Joan Rivers — Terrorist?

N.Y. Daily News: Joan Rivers Bumped Off Flight in Costa Rica When Continental Gate Agent Finds Passport Suspicious

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.



  1. Psydog says:

    I think terrorists should fear Joan Rivers, she looks mean!!!

  2. William A. Rose says:

    Agree with Psydog. Joan is a little scary.

  3. Boston Blackie says:

    Until this happened I never knew you could have an AKA on your passport. Her daughter’s birth name is Melissa Rosenberg, she changed it to Rivers to ride on her mother’s coattails. Does Melissa’s passport have an AKA also since you say she left earlier in the day. I would love to know if she was stopped or questioned. The issue from Rivers’ point is that the gate agent made the decision and refused to get a superior involved. Rivers was threatened with arrest for protesting, which is what upset her the most. Why weren’t superiors involved in this. Common sense has flown right out the window. You hit the nail on the head – this is what happens when we start treating terrorists like citizens and citizens like terrorists. The terrorist,IF STOPPED, would have been put up in a 4 star hotel for the night like Richard Reed.
    I recall many years ago the Canadian Prime Minister’s wife was in town and was shopping at a well known nationwide department store while I was the corporate customer service manager. She wanted to open an instant credit card but was not carrying ID or any credit cards. Even though she had her security with her who provided proof for her, the store manager refused to open the account. I was called to make a decision. To show what a small world it is, the sister of her husband’s college roommate who was then the equivalent of the Secretary of State worked for me. I asked the wife 3 simple questions that I knew only she would know the correct answers to then opened the account for her – case closed. I got a beautiful flower arrangement a couple of days later from her and her husband.
    How hard would it have been for someone at Continental besides the agent at the gate to resolve this. I am on Rivers’ side regarding this. She called the agent an idiot and I must agree.

  4. NoCrud says:

    I have been to over 53 countries after working for a group going around the world to install telecommunications equipment. Most airline/security people are decent, open-minded (sensible) people but I have met a few who were there to make travelers know that THEY are in control… Even with some angry-looking, pistol-adjusting rent-a-cop nearby to further intimidate and even warn “Do you want to take a later flight?”

    I do not see Joan Rivers as a person that can be stopped from flying simply because she has a different name on the passport as long as both names are there. She could have had a driver’s license to corroborate her identity or, if she is not a driver, an picture identification card for this purpose only that many states issue.

    Now I must wonder “What next?” when I travel, I guess. I also wonder if my imagination will match that of the security people who must sit up nights trying to invent ways to get under people’s skin. Do they think they can goad someone to make some slight mistake of self-control and then pounce on them? If so, then they are lacking in imagination and intellectual depth and will ultimately be seen as asocial dimwits.

    I used to enjoy flying. I hope they can find more credible ways to make flying safer which is what we all want. A start would be to identify threatening people by seeing that they do fall into a category that has previously marked people as somewhat dangerous. Terrorists are not as stupid as many security people think (and hope?) that they are.

  5. NoCrud says:

    Besides, I’m sure Joan Rivers did not have her face covered. I have seen many Moslem women bypass the metal detectors at airports because the screeners know that the women carry an “honor knife” under their clothes, hanging by a safety pin, to cut someone who molests them or to commit suicide. I have seen those knives for sale complete with messages engraved on the blade to absolve them of their bloodletting (and to constantly remind the women how and when they are to be used). I’m sure they are still treated in much more special ways these days since they now magically appear on the loading ramp to the airplane and are not seen ambling through the regular screening lines.

    Many are treated special and still do now want to be categorized, prefering that such is “profiling” as if this special treatment is a mark on their souls.

    My thought is that those who are most suspect should want to be double and triple checked to prove they are innocent, to show they have nothing to hide since only a few out of a thousand are truly a problem. This would show that most of them are good decent people, keep them from being even suspect, and cause those who are a problem to realize they cannot merely waltz onto a plane with exploding undies or plastic school supplies.

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