July 10, 2002

MORE ON AIRLINE SECURITY: Reader Dave Ragsdale writes:

Regarding the America West incident and general airport security rudeness, the point that security personnel aren’t even faking being professional and courteous anymore reminds me of a story Bill O’Reilly told on his radio show last week. His bag was being searched by the security guard, and when the search was done she began stuffing his clothes back in as though it were a laundry hamper. O’Reilly politely asked her to replace things the way she had found them, and she snapped, “Come over here,” and pulled him out of the line. Of course O’Reilly wasn’t having any of it and quickly called a cop over and demanded to speak to her supervisor and was ready to talk to the airline about her unprofessionalism. But the idea that a polite request to put items back neatly into a suitcase should trigger that kind of hostility and abuse to a passenger doesn’t seem very suprising these days.

To be fair, my experience with the security folks has been uniformly good, and I’ve been uniformly polite. But by all accounts there’s a lot of power-tripping going on by some of these folks.

This underscores my theory that by federalizing them the Bush Administration was really engaged in a stealth move to blacken the reputation of federal employees generally. Looks to be working. Of course, America West is doing the same for the airlines, so I suppose it could just be widespread incompetence.

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