Steven says: "TSA is denying the entire event."
The TSA has a "MythBusters" page showing videos of the Sippy Cup Terrorist incident. The videos have no sound. The first video shows a woman pushing a stroller while a uniformed person walks beside her.
The second video shows the mom (a Secret Service agent) with the stroller, arguing with a couple of people in uniform. She fumbles with her backpack for a bit, then attempts to walk away. [[Update: after several people pointed it out, it looks like mom could be dumping the contents of the sippy cup on the floor. It's hard to tell, though, because a guard is blocking the view.]] A woman in uniform grabs her arm and stops her. Mom takes her kid out of the stroller and continues to talk/argue with the uniformed officer. It's hard to tell what's going on because they have moved so far down the hall. Clearly, though, mom isn't too happy. She's got a kid, a backpack and a stroller, and she now has to deal with this officer. The little kid wanders off and the mom has to chase her. The female officer picks up her microphone and speaks into it. Mom comes back with her kid under her arm and continues to rummage through her stuff.
A man wearing a tie comes over. He must know the woman because he picks up the kid. A cop on a bike doesn't want to miss out on the action, so he pedals over, gets off the bike and takes off his helmet. Mom is on her knees, rummaging around. What is she doing? Now she stands up, looking upset. She walks up the corridor and starts wiping the floor. Is this where she spilled the water? I didn't catch that part. A third security guard supervises her as she wipes the floor. I don't blame the guards for being interested. Dealing with 100 false alarms a day would desensitize anyone, but watching a woman get upset about a sippy cup perks them right up and gives them something to focus on.
Mom does a good job of wiping. Guard #3 speaks into his microphone -- possibly reporting to the head of TSA that mom is good at cleaning up, which means she is probably trying to hide something.
Now mom is back at her stroller, talking to #1 and #2. Guard #3 has never been happier. He slides a sign on a pole in front of woman and begins manhandling other passengers, redirecting the flow of traffic around the woman. This is an important day for him. He nudges the sign an inch and rotates it a couple of degrees, checking his work.
A forth official comes over and hands #3 a piece of paper. It's a memo from Cheney, congratulating #3 on his fast-thinking. #3 scratches his nose and looks down, trying to hide his pleasure.
Oh wait -- it's not a commendation from the vice president. It's a roll of paper towels. Apparently mom didn't do a good enough job of cleaning the floor. It's still wet!
Now I'm beginning to get the picture. Mom is a slip-and-fall terrorist. If she hadn't been stopped, who knows how many tailbones might have been broken that day!
The bicyclist guard has joined #3 to monitor mom's floor-wiping technique. She's got a roll of paper towels in one hand, and she rolls several sheets at a time into the other. This must be the way they deal with tough spills at Secret Service headquarters.
#3 is getting fancy with his arm movements as he directs people around the potentially disastrous spill. He's going to be telling the story of how he thwarted the Sippy Cup Terrorist to his grandchildren.
Mom thinks she's finished wiping up and hands #3 the used paper towels, but #3 isn't letting her off that easy. He crouches down, cleverly using the overhead lighting to catch telltale reflections of missed water spots, pointing them out to mom. #3 uses the sign's pole as an aid to swivel around quickly, catching more and more missed water. He's damn good.
Finally, he lets her go, taking the paper towel roll and sticking it in a cubby in his desk. When will he get to use it again? he wonders. He is jolted out of his daydream by the realization that he has not removed the sign! Quietly admonishing himself, he runs over quickly to retrieve the sign and put it in its rightful place.
Mom is back to rummaging though her stuff with #1 and #2 watching carefully. #3 makes some final adjustments to his trusty sign, then stands next to it and gazes longingly at the other two officials, who are still dealing with the sippy cup terrorist.
The video suddenly ends here.
Link (Thanks, Steven!)
We at NowPublic (well, Bill Adler again) have an update to the Sippy-Cup Airport-Nightmare story... The TSA has retaliated, with a "Myth Busters" section on their website (can Discovery Channel sue them for that?), attempting to discredit Monica Emmerson and her sippy-cup-wielding son. The video is inconclusive, as it has no sound, and the incident report seems incomplete; it also has some "sensitive info" that somehow got overlooked by the black pen, and a few run-on sentences... meanwhile, Ms. Emerson will be appearing on MSNBC tomorrow.Link
Here's a Washington Post article about the incident and its aftermath.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects