Liz discusses the controversy surrounding the World Cup being held in Qatar, a predominantly Muslim country with very restrictive laws and human rights abuses. Liz points out that it’s odd that the World Cup is being hosted in this country at all and highlights the Left’s reaction to it as being very telling, given their behavior on cultural topics.
Liz then makes a tie-in to JoJo Siwa, an 18-year-old Gen Z influencer who identifies as some kind of LGBTQ and is having a feud with Candace Cameron Bure. She talks about the cultural tie-in between the JoJo Siwa story and the World Cup controversy, and how Balenciaga’s horrendous ad campaign featuring toddlers in BDSM gear also connects to the two.
Liz then delves into the politics of the World Cup, stating that it is one of the biggest events on Twitter and draws an enormous number of eyes. She points out that the Secretary of State Antony Blinken commented on the fact that FIFA, the organizing body for international soccer, issued a ban on players wearing arm bands with the rainbow emblem on them. Liz finds it ironic that it is not the country of Qatar and their repressive government that made this rule, but FIFA bending a knee to Qatar.
Liz concludes by pointing out the hypocrisy of the Biden administration, which claims to care about freedom of expression for also going after Elon Musk for exercising his freedom of speech. She believes that the administration only cares about kowtowing to special interest groups and promoting their own agenda.
This transcript was generated automatically and may contain typos, mistakes, and/or incomplete information.
Hey guys, welcome to The Liz Wheeler Show. I’m Liz Wheeler. Happy almost Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving, of course, is tomorrow. I hope you guys all have fun plans to stuff your faces and be with family. I don’t know about you, but my favorite thing about Thanksgiving is definitely the stuffing. I mean, Turkey be damned, stuffing is my thing all the way. Also, my favorite dessert for Thanksgiving is not maybe traditionally a Thanksgiving dish, but I think it’s pretty delicious. It’s called blondies. It’s like a blonde version of brownies, and I could pretty much eat the whole pan myself, which I plan to do tomorrow. So I hope you guys have similar plans. We’ll have to touch base and see, and see if everybody picked out. But what are we going to talk about today? We have a few things to talk about before we all check out for the holiday mentality this weekend.
What I wanna talk about is what’s happening at the World Cup. I don’t know if you guys have been following this, but there’s been just a little bit of controversy surrounding the World Cup being held in Qatar. Qatar, or “Cutter.” Some people pronounce the name of this country in two very, very different ways. I’m going with Qatar because that’s what I prefer to say. But Qatar is a predominantly Muslim country with very, very restrictive laws. It’s actually very odd that the World Cup is being hosted in this country at all, given the human rights abuses that this country has inflicted on, on its people. But what’s more is the left’s reaction to the World Cup being held in. Qatar is very telling, given their behavior on a couple of cultural topics here. What I mean by that is I wanna talk about what the World Cup has in common with JoJo Siwa.
If you don’t know who JoJo Siwa is, that’s okay. She is a Gen Z influencer. She’s probably about 18 years old. She’s basically just past childhood, but she was a childhood YouTube star. That’s how she started. Now, she’s 18. She identifies as some kind of LGBTQ. I don’t know exactly what, but she’s having a feud with everyone’s favorite Christmas movie star Candace Cameron Bure. So I wanna talk about that. And believe it or not there is a tie-in to the World Cup with this story, which I wanna break down with you. And then the Balenciaga I don’t even know what word to use to describe this, the horrendous ad campaign that they published showing children, actually toddlers, not even children, toddlers with BDSM bondage gear. And they’ve issued an apology. But this also has a tie-in to the World Cup and to the JoJo Siwa story. So let’s start untangling this, shall we?
Okay, so let’s start with the World Cup here. I don’t know if you guys watch the World Cup, if you are, are soccer fans or football fans, but even if you are not, this is one of the biggest events on Twitter, because soccer is not just. I mean football here, like, like real football, like American football. It, well, it used to be, I guess it’s not right now, but it used to be, the Super Bowl was the thing that everybody in our country watched. Well picture that and then picture it times like 10, probably even times more than 10, because people all around the world tune into the World Cup. Elon Musk was saying that this might be the big test of Twitter to see, well, can Twitter actually handle the World Cup traffic this year? So, huge pressure, enormous amount of eyes on the World Cup.
But for, I guess for soccer reasons, my eyes are on the World Cup. I do like soccer. I played soccer, probably like almost everyone else, but my eyes are on it now because of the politics of the thing. The Secretary of State of the Biden Administration, Anthony Blinken said that he commented on the fact that FIFA, which is the organizing body for international soccer, they issued a ban on players wearing arm bands with the rainbow emblem on them. So anything that’s related to the LGBTQ ideology to pride, to gay rights, anything of that has been banned, not by Qatar, but by FIFA. Now, I find this to be very interesting, especially in the wake of the whim, the US women’s soccer controversy with them being so woke demanding the same amount of money that the men make, even though they get a fraction of the viewership and a fraction of the ad revenue that the men make.
It’s interesting that it wouldn’t be the country of Qatar and their repressive government that would make a rule like this, but that it would be FIFA who is bowing or bending a knee, I should say, to Qatar. Well, the Secretary of State Biden’s, secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, said that he called this band concerning. He said, it’s always concerning from my perspective, when we see any restrictions on freedom of expression, it’s especially so when the expression is for diversity and for inclusion. And I gotta tell you, I don’t think it’s funny that Qatar engages in human rights abuses. I do think it’s hilarious that a Biden Administration official actually said the phrase, it’s concerning from my perspective when we see any restrictions on freedom of expression. At the same time that Joe Biden himself just last week, talked about all the different ways that the Biden Administration can go after Elon Musk for the crime of Elon Musk making freedom of speech.
The rule on Twitter that absolutely slay me, cracks me up, because they don’t care about freedom of speech. The Biden administration, they only care about kowtowing to this woke agenda. For some reason, a radical repressive Muslim, perhaps even Islamist government in Qatar falls on their woke pyramid higher than freedom of speech. Because it’s one thing for Blinken in the Biden administration to say something like this. It’s another thing for them to outright condemn the World Cup being hosted in this country, or you know, to, to negotiate in a little, in a little harsher way with FIFA to say, listen, what you’re doing is not okay. We don’t want, the United States is not gonna send our soccer team there. There was no such discussion that occurred, no such discussion. In fact, FIFA actually threatened sanctions on half a dozen European nations because their players were going to wear these arm bands anyway, even though FIFA said they couldn’t, and they were gonna wear these arm bands.
Anyway, FIFA says, well, we’re gonna impose sanctions on you. So this is where we are. Qatar itself is a predominantly Muslim country. They actually ban homosexuality. So you engage in any kind of homosexual sex act in Qatar, and you face a really severe penalty, fine jail time, physical harm up to potentially death in Qatar if you engage in homosexuality. The contrast here, again, the political aspect of this, or the politics of the thing, is I’m just thinking about the NBA here in our country, moving basketball games out of North Carolina. Why? Because North Carolina had said that biological males were not allowed in women’s bathrooms, even if those biological males put on a dress and pretended that they were women. The NBA moved games out of North Carolina. For that reason. The MLB moved games out of the All-Star Game, actually out of Georgia costing Georgia business owners, including black-owned businesses, millions of dollars over Georgia’s heartbeat bill.
But FIFA is okay with a World Cup in Qatar, despite the death penalty, for gay people if they engage in homosexual acts. Okay, and where’s the outcry from the Left? Where’s the out outrage from the Left? Where’s this similar, this similar boycott behavior from the Left? Why are they not applying this abroad as they apply it here? Well, they’re pretty silent. They even the armband thing, honestly, is kind of pathetic virtue signaling. Like, what difference does that actually make in Qatar? What difference does that actually make to people sentenced to death for engaging in homosexual sex acts? It doesn’t. It’s actually a way just to, to calm the consciences of all of the players who know that they shouldn’t be playing in Qatar. All of the organizations who are sponsoring the teams who know that they shouldn’t be playing in Qatar, all of the fans who don’t really think that they should be supporting the economy of Qatar, which supports the government, when the government is inflicting these human rights abuses.
And so they say, okay, we’ll put a little stamp on our arm. We’ll put a rainbow on our shirt that’ll show them. What’s it gonna show him? Nothing. It’s all about you. It’s just virtue signaling. This is also after the Left similarly ignored the slavery and death that occurred when Qatar built the facilities to host the World Cup. Literal slavery and outright death. People who were building. You’d think that that would cause someone in FIFA to say, ho ho, ho. Wait just a second here. We’re not bringing our tournament and all of our money and all of our fans and the eyeballs of the world to your country when you’re killing people over this, we’ll just take it somewhere else. Because what happens is, when FIFA just caves like this and takes the World Cup to guitar anyway, it, it kind of means that they’re shrugging their shoulders at the human rights abuses.
It belittles it, because they’re just saying like, well, okay, we’re gonna, we’re gonna look the other way on this. That’s blatantly immoral to look the other way when this kind of human rights abuse is happening. And Qatar itself, by the way, the government of Qatar is very sympathetic to terrorism, radical Islamist terrorism. And that phrase that I use very sympathetic to terrorism is probably like the nicest, most vanilla way that I can phrase this. The government of Qatar is accused of actually financially sponsoring the terror group Hamas, which tries to destroy the state of Israel.
Qatar had a charity, or a so-called charity, that was essentially just a front to finance. Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda. Qatar has sponsored Al Nusra. Like, this country is bad news. The government of this country is bad news. They actively give money to people who use that money to harm and kill people who don’t adhere to Sharia law, while repressing people in their own nation abusing, enslaving and killing people so that they can make a buck off of the World Cup. How do you look the other way on this? How is this not a bigger controversy? Like sure, there were some headlines about the rainbow arm bands and the shirts with the rainbow flags on them. But that’s not really the point. Like, the point is not that these players were wronged by Qatar or FIFA actually depriving them the right to wear these bands.
It’s not really that these fans were wronged in a significant way by being told no, you can’t wear this pride emblem on your shirt. Yes. Is that a violation of free speech? Yes, of course it is. But the more serious problem is what Qatar is doing to human beings, not what they won’t let you wear on their shirt. And so you’re discharging your conscience by trying to virtue signal by wearing these emblems. But what are you actually doing? The answer to that is nothing. I don’t understand why FIFA is doing this. I don’t understand how a government like Qatar factors higher on their pyramid of wokeness than the human rights of these individuals. Their behavior, FIFA’s behavior has been so bizarre when it’s come to this particular World Cup. So travel back, journey back with me for a second to the World Cup in Brazil. In Brazil, FIFA, the organization forced Brazil to sell beer in the stadiums where these soccer play, these soccer games were being played. They forced them to. But now in Qatar, FIFA is forbidding beer from being sold in the stadiums to be in alignment with the very restrictive laws about the sale and consumption of alcohol in the country itself.
So now FIFA’s the enforcer of this repressive regime in Qatar? What? How does this benefit FIFA? Truly, they could have hosted this in any other country. Why are they behaving like this? I was talking to my producer before we filmed this show, and we were talking about Qatar, and he was saying that he had a friend. His friend and his wife and his friend’s wife visited Qatar. And this is such a security state. Everything is surveilled by cameras that he hugged his wife. I think he might have given his wife a kiss on the streets as they were walking. They were tourists. Normal behavior, not tawdry, not lewd, not obscene. Five minutes after he gave his wife this innocent kiss while on the street, police approached him and police said to him, excuse me, sir, we saw what you did on the camera. We watched you engage in PDA on this camera. And his friend was like, and? And the police were like, that’s illegal. And if you do it again, we will kick you out of our country or throw you in jail.
That’s the reality of Qatar. Where’s the outcry from the Left? Where’s the outcry about the human rights abuses? The way that this ties in to some of the domestic cultural issues happening here in the United States is particularly striking, given this feud between this JoJo Siwa, this Gen Z online influencer. She started as a YouTuber when she was a child. She’s about 18 years old now. She identifies as some alphabet soup, LGBTQIA+, something like that. She’s the girl with the blonde pigtails that come outta her head. That’s sort of her signature look and sparkles on her cheeks and on her lips. I don’t know, maybe you’ve seen her, if you haven’t, then I just described, I don’t know, unicorn doll. But the point of this is now that she’s reached the age of 18 for the past couple of years, she has embraced this LGBTQ identity.
And honestly, she’s teaching it to children, is what she’s doing, through her YouTube videos and her Instagram videos. She has had a tremendous influence over the very young children in our country because she’s billed as children’s entertainment. Super destructive influence that she’s having on our children. And she’s become somewhat of a militant LGBTQ activist, which is why she says she will never talk to Candace Cameron Bure again. Now, Candace Cameron Bure is DJ Tanner from Full House. Of course, we all know that, who has starred on the Hallmark channel for the past umpteen years in these really feel good, happy ending type of Hallmark movies. Candace Cameron Bure left Hallmark, though. This is the first year she’s at the Great American Family Channel. And the reason she made the switch is because Hallmark started featuring man-man love stories and deliberately placed in their movie some kind of LGBTQ agenda or character in every single movie.
She moved to the Great American Family Channel because she said she wanted to focus on stories that portrayed traditional marriage. Shouldn’t be anything controversial about that, right? She said nothing negative about any particular gay person for being gay. She just said she wanted to focus on projects that had an element of faith and that focused on traditional marriage. And this is what JoJo Siwa said in response. By the way, maybe I should back up for a second and say a couple months ago, JoJo Siwa issued a public and false allegation against Candace Cameron Bure saying that Candace Cameron Beret was the rudest celebrity that she’d ever met because she, at one point ignored JoJo Siwa on a red carpet when JoJo came up to Candace and wanted to take a picture and said that as a result, she named her publicly as the rudest celebrity. Candace Cameron actually called JoJo Siwa after that public allegation and said, when did this happen?
I would never deliberately, deliberately s slight you in that way. And it turns out it was a total misunderstanding that she actually didn’t see the child approach her because she was busy working on the red carpet, something JoJo probably should have clarified before slandering Candace Cameron’s name publicly. Just a little background on their previous relationship. But this is what JoJo Siwa said in response to Candace Cameron’s public announcement, that she was moving away from the Hallmark Channel to the Great American Family Channel because she wanted to focus on stories that centered on traditional marriage. JoJo Siwa said, we have not talked, and I don’t think we will ever again. That’s what’s effed up, she said. You not liking gay marriage? Do your thing, girl. You being religious, do your thing, girl. Of course, I would want everyone to do what they wanna do, but to purposely exclude someone because of who they they love.
That’s bleepity. so she’s insinuating JoJo Siwa is insinuating that by Candace Cameron wanting to do faith-based movies that focus on traditional marriage, that that is somehow discriminatory towards gay people. And when I heard this comment, I thought, well, this is very interesting. This is very interesting because this illustrates, first of all, exactly why I don’t support the gay marriage bill that’s in Congress right now. But more importantly, it’s a lie. It’s a misrepresentation. It’s simply not true. JoJo Siwa says that Candace Cameron Braze excluding gay people from her movies on Great American Family Channel, and that’s not the case. And if she had looked at Candace Cameron Bure’s Instagram, which Candace used to post, to address this publicly in detail previous to JoJo’s comments, then JoJo would’ve seen the truth. This is what Candace Cameron Bray said. She said, I’m a devoted Christian, which means that I believe that every human being bears the image of God.
Because of that, I am called to love all people, and I do. If you know me, you know that I’m a person who loves fiercely and indiscriminately my heart yearns to build bridges and bring people one step closer to God, to love others well, and to simply be a reflection of God’s huge love for all of us. To the members of the media responsible for using this opportunity to fan flames of conflict and hate, I have a simple message. I love you anyway. To those who hate what I value and who are attacking me online, I love you. To those who have tried to assassinate my character, I love you. To everyone reading this of any race, creed, sexuality, or political party, including those who have tried to bully me with name calling. I love you. I have long wanted to find a home for more faith-based programming.
I’m grateful to be an integral part of a young and growing network. I had also expressed in my interview, which was not included, that people of all ethnicities and identities have and will continue to contribute to the network in great ways, both in front and behind the camera, which I encourage and fully support. I’ve never been interested in proselytizing through my storytelling, but in celebrating God’s greatness in our lives and through the stories I tell. Beautiful statement, by the way, beautiful statement. If JoJo had taken the time to go to her Instagram and read that, then she would’ve realized that Candace Cameron Bure has no intention of discriminating against LGBTQ people at this new network. She simply is going to focus the stories centered on traditional marriage. So we have to establish that fact before we move to the, the bigger picture before we zoom out on JoJo Siwa’s bigotry, because that’s exactly what this is.
JoJo Siwa herself is accusing Candace Cameron Bure of being a bigot, but she’s not, she’s not a bigot. It is JoJo Siwa who is being a bigot. This misrepresentation really this, this lying, this slander, this character assassination from JoJo at Candace is not new. This is actually the second time this year that that JoJo has tried to cancel Candace Cameron over a false allegation. But what this shows us, aside from just establishing the fact that JoJo is a liar here, it shows us that JoJo Siwa in her position, that she is actually the bigoted one. She is a bigot. JoJo Siwa is a bigot because she says she’ll never talk to Candace Cameron Bure again over Candace Cameron Bure’s position accepting the biblical definition of marriage as one man and one woman. And let’s just be very clear here, the LGBTQ lobby never wanted tolerance.
They never wanted acceptance. They never wanted a quality under the law. They actually want to force you to celebrate their ideology. They don’t respect you as a person of faith. They don’t respect your beliefs. They don’t actually mean the things that they say you do. You believe what you wanna do. You do your thing, girl. They don’t mean that at all. And their actions show this. They wanna force you to celebrate the L B T Q ideology or else they wanna penalize you. They wanna subject you to insults and character assassination. They want to ostracize you from society, maybe even from your workplace, from opportunity. They want to cancel you over your faith, over your acknowledgement that the biblical definition of marriage, it cannot be changed by a government. The biblical definition of marriage is between one man and one woman.
It’s real tolerant, isn’t it? Isn’t it coming from the people who claim that they want tolerance for themselves and their own lifestyle choices? But this is why I don’t trust the gay marriage bill in front of Congress right now. They claim, oh, it has, it has provisions that protect religious liberty, that protect people of faith, practicing their beliefs, even, even if they embrace the biblical interpretation of marriage. I don’t believe you, I don’t believe the Left because the Left has shown us that they’re not looking for tolerance. They’re not looking for acceptance. They’re not even looking for a quality under the law. They’re looking for a way to leverage their ideology, to force you to not only accept it, but celebrate it, or they will punish you.
Just like JoJo Siwa is trying to punish Candace Cameron Bure. This is actually a human rights abuse in and of itself. At least it’s the attempt by the Left in the LGBTQ lobby to fundamentally deprive American citizens of the right to exercise their religion, which is an abridgement of our inherent, God-given rights that the government is set up specifically to protect. And these two things, these seem contradictory, right? The two stories that we’re talking about, the World Cup and JoJo Siwa, it seems contradictory for the Left in our country to want to cancel a Christian actress who’s making hallmark movies or happy holiday movies, Christmas movies maybe is a better way to put it, because she embraces traditional marriage while also the left stays quiet or mostly quiet, aside from a little pointless virtue signaling when the World Cup is hosted in Qatar, where the penalty for homosexuality can be death.
Hmm. A little inconsistency there, but maybe this should come as no surprise to us. Maybe it isn’t really inconsistent given what the Left’s agenda for our country is. I don’t know if you guys have been following the Balenciaga story. Balenciaga is a luxury brand, and they released their fall campaign photographs. And a little warning here, if you’re watching with children, then you should either turn your screen away from them or walk away before we put these on the screen. I wanna show you these pictures. This is what Balenciaga released for their most recent ad campaign. These photos are horrendous. They show toddlers and in it, these toddlers, who by the way, are styled to look gender neutral. Are they boys? Are they girls? Who knows? And it’s weird to style toddlers like that, but that’s not really the problem. What are they holding?
They’re holding bears wearing BDSM attire. So leather bondage. This is perverted, violent, sexual fetish play. And they’re having little babies hold this stuff. That is so messed up. That is so grotesque. That is so abusive to those children. Like, what is Balenciaga trying to portray here? Are they trying to associate little children with violent sexual fetishes, with leather bondage? Because that’s what they’re doing with these pictures. So you’ve probably have seen this part. You’ve probably seen the part, if you zoom up on some of these photos of this ad campaign, you can see a Supreme Court decision relating to child pornography. So what we are inferring, they are implying. We are not making something out of nothing. The message they intended to illustrate with this ad campaign was the violent sexualization of children.
Is your stomach upset? Is your stomach churning? Because mine is just talking about that and thinking about this. So the outcry against this was so loud and so strong, kudos to so many people, that Balenciaga pulled this ad campaign, and they released this as their apology. They said, we sincerely apologize for any offense. Our holiday campaign may have caused our plush bear bags should not have been featured with children in this campaign. We’ve immediately removed the campaign from all platforms. First of all, our plush bear bags? Why don’t you call them what they are? They’re BDSM bears. They’re dressed in leather bondage harnesses. They’re not just bags. They’re not just plush bears. Say what it is. If you’re uncomfortable saying what it is, maybe it’s because you shouldn’t be selling that. We sincerely apologize, they say, for any offense that may have been caused. Why don’t you apologize?
Because what you did was offensive. Don’t just apologize because we were offended. What you did was wrong. You apologize for what is wrong. You don’t apologize because someone interpreted something in a way that might have offended them. They go on to say, we apologize for displaying unsettling documents in our campaign. Unsettling documents? The child porn Supreme Court case. Name it. They say, we take this matter very seriously and are taking legal action against the parties responsible for creating the set and including unapproved items for our spring 23 campaign photo shoot. We strongly condemn abuse of children in any form we stand for children for children’s safety and wellbeing. I mean, I’m glad they’re taking legal action against whoever decorated the set. I assume it was a third party vendor that they had contracted to do this, but they’re deflecting responsibility. This is not enough. I do not accept this apology as enough. Just unsettling documents.
You’re promoting B D S M. You’re posing children. This picture, I refuse to even post. They have a picture of a child reclining in a sexualized position around this violent fetish, whatever you wanna call it. Paraphernalia. Heads must roll at Balenciaga. Who designed this? Who approved this? Even if you have a third party vendor, do you know the kind of red tape that exists at companies like this in order to actually get something approved? Who approved this? Who staged it? Who photographed this? Who hired those children? And for that matter, what parents would allow their child to be exploited like this? Who posted this on social media? Fire everyone involved all the way to the top in the military. Generals can be relieved of duty. If someone as low as, as a junior enlisted does something egregious, the general can be punished for it.
That’s what should happen at Balenciaga as well. Fire everyone. And investigate the people who allowed the children to be exploited in this way. I don’t know who did this. If it’s agents, if it’s their parents, good God. It makes you wonder if these children are actually being abused, that their parents would allow them to be portrayed in this manner. There’s some irony here, because Balenciaga cut ties with the artist formerly known as Kanye West. After his comments, his anti-Semitic comments. They cut ties with Ye because he’s offensive. Yet this is the non-apology we get when they sexualize children? Kim Kardashian’s been associated with this brand. I would love to hear a statement from her. Do you stand against the sexualization of children? Children being exploited, violent, sexual fetish imagery? Or are you just gonna be quiet?
What about the leftists who are virtue signaling about the human rights abuses in Qatar? We gonna hear anything from them? What about leftists who claim they want equality? What about JoJo Siwa who says she stands against hate? We gonna hear anything from these leftists and this is where it all comes together for me, because the Left is squishy on Qatar, they virtue signal a little bit, but they don’t mean it or they wouldn’t partake in this, despite Qatar’s human rights abuses they’re perfectly fine going there, playing, being fans, whatever. But maybe that makes sense that the Left is squishy on Qatar, despite Qatar’s human rights abuses. Because the Left’s domestic agenda here in the United States is likewise the human rights abuse of children and people of faith.
They have complete intolerance. The Left has complete intolerance of anyone who wants to live according to biblical principles. They actively advocate for persecution, whether it’s medical providers who don’t want to abort children or trans children, whether it’s the cake baker in Colorado who didn’t wanna use his free expression to celebrate something that he’s religiously opposed to, whether it’s an actress who wants to celebrate traditional marriage. And then children. The Left is transing children. They’re sexually mutilating children. They’re embracing queer theory in schools which advocates for pedophilia, and they’re portraying children with violent, sexual, fetish paraphernalia.
So maybe what we’re seeing from leftists in Qatar isn’t so foreign. Maybe this squishy response to abuse of people’s basic human rights is the practice of the Left here, too. On a little bit lighter note, I know we talk about these heavy topics old time because it’s necessary to talk about them. Because if we don’t talk about them, we can’t fully understand the reality of the political enemy we’re facing, which means we can’t fight back against it. So we have to talk about this heavy stuff. But a little bit lighter note to go into the Thanksgiving day holiday, Alex Berenson on his sub unreported truths posted the following post. I wanna read it to you. He said, at 7:59 PM on Saturday, November 19th, captain Patrick Ford collapsed at the controls of his American Eagle Ember 1 75, only seconds after the 76 seat jet had left the runway in Chicago.
Ford was speaking to an air traffic controller at Chicago O’Hare, one of the world’s busiest airports, when his voice abruptly stopped. Can I help you, the controller anxiously asked seconds later. We need to return. The Captain is incapacitated, Ford’s co-pilot Cooley reported. The jet bound for Columbus, Ohio had barely reached 2000 feet of altitude. Any mistake could have led it to crash within seconds. But the Ember’s co-pilot, captain Brandon Hendrickson, took control. Hendrickson brought the jet to 5,000 feet, and within minutes headed back on the ground at O’Hare, though Hendrickson was in the first officer’s seat, he was actually overseeing Ford as a line check airman. Because Ford was so new to Envoy Air, a regional carrier owned by American Airlines, Ford’s body remained in the pilot’s seat throughout. The reason that I want to share that with you is because I read this earlier and I thought to myself, we so often talk about bad things and bad people who do bad things that I wanna highlight, for a moment, a hero, a man who was given the opportunity in a terrible circumstance to do something that saved people’s lives, to do something that saved a tremendous amount of humanity, to be calm and courageous, and to let his training take hold.
And Captain Brandon Hendrickson did just that. So I think always, we should highlight heroes, but specifically when so often we talk about the bad people who do bad things, we should also talk about good people who do good things. And today a big kudos goes to Captain Brandon Hendrickson for your courage and for doing what you were trained to do and saving that 76-seat plane from what could have been a terrible, terrible tragedy. And also kind of makes you wonder, doesn’t it, about the captain that died and whether or when he’d received his latest jab. Just makes you wonder. Guys, I hope you have a happy Thanksgiving. I am grateful, I am thankful for you. I am thankful for what we’re fighting for. I’m thankful to be fighting it together here with you every day. So thank you for listening. Thank you for watching. I’m Liz Wheeler. This is The Liz Wheeler Show.