From the annals of Taking the New Airport Security Measures a Bit Too Far: Joan Rivers, an old Jewish comedienne whose forte is mocking red-carpet dresses, was prevented from boarding a flight in Costa Rica bound for Newark on Sunday because a Continental agent deemed her passport suspicious. Not because the birthday field says “1933, New York” while her face says “2009, Dr. Hoefflin’s office,” but because her name is listed as Joan Rosenberg a.k.a. Joan Rivers (Rosenberg is the name of her late husband).
“Do terrorists wear Manolo Blahniks?” Rivers quipped after catching a different flight back to America the next day. No, they don’t, and we’re left wondering whether the gate agent really had a legitimate concern about Rivers or is just a longtime Johnny Carson fan. We know you can’t make security exceptions for someone just because they’re a celebrity … but come on! She’s Joan Rivers, the least likely terrorist ever. Then again, terrorism experts are always warning us to anticipate and defend against the next attack, not the previous ones. Sure, most of us expect the next terrorist to be another Islamic fundamentalist, but wouldn’t it be the most diabolically genius plan ever if Al Qaeda were somehow able to enlist Joan Rivers?