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Does This Story Look Like News?

What are the good people who put the Sun-Sentinel together every night smoking? Can't be good imported stuff, because they'd come up with something better than this.

What provokes the latest Pulp assault? The top of the front page this morning. It starts with a picture of a kid who looks like what I can only imagine the bald and exceedingly dull Hollywood director Ron Howard might have looked when he was a boy. Then there's the headline: "Does this child have the face of a terrorist?"

No sir! He's no damn dirty Arab!

We all know terrorists look like a hungover Ron Jeremy. khalid.bmp

Then there's the actual words. It's about the boy, seven-year-old Michael Martin, being put on the no-fly list.

And guess what, folks? Instead of letting him fly, they put him in a cold holding cell, where he trembled and sniffled until he got pneumonia and died.

Oh no, that's not true. Actually, they just delayed him at the airport long enough for his family to miss their flight and totally ruin a long-planned vacation.

No, missed again. Sorry. I can't seem to get this right, so I'll just quote from the top of the article to make it clear what really happened:

Michael Martin went through a hassle trying to

fly out of Fort Lauderdale recently because his name was on a no-fly list. Rather than protest to authorities, he nervously turned to his mom for comfort.

"He thought he did something wrong," his mother, Krista Martin, 36, of Coral Springs, said.

Michael Martin is only 7 years old, a typical youngster who enjoys skateboarding and playing drums. Because he shares a name with a known or suspected terrorist, he has run into roadblocks three times before boarding an airliner, Krista Martin said.

Each time, she was unable to quickly obtain a boarding pass for him online or via an airport kiosk. She had to march to a check-in counter to sort things out, which she said was mostly an inconvenience but also "exasperating."

That's right folks, the kid went through a "hassle" that his mother found "exasperating." And all just because those mean old people at the Transportation Security Administration are trying to protect the country from terrorists.

I know it's a bit ridiculous, three times and all. And I know it's not a perfect system -- the last time I flew, they took away my toothpaste and saline solution, the bastards. But I'd rather them err on the side of caution than wind up letting real terrorists get on airplanes.

I'm not saying it's not a story. I'm saying it's not one worth shamelessly hyping on the front page. And they're still doing it on the homepage of the web site right now.

And I'm not totally sold on this kid yet, either. Skateboarding and drums? Sounds like a potentially dangerous subversive to me.

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Journalist Bob Norman has been raking the muck of South Florida for the past 25 years. His work has led to criminal cases against corrupt politicians, the ouster of bad judges from the bench, and has garnered dozens of state, regional, and national awards.
Contact: Bob Norman

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