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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 21, 2010

ORLANDO AIRPORT OFFICIAL THREATENS TWO REPORTERS

Susan Jacobson, Orlando Sentinel - A Los Angeles Times reporter says Larry Dale, president of Orlando Sanford International Airport, "bullied" and threatened to handcuff her and a reporter for The Wall Street Journal as they passed through the airport on their way home from Haiti.

Tina Susman, who works for the Times, said she and Dionne Searcey of the Journal arrived at the airport Tuesday aboard a cargo plane with evacuees from Haiti, where they had been reporting on the aftermath of the earthquake.

Susman said a confrontation occurred after Dale and airport Vice President Diane Crews asked an airport police officer about the reporters, who were wearing media credentials around their necks. Susman said she and Searcey were chatting with a nun who had been teaching in Haiti while waiting to leave on a bus that was taking evacuees to Orlando International Airport.

The reporters were ordered off the bus and ushered to a conference room, where they were questioned before being released. Susman said the episode lasted about half an hour.

Susman, a national correspondent who was Baghdad bureau chief for two years and spent 11 years covering Africa, said Dale insinuated that she and Searcey could be stowaways or terrorists with fake credentials. She said he shouted at her to sit down and be quiet.. . .

Susman said she and Searcy boarded the plane legitimately in Haiti with other people trying to leave the country.

"I really am not impressed by bullies," Susman said.

"All I know is if they take advantage of me like that, they're taking worse advantage of others."


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