Homeland Secure From Aussie Editors, at Least


LAX is not resting on its laurels as the most hard-nosed American airport in keeping out those dangerous allied-country journalists. The latest rebuffed hack is the wonderfully named Australian Sue Smethurst, who works for a magazine called New Idea. Smethurst was here for an exclusive interview with Olivia Newton-John, but authorities saw right through that ruse.

"I was marched through the airport with my hands handcuffed behind my back," she told Channel Nine news.

"I was body searched, I've had every part of me groped beyond belief.

"(I was) shocked more than anything, disbelief, total sense of disbelief, humiliated." [?]

[S]ecurity staff withheld clearance and kept her for four hours and took her fingerprints and mug shots before leaving her in detention for a further 11 hours.

She was even accompanied by an armed guard when she went to the toilet.

She was released after the Australian consul intervened and helped win her freedom.

Smethurst became the latest to learn a valuable post-Sept. 11 lesson: Fail to use a previously unenforced and logically idiotic Journalistic Visa, and those cavities are getting probed.