Brian Williams, anchor and managing editor
A friend of mine was on a Jet Blue flight last night, coming home from vacation. He chooses Jet Blue, as a lot of us do, only because we can watch live satellite TV while flying to our destination. But on last night's flight, the system was disabled. On other flights, no luggage is allowed beneath the seat in front of you. On still others, no one is allowed to have any reading material for the last hour of the flight. Blankets and pillows? If you can find one, just don't keep it in your lap. All of this is in response to an incompetent would-be terrorist who lit portions of his private parts on fire while on final approach to Detroit on Christmas day. If this lone wolf (lone mook? Is there such a term?) is the new face of terrorism, then we have to meet the challenge the same way we won the Second World War or went to the moon. Banning blankets on laps or the Sky Mall catalog isn't going to combat terrorism. Brainpower might help prevent it. Airport security didn't pick this guy up—but real intelligence—applied human and electronic smarts might have stopped him. Why are new sets of aviation regulations always in response to the LAST attempt? Wouldn't it be better to outsmart the next one?
I fly a lot, as does my family, and I love my country. So you might say I have a vested interest in this one.
Anyway: We're back at work to start off a new week, and we hope you can join us.