Culture Wars/Current Controversies

The “Let’s Go, Brandon!” Freakout Goes Next-Level

By Matt Taibbi

A Southwest pilot earns ISIS comparisons for joking into a loudspeaker, as pundits continue to mass-forget the previous four years.

FBI Special Agent-turned-CNN Political Analyst Asha Rangappa — gosh that resume sounds unsurprising, doesn’t it? — tweeted this yesterday night:

Put on your irony helmet, this is going to be a long ride. Rangappa was referencing a story involving a Southwest Air pilot who became a headline by saying, “Let’s Go, Brandon!” during a flight from Houston to Albuquerque. Sitting on that flight, incredibly, was an AP reporter named Colleen Long who was writing a piece entitled, “How ‘Let’s Go Brandon’ became code for insulting Joe Biden.

How did it happen? On October 2nd, at a NASCAR race at the Talladega Superspeedway in Alabama, a crowd broke into a chant of “Fuck Joe Biden!” after 28-year-old Brandon Brown won a race. NBC reporter Kelli Stavast was interviewing Brown during the chants, and quickly spoke over them, saying, “You can hear the chants from the crowd. Let’s go Brandon!”

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