Carson Daly's now-infamous suggestion that gays wouldn't have been able to stop the JetBlue Airways pilot who experienced a mid-flight meltdown led many in the blogosphere to point to the case of 9/11 hero Mark Bingham.
Now, the mother of the openly gay Bingham, who joined several passengers in storming the cockpit of United Airlines Flight 93 after it was hijacked during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, is speaking out against Daly's remarks.
"Yes, my gay son was known in our family for bringing me flowers on my birthday and Mother’s Day," Alice Hoagland tells TMZ. "He also was known for careening down the rugby pitch, and, on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, for charging unarmed down the aisle of a doomed Boeing 757 to face knife-wielding Islamist thugs in a hijacked cockpit...no one among his pick-up team of fellow passengers was asking 'Are you straight? Are you gay?'"
"The world has its share of strong, heroic gay men," Hoagland concludes. "Gay men in sports uniforms and military uniforms have been winning America’s games and fighting America’s battles for a long time: quietly, humbly, and in the face of vicious bigotry."
TMZ reported yesterday that Daly implied yesterday on his radio show that gays wouldn't have been able to wrestle Captain Clayton Osbon to the ground prior to an emergency landing, as passengers on JetBlue Flight 191 from New York to Las Vegas were able to. "On this particular flight, most of the people were on their way to some sort of security conference in Las Vegas...so it was a bunch of dudes, and well-trained dudes," he noted. "If that were me...with my luck, it would be like, 'This is the flight going to the [gay] pride parade in San Francisco.'"
Daly has since apologized both on Twitter and in a statement via the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD). "I've long been a supporter of Gay and Lesbian rights, and I'm saddened that my comments, however unintentional, offended anyone, specifically members of the LGBT community," he said. "The fact that I have hurt anyone is devastating. I'm not that guy. I'm proud to be an ally of the LGBT community and will continue to fight with them."