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Friday, July 16, 2004

The blogosphere is ripe with opinions about the Annie Jacobsen article on WomensWallStreet.com. I listened to KVI 570 tonight where she was interviewed, and it certainly didn't seem hysterical or implausible to me. Everyone remembers the James Woods incident in August 2001... what if someone had spoken up, and we had been prepared then for what happened the following month?
A captain for Northwest Airlines appeared on the same radio show and spoke about how difficult things are going to be for the airlines as long as they continue their politically correct attitude, where they examine everyone's laptops, cellphones, and shoes, but they cannot take aside a group of Syrians with one-way flight tickets, half of whom are preboarding. He has a very good point. The airlines are going to be wary of discriminatory lawsuits, and loss of customers in a very tight market.
But let's analyze that a little further. What if an airline decided to truly let the market dictate the service? To wit, let's say JetBlue Airlines decides to market itself as willing to ethnically profile its customers. They announce publicly that they will now meticulously check the credentials of every Middle Eastern passenger. They pledge to implement security procedures akin to those of the Israeli el-Al Airlines. Every flight is guaranteed to carry one or more air marshalls, and every pilot is armed. Now think about this: which airline are you more likely to fly? The secure, discriminatory one? The less secure, less discriminatory one? Assume that a premium is also added to the ticket price of JetBlue because of the added security measures. Would you be more likely to fly with them? I would, without hesitation.
One other point... if these 14 Middle Easterners weren't indeed doing something suspicious, fine. Let's hear from them. Interview them; give them a platform to recount the events of the flight, so that the public will hear their side of the story, to know what really happened. Prove to us that this was nothing more than Ms. Jacobsen's paranoia, and nothing more.
ADDENDUM: Apparently Ms. Jacobsen will be appearing on NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw on Monday.

UPDATE: Maybe this is what really happened. Heh.


.: posted by Dave 6:49 PM

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