On my radio show yesterday, I mentioned the recent scare in which a passenger on a plane was thought to be a terrorist, when really she was showing symptoms of claustrophobia, and possibly other mental problems. Overly-quick news reports implied she was a terrorist, and said that she was carrying “banned items”: a screwdriver, vaseline, matches, and a note regarding Al-Qaida. On my show, I ridiculed the media about their errors and declared that all of these facts were wrong.
Except, it turns out that many were right.
Before my show, I read an article by a commentator I trust which claimed that reports about the alleged Al-Qaida note were wrong. I misunderstood and thought that his debunking regarded all of the media claims. It appears that the passenger did have matches, had “hand cream” instead of vaseline (although under the new security rules, that’s banned), and I’ve both heard that she did have a screwdriver and didn’t have a screwdriver, so I’m not sure what happened there. She apparently wrote several weird notes to the airplane staff, that the staff thought might have implied something about terrorism.
So….. my bad. I criticize media for getting the story wrong and then get it mostly wrong myself. So if you listen to the show, that segment is wrong. Funny, but wrong.
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