Is the story about the Southwest pilot saying 'Let's Go, Brandon' all wrong?

It was a made-to-go viral story: a Southwest pilot, after making his little announcement about the flight to passengers, closed by saying, "Let's go, Brandon."  The next day, an AP reporter tweeted out that she tried desperately — and unsuccessfully — to get to the cockpit to interview the pilot about what he said for her story about "Let's go, Brandon."  The response was instant, with leftists demanding that he get fired and one likening him to an ISIS supporter.

But what if the whole narrative is wrong?  It's beginning to look as though that's the case.

If you listen to the pilot, when he mumbles "Let's go..." at the end, it doesn't really sound like "Brandon."  It's more likely that the pilot said, "Let's go, Braves."

Admittedly, it's a little bit hard to hear because the last syllable ends abruptly, but listen carefully, and you can hear that "v" for "Braves," rather than the "n" for "Brandon."  Now that you know that, listen to what he said with fresh ears:

Even if Braves vs. Brandon is a matter for debate, what isn't debatable is the date of the tweet: October 12.  That matters because it wasn't until October 30 that Colleen Long, an AP reporter, claimed that a pilot on her Houston-to-Albuquerque flight said, "Let's go, Brandon!"

Long then described that same purported event in her AP report of the same date, making the pilot's story go viral:

On Friday morning on a Southwest flight from Houston to Albuquerque, the pilot signed off his greeting over the public address system with the phrase, to audible gasps from some passengers. (Emphasis mine.)

Hmmm.  Long specifically referred to something that happened "on Friday" (i.e., October 29).  Was she talking about a different pilot whom she heard, or thought she heard, say "Let's go, Brandon" on October 29?  Or did long fold the October 12 video into the story and her life because she was being a bit...um, dishonest?

The pilot story certainly did go viral.  If you do a Bing search for "southwest pilot let's go brandon," you'll get back 3,360,000 results.  All the big publications are there: CBS, Fox News, Time, The New York Post, HuffPost, The Guardian (out of England), and on and on.  Southwest, of course, immediately put the pilot under investigation.

The Twitter mob went into instant outrage mode, with a CNN analyst (and former FBI agent) likening the pilot to an ISIS-supporter for daring to disapprove of Joe Biden, while others were strident in their demands that he instantly be fired:

Conservatives gave back as good as they got, with Greg Price creating an epic thread (language warning):

If you troll through the internet as much as I do, you'll see that a lot of intelligent people have commented about the fact that Democrats in every venue referred to Trump in the most obscene terms, and dreamed of his death, but they're having a complete mental breakdown when they hear a non-obscene Biden insult.  You'll also see articles talking about the deeper meaning of "Let's go, Brandon," which is a polite way of saying "Eff Biden" but also encompasses an attack on the deeply dishonest media.  Stuff like that.

I simply want to point out that this whole pilot/Brandon story reveals everything that's wrong with the internet and our media today.  I was an early adopter of the internet.  As a very verbal person who types fast, it made my life easier.  In my former incarnation as a lawyer, it allowed me to work from home, simultaneously doing legal research and writing while raising my children.  I still delight in videos that show how many brilliant, talented, creative, entertaining, funny, and decent people there are in the world.

But the social media mobs are hysteria and hatred on speed and steroids.  Worse, they're backed up by a media desperate for clickbait and usually too lazy to do research beyond scrolling through Twitter and, maybe, Facebook.  Commenters like me can be allowed a certain leeway simply to note, as I do here, what's going on in the passing scene, but journalists used to do the legwork.  They didn't just amplify the hatred.

Biden is an utterly appalling excuse for a president (*), but he's a completely reasonable product for a world in which political discourse is controlled by a lazy, partisan media, and a world of internet outrage.

(For purposes of this post, my pronouns are, obviously, "Let's go, Brandon" and "social media and lazy, partisan journalists are toxic."  What are your pronouns?)

Image: The Southwest pilot. Twitter screen grab.

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