On Tuesday evening, Fox News host Carlson played a clip of Biden introducing two female generals on March 8, while noting that the military is working to accommodate women, including specially designed body armor for women, flight suits for pregnant women and updated hairstyle requirements. Carlson said, “The U.S. military has new hairstyles and maternity flight suits, and pregnant women are going to fight for America.”
Carlson continued, “It’s a mockery of the U.S. military that the U.S. military needs to become more feminine, as Biden said. Whatever feminization means, because men and women don’t exist anymore.”
After the segment came out, progressives in the military took to Twitter to express their outrage, with some calling on Fox News to stop covering military affairs and others calling on military leaders to weigh in.
Michael Grinston, the Army’s senior enlisted leader, tweeted, “Women lead our most lethal units with character and they will dominate any future battlefield.” He added, “Carlson’s words are divisive and do not reflect our values, and we have the most professional, educated, agile and powerful NCO corps in the world.”
Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commander of the U.S. Army for Training and Doctrine Command, also tweeted, “To be clear …… Women make our military stronger.”
Pentagon Press Secretary Kirby also commented on the uproar caused by Carlson’s segment. In a casual conversation with reporters, he said, “What we would never do is take personnel advice from a talk show host. “
On Friday, the Marine Corps sent out a photo of a woman effortlessly carrying a fellow soldier, pushing the controversy to new heights.” Look what the armed forces are like today, Carlson, while you’re at it, you baby boomer mouthpiece.” The quote was sent from the Marine Corps’ official account.
In response, many on Twitter expressed outrage at the military’s use of its official Twitter account to attack journalists. “The military’s attacks on journalists are quite fascist,” wrote journalist John Gage.
Former Acting Director of National Intelligence Richard Grenell said, “If this had happened under Trump, there would have been congressional hearings.
Republican Rep. Rick Crawford (R-UT) wrote, “It is unconscionable that active duty military personnel, in uniform, from official military social media accounts, would make personal political attacks on media figures.”
“This is no longer the same military that my grandfather, my father, my uncle, my brother and I, served in,” he added.
Dan Scavino, the Trump Administration‘s director of social media, sent out a tweet saying, “Our adversaries are watching your every move and they are laughing their asses off at the clown behind this official U.S. military account, targeting and harassing ordinary citizens. What’s next? Use a drone? It’s embarrassing!”
“Everyone involved in this humiliating spectacle needs to resign or be fired in disgrace,” wrote columnist Benny Johnson.” The taxpayers who fund our military will not tolerate these official accounts being used to wake up and troll private citizens,” he added, “How embarrassing.”
“Did Biden instruct top Pentagon brass to use social media platforms to bully and intimidate civilians?” Former Fox host Todd Starnes asked.
“Anyone who thinks pregnant women should serve in combat needs to have their head examined,” wrote columnist Gavin Mario Wax.
“The U.S. military’s relentless attacks on journalists are 70 times more fascist than anything Trump has dreamed up,” writes commentator Drew Holden.
“It’s amazing that a single Fox News segment discredited the military more in the eyes of the pro-military crowd than the military’s two decades of incompetence and failure in the Middle East,” wrote researcher Richard Hanania.
“A senior military leader in uniform, attacking an American journalist from an official command account, shows a serious lack of judgment,” wrote best-selling author Sean Parnell.
“This is not leadership,” he added.” In fact, it sets a dangerous precedent and undermines public confidence in a once apolitical institution.”
Jessie Jane Duff, a retired U.S. Marine Corps gunnery sergeant, wrote: “You have lost your mind, using an official Defense Department account to voice an opinion about a civilian.” .
“And now you’re using pictures of female Marines to prop yourself up as some type of hero?” She added.” Carlson is right. It’s embarrassing to discuss maternity uniforms at a ceremony for 2 female generals.”
This comes just weeks after Defense Secretary Austin claimed there was an “enemy” within the military and ordered a “vigilant” effort to root out so-called “extremists.