LoneStarMike
Topic Author
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LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 5:22 am

This is a quite long but very well-written and interesting account of one journalist's experience with security at LAX. He was doing a story on the new security and was taking pictures of the screening area when he was harrassed by a National Guardsman and ordered to destroy the photos he'd just taken.

After he went through all that, he got on a Southwest flight, but ended up being taken back off, having his ticket refunded and told that he couldn't fly Southwest for the rest of the evening.

The reporter followd up on everything and found out why the National Guardsman really wanted to have the photos destroyed.

Homeland insecurityhttp://www.newsreview.com/issues/sacto/2001-10-25/cover.asp

LonetarMike

 
clipperhawaii
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 5:34 am

All jounalists should get this kind of teatment. He says he is a journalist, yet he has no press credentials. Nice Job LAX! Nice job Southwest! Nice job National Guard! Nice job Los Angeles police!
This clown was probably pushing his so called weight around and being rude like most of the press these days. No sympathy from me!
"You Can't Beat The Experience"
 
Greg
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 5:54 am

I'm sorry. This guy has a legitimate beef with the Guard. His rights were violated. There was no probable cause other than a single guard member being annoyed by his picture being taken. It's an abuse of power/authority.

I know the press can be annoying...that's part of the price we pay for being a free country (you know..all that First Amendment stuff).

I don't believe he has a claim (I have a collegue who believes he does, however).
 
PanAm747
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 6:03 am

I don't believe this guy does not have a case, because he doesn't have press credentials.

He was wrong to take pictures of the guards. Just let them do their work.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
OH-LGA
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 6:52 am

Someone just had their rights violated.

Freelance journalists should have some sort of press credentials for reasons like this, but even passengers and regular joes are allowed to take pictures (barring the restrictions mentioned in the article). Heck, I've done it. The thing with Southwest was a little odd though. It's totally rude and out of line. They go on a PR campaign to get people to fly again, but they give that sort of treatment? I'm confused.

Kai
Head in the clouds... yet feet planted firmly on the ground.
 
wannabe
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 6:55 am

Consider this; Your a member of the National Guiard, which means that your a member of a reserve unit called to active duty. You have a regular job, a family and all the "trappings" of American life. Suddenly your called to protect American property and American lives right here in America from real and dangerous threats. You watch the news media almost kill each other trying to get scoop reports on what secret stuff our government is doing to protect its citizens, without a thought to the fact that by reporting this information, most of the advantage goes away. We saw a CNN report that the Kitty Hawk was moving into the area off of Pakistan without its aircraft, probably for helicopter duty with US Rangers. We were told that US Rangers were on the ground in Northern Afganistan. We are shown all the ways reporters have been able to sneek through security. This is information that the public "needs" to know. It doesn't matter how much risk it places the military in, selling copy is more important. And as you are standing in this airport, worried that you may be the one who either misses the next terrorist or gets killed by him, this yahoo starts taking you picture for all of the world to see. Your risking your life and your family's furture for this country, and the press is ready to put more risk on you just so they can sell more papers and come off as self rightous protectors of us all while causing more trouble. I would have done alot more than confiscate his pictures. Free press without responsability is useless.
 
Greg
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 7:10 am

No...I still think don't think they had probable cause because photography is not prohibited.

You're right in that the free press must act responsibly. As do those that put on a uniform and abuse their power.
 
Tom in NO
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 7:15 am

Excellent article, very well-written. Permit me to make some comments:

1) this is the classic argument for, at least, federalizing the oversight of airport security screening. There are too many differences from airport-to-airport, and for that matter, from airline-to-airline within an airport. Their magnetometers can be set up differently (some more sensitive than others), I know that certain items containing metal (beepers, rings, belt buckles, etc) can make through some metal detectors, yet not through others. There needs to be a uniformity, a standardization if you will, of the entire screening process, from the personnel to equipment to sensitivity of equipment to oversight and regulation.

2) from what I see in his article, he does have a case for harassment. I can sort of see a reason for the National Guard's reaction (being their first day on the job being the primary one), but they may have gone a little overboard.

Tom in NO (at MSY)
"The criminal ineptitude makes you furious"-Bruce Springsteen, after seeing firsthand the damage from Hurricane Katrina
 
Ironminds
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 8:16 am

This is what happens when the tweezer-seizers take over...
 
rlwynn
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 8:56 am

This guy got everything he deserved. Has this guy ever heard of common sense?
I can drive faster than you
 
aztec01
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 9:29 am

He didn't deserve to have his first amendment rights abridged when he was engaged in his professional and (by the way) legal activities. Granted, these are extraordinary times, but the last I heard, the Bill of Rights had not been suspended.

 
Ironminds
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 9:32 am

Rlwynn -- what did he deserve?

Was there a sign saying no photos?

No.

Did he violate a law?

No.

Did a national guard guy with a uniform complex get off by exercising a little power?

Absolutely.

I understand we're in extraordinary times. This gives no one an excuse to act like an extraordinary asshole. If you can prove securtiy was helped by this, let me know.
 
Areopagus
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 9:50 am

I don't think press credentials or lack of same should have anything to do with it. Whether an activity is legal or not should not depend upon whether the person is being paid to do it.
 
Boeing Nut
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 9:51 am

He should have asked first. At some airports, even before 9/11, photography of the security checkpoints is not permitted.

But I have no simpathy for journalists. Especially, when they are covering aviation. As George Kennedy once said in "Airport 75"........

"Sometimes the public's right to know gives me a royal pain in the ass"
I'm not a real aeronautical engineer, I just play one on Airliners.net.
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 10:53 am

Bin Laden won.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
transswede
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 11:12 am

When people start talking about how annoying and useless the bill of rights are, then Bin Laden can truly scratch up another victory.

That guardsman should be reprimanded and reassigned pronto, after being forced to apologize to the person.

Don't wan't photos? Then just put up a sign.

>Sometimes the public's right to know gives me a royal pain in the ass"

Sure, but if the public had no right to now it would be an even larger pain in the ass. You have to take the good with the bad. Do we want an open society or not?
 
PanAm747
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 11:15 am

Yes, put up a sign, and make notice that photography in the airport is prohibitted, just like in the White House.
Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
Guest

RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 11:48 am

OK, Here is a problem I have with the media:

"The Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 sighed as its wheels kissed the Los Angeles International Airport tarmac. Flight 1206 out of Sacramento taxied to the gate, and my fellow passengers and I released our white-knuckle grips on the foam-covered armrests of our seats. No one’s throat had been slit. We hadn’t flown into a skyscraper. We’d made it, safely, much to our collective relief."

WE DON'T NEED CLIPS LIKE THAT PUBLISHED!!
Media is supposed to be factual not opinionated. It seems as if the media is sensationalizing America's fear and in some ways trying to impose other's fears on to everyone. The media would like you to believe everyone in this nation is afraid, when in reality it is the minority. When it is in the public's best interest to not be afraid, we don't need statements like the above published that are a gross overaction to reality.
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 11:53 am

It doesn't matter if the reporter said that the airplne "tenderly caressed the runway with its extended gear in a loving fashion". That isn't the point. I agree his writing isn't the best. What matters is that we, in the USA, have the beginnings of a police state. Not a good thing.
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
Ironminds
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 11:54 am

OK, PSU-DTW-SCE, you want the media to be factual. Well, what was non-factual about that story?

You seem to not understand that that was not a news report (i.e. "A local reporter was held for questioning today....") but rather a first person account of something that happened to him. There is room in newspapers and magazines for that sort of thing, and for opinion pieces as well. (Pick up a newspaper and open it sometime; you may encounter such things). If anything, the quote you print above serves to reduce fear by saying that indeed nothing happened, despite all the hassle given to him by security. In other words, security worked for that flight (and all others since 9/11) and nothing happened. But you seem to have such a blind hatred for the media -- which sure as hell makes its share of mistakes -- that it seems like you'd be happy to just ditch the first amendment and let the government give us our news.
 
Guest

RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 11:56 am

It is against FAA regulations to photograph the security checkpoint with a still camera. The media can use is for a background with a live video camera but no one is allowed to take still photos of the checkpoint.
 
Ironminds
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:12 pm

Great! So let's spend a little money, put a sign up by every security checkpoint, and ask that national guard guys not take out their petty frustrations on passengers by having them pulled off of flights for asking questions.

When your constitutional right to know what you're being accused of is considered suspicious behavior, you're in trouble.

This is why we shouldn't federalize security: jerks like this weekend warrior are a lot harder to fire.
 
tappan
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:21 pm

I agree with his first ammendment rights etc.....
but he should have made it known what he was doing there prior to photographing. I work for a newspaper where I had to photograph The National Guard at the airport. I called the airport, got the cell phone number of the commander and got everybody on the same page....
Look, This is a very difficult, different time for all. Yes, I understand first ammendment and yes I understand wanting to be a neutral factor, but these are extraordinary times that call for smart decision making from a Press person.

Mark Garfinkel
 
Ironminds
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:26 pm

Tappan-

As a journalist myself, I think you're right about calling ahead, etc, and that would saved a lot of grief.

But I am seriously distubed by some of the responses on this thread that seem to act like the enemy. Come on, guys, it's the enemy who are supposed to be against freedom, not us! This guy was hardly revealing special forces positions.
 
flyinghighboy
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:47 pm

He maybe should have asked before photographing but damm it's his job. The guard went overboard and we all know it. Though what is strange is about the Southwest flight, why he wasn't allowed to fly for the evening.
 
IMissPiedmont
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RE: Oscar2

Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:47 pm

As a person "slightly" familiar with FAA regs, could you please point those of us with less knowledge to the FAR you refer to?
The day you stop learning is the day you should die.
 
PanAm747
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 12:58 pm

>>it's his job.<<

No it's not, he doesn't have press credentials.

>>why he wasn't allowed to fly for the evening.<<

He wasn't because the LAPD wanted him, Southwest must comply with Law Enforcement.

Pan Am:The World's Most Experienced Airline - P(oor) S(ailor's) A(irline): San Diego's Hometown Airline-Catch Our Smile!
 
hubris
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 1:16 pm

Weekend warriors!!! heehee

 Laugh out loud

Watch the movie First Blood (1982), the original Rambo--they're hilarious. Big grin
 
tbar220
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 4:36 pm

Personally, the story sounds fishy, exaggerated, and sensationalized, so its hard for me to believe it 100%. I'm definitely taking it with a grain of salt...
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txagkuwait
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 11:16 pm

Okay, all this talk about "rights" sort of brings up an overlooked point....

What about the rights of the individuals whose pictures he had taken......not to have their picture taken or published?

There ya go. Yes, I think we need a free press. Without a free press there is no freedom, period.

That being said, this si-called journalist was irresponsible and the title of his article "homeland insecurity" really drives home just what sort of journalism he is practicing.
 
Greg
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Wed Oct 31, 2001 11:38 pm

If you're in a public space and get photographed...you're pretty much screwed...it's the legal equivalent of public domain. So don't be hangin' out at the Gay Pride parade when the cameras are on...
Airports are considers public space since they are supported by tax dollars (etc...).

They don't need a release to show the pictures.

Now, if they entered a restaurant and snapped your picture...that's a different story...you could, in some cases, prevent their publication...
 
txagkuwait
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RE: LAX Nat'l Guard Orders Reporter To Destroy Photos

Thu Nov 01, 2001 10:48 am

"Public domain"....I don't think that would apply to federalized National Guardsmen (and Guardswomen) in the conduct of their military duties.