That was proven again this week when the media reported on the alleged reasoning behind the cancellation of more than 1,900 flights by Southwest Airlines.
The 'official' reason was this: "The airline blamed air traffic control issues and weather in Florida on Friday, saying the ripple effects put planes and employees out of place, and it had too few reserves to pick up the slack. Southwest caters to vacationers, and Florida is a key cog in its operation," USA Today reported, which was typical of all other outlets.
"It was a very difficult weekend for many of you, and I’ve seen speculation on the reasoning," Southwest CEO Gary Kelly told employees in his first public comments on the widespread cancellations Monday. "The fact is the Florida weather on Friday and unexpected ATC [air traffic control] issues on Friday night resulted in delays and cancellations across our network, and it just got us behind."
Really? In a word, no.
According to Fox News host Tucker Carlson, who reported on the incident during his Monday program, the reason why so many flights were canceled so suddenly had nothing to do with the weather, and some to do with ATC issues: In fact, hundreds of pilots and scores more air traffic controllers simply called in sick in protest over COVID-19 vaccine mandates for airlines and federal employees.
"Southwest Airlines, you may have read this, one of our biggest carriers all but shut down on Saturday and Sunday, the airline canceled thousands of flights. It threw the nation's famously efficient system of air travel into total chaos. It's stranded countless travelers in airports. Again, you saw it on the news," Carlson noted during his monologue.
"The question is how did this happen? Well, the official explanation came right away. It was bad weather on the eastern seaboard. There were thunderstorms. There were also unspecified issues with air traffic control and all of that together forced Southwest Airlines, alone among airlines, to cancel its flights," he added.
"That's what the company Southwest Airlines claimed. They claim that in a statement to us today, a long statement. It's what many media outlets have repeated uncritically for the past two days," the Fox News host continued.
"And yet we can tell you it is untrue. All of that is a lie. It's not what happened. We've spoken to several people with direct knowledge of what actually did happen. We can tell you that the shutdown of Southwest Airlines over the weekend was a direct consequence -- it was a reaction to -- Joe Biden's vaccine mandates," he said.
"It began last week when Gary Kelly who is a CEO of Southwest, sent an internal memo to his employees declaring that, per Joe Biden's directive, any Southwest employee who was not fully vaccinated by the 8th of December will be fired. Canned. Done, right before Christmas," he went on.
"Now, this would include not simply pilots on Southwest and flight attendants, of course, but ramp workers, mechanics, dispatchers, schedulers, ticket agents, people from the top to the very bottom. Many thousands of people," said the host.
He went on to explain that the reasoning behind the mandate makes no sense especially for Americans who have had the virus -- and there are tens of millions who have -- and have built up natural immunity, which is far better and stronger than what they'd get from a vaccine.
"Others have sincere religious objections. They object to the use of aborted fetal tissue in the development of pharmaceuticals," Carlson explained. "And yet others are taking a stand purely on principle. They believe that in a free country, politicians should never be allowed to force citizens to submit to medical treatment they don't want.
"But whatever their various reasons, the unvaccinated employees of Southwest Airlines, the many of them, are decent, high functioning Americans, and they have watched as their own government has dismissed them out of hand as criminals for reasons that don't even make sense," he said.
Later in the show, Carlson interviewed an airline pilot who warned that if even one-third of them are forced out of the industry due to the mandate, the American economy will cease to function properly and the global economy will take a huge hit because of the widespread dependence on air travel.
He then suggested that pilots use that as leverage to push back, which is a great idea.