Quote of the Day – 2010/11/17

Playing into all the TSA anger over the last week or so, today’s Quote of the Day comes from  Penn Gillette, of Penn & Teller fame.

“Well, it’s not really the right word, but freedom is kind of a hobby with me, and I have disposable income that I’ll spend to find out how to get people more of it.”

That’s a heaping helping of pure awesome, right there.

See, after being groped by the Security Theater minion, he called the cops and filed a complaint for Assault and Battery. Yes, it was almost certainly a bit over the top, but that’s what he does. He’s a performer, a showman, and a comedian – over the top is his stock-in-trade. The thing about Penn Gillette is, it’s showmanship with a point.

It’s interesting to see how hard the TSA minions were trying to avoid involving the police. Even after the fact, the PR rep that followed up on his complaint (and how much do you want to bet he got a quick response only because he’s a celebrity) was trying to bend over backwards to get him to forget the whole thing. She even went so far as to offer him a special VIP status.

She said, “Well, the airport is very important to all of our incomes and we don’t want bad press. It’ll hurt everyone, but you have to do what you think is right. But, if you give me your itinerary every time you fly, I’ll be at the airport with you and we can make sure it’s very pleasant for you.”

Considering that there’s a criminal complaint in the works, I wonder if that could be considered witness tampering? She is, after all, offering him a special status with the implication that he would be expected to make the criminal complaint “go away.” Generally, isn’t that kind of thing considered a felony?

It’s also interesting to see how the local police officer apparently viewed the TSA.

It’s really interesting. First of all, the cop is a BIG P&T fan and that ain’t hurting. Second, I get the vibe that he is WAY sick of these federal leather-sniffers. He has that vibe that real cops have toward renta-cops.

It sounds almost like the cop has either had a bad experience in the past with the TSA while flying, or has had to deal with other complaints often enough to get fed up with it. Either way, if it’s at all representative of local police views of the TSA, that’s a good thing.

For the record, I doubt the criminal complaint will go very far if he decides to pursue it. Given the common knowledge of the state of airline security today, there is enough of a hint of “implied consent” when you enter the line that I think the courts will defer to the TSA on such ‘routine’ actions. I also wouldn’t be surprised if there was some sort of release that’s agreed to when you buy the ticket that grants TSA minions immunity from prosecution in this kind of situation. One can still hope, however.

You should go read the whole thing. It’s a pretty straightforward recounting, but it still has some of the usual P&T mix of seriousness and humor that’s designed to make you think.

(h/t SayUncle)

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