Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The End of Free Speech?

From Fox News:
A St. Louis man landed in jail for joking about shoe bombs after he boarded
a plane.
Michael Shafermeyer, 30, spent more than three days behind bars
after making what he says was a joke at Lambert Airport.

When a flight attendant asked him to close his laptop after boarding on
Saturday, Shafermeyer told KMOV-TV in St. Louis that he jokingly asked her, "Are
you the one who checks for shoe bombs?"

...Within minutes, federal agents removed him from the plane. He was
booked at the St. Louis County jail and placed in solitary confinement, where he
spent two-and-a-half days before being placed with other inmates on his final

Shafermeyer was released on Tuesday. He has been charged with making a
false bomb report, he told KMOV-TV.

Now, I understand the need for security in this day and age, but this has got to stop. He was obviously asking a question of her duties and qualifications (can't I make a joke?). It's not like he asked, "What would you do if I had a shoe bomb?"

He asked if she was the one who checked for them. He made a joke. If we are going to be throwing people in jail for what they say in a joking manner, then we need to throw a whole lot of comedians in jail for charges ranging from defamation, inflammatory diress, racism, inciting to violence, humiliation and insensitivities toward the physically and mentally disabled.

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