Congratulations .........Major Mariam Al Mansouri...........I think you have achieved what most men only can dream about.......
Good luck, health, happiness for your are a true leader, ......

Josepjh 5 years ago

But this is Fox News.No depth or content.The obvious misogyny,prejudice , stupidity and lack of depth is what characterizes Fox.I tend to agree with Phil,Adam,Derek and Boulos.

Zahid 5 years ago

Brilliant work by Major Mariam and she made her country proud of her achievement