'Writing About Things on the Internet is a Crime'

The Colbert Report recently aired a funny segment about Andrew Feldmar, the Canadian psychotherapist who was denied entry into the United States because a border guard Googled his name and discovered an academic article in which Feldmar discussed his LSD use in the '60s and '70s. "There are millions of people who have done as many drugs or more than I have," Feldmar observes, "and they have free entry. I got caught because I wrote about it." But as Colbert explains, "writing about things on the Internet is a crime." I learned about the Feldmar segment—the first in Colbert's series of "Nailed 'Em" stories about public enemies caught by heroic law enforcement officers—from Tony Newman at the Drug Policy Alliance. Newman also points out a column on Feldmar by New York Times legal reporter Adam Liptak, in which a Customs and Border Protection spokesman explains, "If you are or have been a drug user, that's one of the many things that can make you inadmissible to the United States."

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  • ||

    I think the borders guards are confusing recreational drugs with generic prescription drugs.

    Which one helps the terrorists win again? I forgot...

  • ||

    I would suggest a number of our current politicians shouldn't leave the country, then. Unless they don't intend to return.
    Or does this sort of thing only happen to the peasants?

  • ||

    I want to become a border guard/ TSA Agent/ DEA Trooper. With those powers combined, I could pretty much fuck with whoever I want at any time.

  • Episiarch||

    I want to become a border guard/ TSA Agent/ DEA Trooper. With those powers combined, I could pretty much fuck with whoever I want at any time.

    That would be funny if it wasn't so fucking true. The amount of power you would have, plus your "cop club" immunity to everything, would be amazing. Good thing only responsible people are attracted to that kind of power, though.

    Then consider how much more than that you would have if you were a higher-up, like a police chief, deputy director, etc.

  • Dennis||

    It's a shame when you watch that article and you see that the guy has a son living in the US. What if something happened to him and he wanted to visit him on his deathbed? He couldn't do it; he'd be denied entry because he took acid in the 70's.

    It's so sad. And to see that border cop at the end say, "We nailed 'em." Yea, great. You should be proud of yourself.

  • Alice Bowie||

    I would suggest a number of our current politicians shouldn't leave the country, then. Unless they don't intend to return.
    Or does this sort of thing only happen to the peasants?


    I LOVE IT

  • ||

    I would suggest a number of our current politicians shouldn't leave the country, then. Unless they don't intend to return.

    So the next time Bush goes to jerk off Putin, he can't come back in? If so, I'm on board with this policy.

    Sorry Andrew Feldmar, but sacrifices must be made. [/facetiously]

  • ||

    Are we on the fast track to becoming the United States of Stupid?

    Of course what's the odds that a government google search could one day include Gmail accounts.

  • Russ 2000||

    I want to become a border guard/ TSA Agent/ DEA Trooper. With those powers combined, I could pretty much fuck with whoever I want at any time.

    You don't even have to do that. Apparently all you have to do is write some blog and post comments like "Hi, I'm Joe Boyle and I took lots of cocaine and heroin in the 80's" and if it shows up on a Google search you have accomplished the same thing.

  • ||

    Thanks a pant-load, Chet!

  • iih||

    Dennis or anyone who knows:

    It's so sad. And to see that border cop at the end say, "We nailed 'em." Yea, great. You should be proud of yourself.

    Doesn't that agent (or anyone else that Colbert is essentially making fun of) know that he was ultimately being framed for mocking? I thought that the agent was actually unreal -- an actor. They are either dumb or they know nothing about how media (let alone the Colbert Report) works. What about the others who show up in the program that are being satirized, don't they know it? I think the only common sense answer is that some of them need the media exposure desperately, even if mocked, to publicize a cause. But a US border guard?

  • ||

    I don't think these rules apply to American citizens. If so Mayor Bloomberg would never get back in. Someone in the media asked him if he ever smoked pot, he said he did and he liked it.

  • ||

    How many lives has Google now destroyed? There ought to be a plaque or something.

  • ||

    they know nothing about how media (let alone the Colbert Report) works.

    I don't know how Colbert can keep getting the people he gets. Acts of those type generally have a short lifespan because they get too famous and people catch on (The Jerky Boys, Ali G in England, etc.)

    The fact that people still get fooled by Colbert's shtick continues to confound me.

  • jimmydageek||

    How many lives has Google now destroyed?



    Google? None. It's not the information that's the problem.

  • ||

    "If you are or have been a drug user, that's one of the many things that can make you inadmissible to the United States."

    I thought we put an end to this kind of crap after we tried keeping John Lennon out of the country because of his drug use.

  • ||

    How many lives has information now destroyed? There ought to be a plaque or something.

  • Rhywun||

    Wow. I'm sure I've admitted to past drug use somewhere on the Internet. Guess I'm fucked. And don't think Americans are going to get a pass on this one, either.

  • ||

    "If you are or have been a drug user, that's one of the many things that can make you inadmissible to the United States."

    And people wonder why I use a handle in these posts...

    OTOH, gotta keep those pot-smoking, maple-syrup-swilling hosers out of the U - S - A.

  • ||

    But if we *are* going to do crap like this, why bother just excluding people from the country. Customs and Border Protection should ask every foreigner coming into the country if he's ever used illegal drugs. The handful who say yes will be excluded. Those who say no will have their names put into a database, and if the government ever finds out that they were lying, they can be prosecuted under 18 U.S.C. 1001 for making a false statement to the government (punishable by imprisonment for up to five years--Martha Stewart got off easy). Of course, there would be too many offenders for the government to bother prosecuting them all, so it could cherry-pick among them and only prosecute those who really pissed off the current administration.

  • Bopo||

    Actually, I am fairly certain that it was the illegal drug use that was a crime. But hey, that shouldn't stop you from playing up the erroneous internet writing angle. After all, it has never stopped you before.

  • TLB||

    I shouldn't have to point this out, but:

    1. SC is a lightweight who's propped up by the MSM (60Minutes, for instance).

    2. The issue isn't that the prof wrote about it on the net. The issue is that, unlike others, he publicly admitted it and that public admission can be used to refuse him admission to the U.S. If you want to argue for allowing admitted past/present druggies to come here, then do so explicitly.

  • ||

    Why bring up that old John Lennon case? Like..that's so...yesterday!

  • Anonymo the Anonymous||

    If you want to argue for allowing admitted past/present druggies to come here, then do so explicitly.

    I hereby explicitly argue for this. And I can't speak for everyone else on this thread, but I think I almost can in this case.

  • ||

    I would suggest a number of our current politicians shouldn't leave the country, then. Unless they don't intend to return.

    Those laws don't apply to politicians.

    1. SC is a lightweight who's propped up by the MSM (60Minutes, for instance).

    Colbert is a libertarian playing a conservative pundit who's propped up by being LOL funny.

  • Goldthwait||

    "I thought we put an end to this kind of crap after we tried keeping John Lennon out of the country because of his drug use."

    Damn right. The US could use an influx of people who have willingly violated the law.

  • Goldthwait||

    "Colbert is a libertarian playing a conservative pundit who's propped up by being LOL funny"


    Colbert is about as libertarian as Bill Maher, which is to say not at all. How many liberal platitudes does someone have to spout before being funny (when discussing Maher and Colbert, this is a stretch to use that word) doesn't qualify them as a libertarian.

  • iih||

    Colbert is a libertarian playing a conservative pundit who's propped up by being LOL funny.

    Unlike Stewart, his act is becoming a little bit repetitive. Or may be it is me having no taste for O'Rielly imitators. Though still do watch CR quite regularly since it is still more entertaining than anything else on TV.

  • iih||

    Colbert is about as libertarian as Bill Maher

    Yes, neither is. I remember SC skits where essentially he is advocating for free health care. Still, he is quite entertaining, especially his mocking of right-wang talk show hosts.

  • Rhywun||

    If you want to argue for allowing admitted past/present druggies to come here, then do so explicitly.

    I explicitly argue to allow past/present druggies into America, as long as they pass a simple background check for real crimes.

  • TLB||

    If SC started making fun of, say, KeithOlbermann, he'd last about five minutes before he was sent off to the SiberiaChannel. He has no natural talent, he's just a creation.

  • Robert||

    Is there some legal process by which you can establish that you were lying on the Internet? For instance, a sworn statement that you never used LSD should be enough to beat an unsworn statement that you did.

  • Anonymo the Anonymous||

    TLB, I just gotta ask: what's the deal with the WordConcatenation?

  • Daniel||

    In lighter news, that was a hilarious episode of The Colbert Report, one of the better ones to ever air. The Word was absolutely amazing, and Michael Shermer also rules.

  • ||

    The fact that people still get fooled by Colbert's shtick continues to confound me.

    I don't think anybody's fooled -- not any more, anyway. The guests I see go on seem to know it's a joke and they know what they're in for -- but they go on anyway because they want the publicity.

  • Mike Milne||

    I, Mike Milne [spokesman for the Customs and Border Protection agency in Seattle], hereby admit my own private drug use, which occurs on an ongoing basis. I like to snort cocaine from the navels of cheap prostitutes.

    Furthermore I, Mike Milne, renounce my god and all his works, and announce my intention to marry my 13-year-old cousin, Britni, in a private ceremony attended by my draft-dodging, pot-smoking friends.

    Yep. Mike Milne... Mike Milne.

    [eats dead babies]

  • ||

    @TLB

    *rolls eyes* SC background is in improv. The funniest bits on Daily Show and Children with Candy were Colberts.

    If you want to see a recent interview with Colbert out of character at the Kennedy School of Business - go here: http://ksgaccman.harvard.edu/iop/events_forum_video.asp?ID=3051

    Interesting conversation especially his comments on the types of comedy that are out there.

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