The Transportation Security Administration normally selects the best and brightest candidates to confiscate our full-sized shampoo bottles and peek at X-rays of our genitalia while traveling, but allegedly made a RARE OVERSIGHT when it hired a security guard who didn't know that our nation's capital is part of our nation. And, MTV News can report, this isn't the first time.
Justin Gray, a reporter with Cox Media Group, recently tried to catch a domestic flight at Orlando International Airport. However, Gray claims, the TSA agent on duty stopped him because this document was too mysterious:
The guard reportedly ordered Gray to show his passport, under the assumption that he lived in some faraway nation. "At that point I was a little confused...I said, 'Do you not know what the District of Columbia is?'" Gray recounted. "It became clear, he didn't." Here's the full story:
But this is surely just an isolated case, right? Actually, we spoke to a lawyer at a large firm in D.C. -- who requested anonymity due to working on cases involving the federal government -- with a strikingly similar story...and a theory for where the confusion came from:
"I was at LaGuardia in March of this year. I gave my D.C. ID to the agent, and she said, 'Do you have a passport?' I was flying domestically, so I said, 'No, why?' She said she can't accept international ID, and I would need a passport -- the only way there could be an exception is if a supervisor looked at it. I said 'D.C.' and pointed to 'USA' at the top of the card.
"There's a shuttle between New York and D.C. every hour, every day of the year, so I was blown away that a TSA agent didn't recognize it...but maybe there's a low percentage of people who actually have these IDs. The old D.C. IDs said 'Washington, D.C.,' and they changed it in the last year [with new security features]. The new IDs just look more foreign.
"I would guess people don't know 'District of Columbia' means 'Washington, D.C.' People know what Washington, D.C. is -- they see 'District of Columbia' and they're thinking Colombia the country.
"It happened to me another time, not in the context of TSA. I was in New York at Duane Reade, buying beer."
Better to be too cautious protecting us at the airport than not cautious enough, we suppose? At least we can listen to our music during takeoff now.