Carson Daly's jokes about gay men not being able to subdue a crazed pilot on a JetBlue flight to Las Vegas this week has drawn a response from the mother of the late Mark Bingham, a gay man who among the heroes on United Flight 93 who are thought to have fought their hijackers on Sept. 11, 2001.
"Yes, my gay son was known in our family for bringing me flowers on my birthday and Mother’s Day,' Alice Hoagland tells TMZ.com. ' He also was known for careening down the rugby pitch, and, on the morning of September 11, 2001, for charging unarmed down the aisle of a doomed Boeing 757 to face knife-wielding Islamist thugs in a hijacked cockpit."
United Flight 93 went down in Pennsylvania instead of a government building in Washington D.C. as was planned. Bingham's story was the subject of the documentary With You which was seen around the US film festival circuit last year.
Said Hoagland in her message to Daly: 'No one among his pick-up team of fellow passengers was asking 'Are you straight? Are you gay?' No one doubted that a guy who weighed 220 and stood 6’4” tall — who could run over a charging opponent on the field, and ran with the bulls in Pamplona earlier that summer — would be an asset to a desperate group trying to overcome a threat onboard an airliner.'
'The world has its share of strong, heroic gay men,' Hoagland added. '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.'
Hoagland said she hopes she and Daly will have the chance to talk sometime.
'I prefer to believe you didn’t mean to offend,' she said. 'Good luck to you.'
For his part, Daly has elaborated on the brief apology he posted in Twitter Wednesday. Through the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, he has issued this statement:
'We live in a time where gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals find courage every day to overcome adversity, stand up to bullying and find equality. I'm truly saddened that my words today suggested otherwise. 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. 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.'
Daly's comments were made on his morning show on 97.1 AMP Radio. During a discussion about this week's JetBlue incident, he resorted to a series of gay stereotypes when discussing the men who subdued the pilot until the plane could be landed safely.
'Most of the people were on their way to some sort of security conference in Las Vegas … it was like a bunch of dudes and well trained dudes … thank God,' he said. 'With my luck, it would be like … 'this is the flight going to [the gay pride convention] in San Francisco … I mean, that would be my colleagues.'
He then changed his voice to sound like a gay stereotype and said: 'Uh, we're headed down to Vegas for the floral convention.'