Rivers, 76, was deemed a danger to national security and booted from a Newark-bound flight in Costa Rica on Sunday by a jittery Continental Airlines gate agent who found the two names on her passport fishy.
Her passport reads: Joan Rosenberg AKA Joan Rivers. Rosenberg was her late husband’s last name.
The “nasty and cruel” Continental gate agent bumped Rivers from the last flight out Sunday and the comedian found herself alone (her daughter, Melissa, flew out to Los Angeles earlier in the day) and with no ATM card and just $100 cash, she said.
Rivers’ tale of woe put a famous face on travel’s new reality – one that leaves many feeling like common criminals.
“If I were going to make up an alias, I wouldn’t pick Rosenberg. I’d pick Jolie or Pitt,” said Rivers, back home Monday in New York with her sense of humor intact. “Do terrorists wear Manolo Blahniks? I can tell you Donna Karan does not make anything that hides a bomb,” she said.
Even aside from the name, I could reasonably understand how a gate agent could find Joan Rivers’ passport suspicious. Who knows, after all, when the photograph was taken? Given Rivers’ love of facial surgery, the original photograph could look like Andrew Dice Clay, for all we know.
All kidding aside, though — Joan Rivers being scrutinized and detained is little different than the five-year-old American boy who finds his name on the terrorist watch list. This, my friends, is what happens when we start treating terrorists like citizens and citizens like terrorists.