Compare and constrast this airport security experience with this one. It’s a little sad that bureaucratic favoritism is alive and well at airport checkpoints, the very place where personal freedom faces one of its biggest tests in this country’s recent history. I’m pleased, though, that instead of happily accepting the favoritism, Penn Gillette is publicizing his treatment and the response that he got from the Las Vegas airport’s public relations, and likewise, that he seems committed to using his disposable income to help secure equally rigorous protection of the rights of us non-famous people.


While I think Penn Gillette’s celebrity status certainly helped in his situation, I think an important difference between the two experiences is the way the person handled the situation. Penn asserted his rights without losing his temper. In the other case, it seems that the author did lose his temper and did not necessarily assert his rights in a rational way.

I’m not saying that the airline security folks were justified in the way they treated the author’s rights. However, yelling at TSA officers while they are working is generally not the best way assert your rights.

(This isn’t to say that I wouldn’t do the same thing as Nicholas Monahan. I can preach being rational all I want, but anger tends to negate the ability to be rational.)

• Posted by: Sam Greenfield on Jan 5, 2003, 10:06 PM
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