So everybody that’s ever met me or visited my blog or followed my Twitter or listened to any podcast I’ve ever been on or been within a 5 foot radius of me at an airport knows that I have bad luck traveling. As a result, I always pay attention to any news story that involves air travel. I came across this story today about a girl who claims that she was handcuffed to a chair by TSA in the Ft. Lauderdale airport after she refused to comply to the full body scan at security and had a TSA agent rip up her US Airways ticket. [Editor’s Note: If it were a Delta flight, TSA was probably doing her a favor.]
I’ve listened to most of the interview (it’s 14 min long & my attention span really wants to get back to emailing my mom and sister about how awesome “The Good Wife” was with Michael J. Fox last night…) and I skimmed through the two videos TSA released. I really don’t know how I feel about this story. Part of me wants to believe that McLain is telling the truth but part of me just really can’t decide. I’ll post the evidence here and let you the readers try her in the Court of Collwrites.
Here’s the interview that Meg McLain gives to a radio show that she sometimes hosts immediately following the incident. It’s a little bit long, but you get the basic idea after a few minutes:
TSA used their public relations blog as a forum to “clear their name.” They released CCTV videos – without sound, sadly -which seem to prove that McLain wasn’t in fact handcuffed nor was her boarding pass ripped up. The second video shows McLain being escorted by TSA security out of the airport. Skip to 1:10 in the first video to see the action start:
Case closed, right? Well, certain things leave me undecided. The first is that McLain claims that the ordeal took an hour but these videos only account for what, 20 minutes? There’s no time stamp, either. Do we know for sure that when she got up in the first video and walked out of the frame that it either 1) Was continued by the footage at the end of video 2 of her being escorted out or 2) Video 2 was a continuance of video 1 in regards that it picks up where video 1 left off with her walking out of the frame? If so – and it sorta looks like it is case #2 because her body seems to be facing towards the security line in video 2 when in video 1 she’s facing away from it – then how do we know that she wasn’t handcuffed in the far away shot? We really can’t seem very good there. Why she didn’t just stfu and take the pat down option in place of the scan? On the other hand, why was she escorted out of the airport? That doesn’t seem right. The clever semantics that TSA uses are also kinda sketchy as they neither confirm nor deny what happened: “TSA has made the decision to post the CCTV video of the incident online. You can listen to her radio interview, and then you can view our airport CCTV footage. We’ll let you decide what really happened.”
Right now, I’m thinking that something did indeed happen to Meg McLain but her recap of it was seriously dramatized. What do you guys think?