Yesterday was quite an eventful day at Newark Airport. First ex-governor Chris Christie made the news for being denied access to the VIP entrance at Newark Airport, though that isn’t the only eventful thing that allegedly happened at the airport yesterday.
Every so often we see reports on just how bad of a job the TSA is doing. Historically they miss about 95% of weapons and explosives, though the latest report suggested that they may be improving, and are now only failing tests 80% of the time.
Some people apparently didn’t get the memo that there’s a difference between the government performing these tests on official business, and a TV news crew performing a test for unknown reasons.
It’s being reported by nj.com that at least seven members of a cable television crew were arrested yesterday for trying to sneak fake explosives through a security checkpoint at Newark Airport.
The group was apparently either working directly for CNBC or for Endemol Shine Group, a Dutch production company that contracts with CNBC. Sources indicate that the group was carrying a PVC pipe with wires sticking out from it. Per the story:
The TSA said members of the group “attempted to intentionally carry through the security checkpoint an item in a carry-on bag that had all of the makings of an improvised explosive device. At the same time, others in the group covertly filmed the encounter.”
“The preliminary investigation indicates that all were in collaboration and claimed to be working for a television network,” Lisa Farbstein, acting director of media relations, wrote in a news release. “The group did not make it past the checkpoint because TSA officers detected the item, which was concealed in a roller bag.”
The incident is being investigated, and the group also faces civil penalties of up to $13,000 for each security violation. It sure sounds like they were trying to do some sort of an undercover piece on the TSA. Clearly they didn’t realize the risk that involves. Or maybe they knew the risks, but assumed they had an 80-95% chance of success.
I’ll be curious to see what kind of punishment this group ends up facing.