The story would be funnier if it weren’t so familiar. According to Penn, the security screener essentially said that he had no rights once he crossed the security check point. When he complained and called the police, the security people insisted there was “no problem” and that Penn was “free to go.”
Most of us rush to the airport and can’t afford to miss our flights, so we can’t stand up for ourselves the way Penn can. He asked for a police officer to press assault charges. (Security: “We have no trouble and he doesn’t want to miss his flight.” Penn: “I can take an early morning flight or a private jet.”) A PR lackey for the airport called him back, and promised “VIP” treatment through the security check point, though the improved treatment does not appear in his follow-up article.
Interestingly enough, Penn’s incident occurred at the same airport where, before the change-over to TSA employees, I was also touched in an area below the belt where I wasn’t expecting hands to be. I didn’t complain because I had a flight to catch and couldn’t afford to find out how to contact the right parties without missing my flight and inviting retribution.