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October 15, 2009

GOP-linked PR flack charged under the PATRIOT Act for air rage

Politico reports that veteran PR flack David Bass, a protege of notorious strategist Frank Luntz, has been charged under the PATRIOT Act for running amok on an aircraft in an altered state of consciousness:

David Bass – the Washington P.R. executive charged with a federal felony for alleged drunken behavior on a flight into Washington Reagan National Airport – says he was “out of it” on allergy medication and did nothing more than demand a glass of wine.

“They refused to serve me wine because they said I appeared drunk,” Bass told POLITICO Thursday morning as news that he’d been charged under the U.S. Patriot Act rolled through Washington.

Bass told Politico he was out of his mind on Benadryl. Bad luck. Also bad luck that he acted out in front of an FBI agent: 

Police met Bass’s flight when it landed at Reagan. In a sworn affidavit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, FBI Agent David Wiegand said that Bass had appeared drunk and abusive on the flight, demanding alcohol and refusing flight attendants’ orders to sit down.

According to Wiegand, a flight attended “stated that Bass refused to obey the instructions issued by the flight attendants and ‘disrupted everyone’ in as much as he entered the aircraft's galley several times and crawled over the person seated next to him in order to access the overhead storage compartments and the aircraft's lavatory. [The flight attendant] said that Bass’s behavior was so disruptive that [she] moved the passenger seated next to Bass to a different seat.”

Among other things, the affidavit stated that Bass made “mean faces” at flight attendants.

The Potomac Flacks blog profiled Bass in late July when he launched his own high-powered consulting firm, Raptor Strategies:

Bass is a 20-year Washington veteran who started as a legislative intern in the Senate and moved through the media world, working for The Weekly Standard, National Journal, Campaigns & Elections, The Hill and The Washington Times. He later served in PR capacities as a consultant to many more -- the current issue of Washingtonian highlights the critical part Bass played in creation of the Politico.

"What once took decades [in Washington], can now be solved with a patio table and a few properly chilled beers," Bass boasted at the time. 

[HT: Gawker]


I have taken Benadryl on many occasions. While it has occasionally made me sleepy, it's never made me act like that. He must have combined it with something else.

This is my favorite part: Bass made “mean faces” at flight attendants. It sounds like elementary school.

This must be a new medical phenomena of benadryl ! It has the exact opposite effect of common side effect. Diphenhydramine is a downer. quick somebody take his blood sample. Either that or he is making up stuff.

(On serious note, benadryl causes

Diphenhydramine also has local anesthetic properties, and has been used for patients allergic to common local anesthetics like lidocaine

He must have combined it with something else.

I find a raging sense of entitlement and self-importance has adverse effects when mixed with most drugs.

This behavior shouldn't be a felony.

It shouldn't be punishable by 20 years in federal prison.

Goodness, what are the chances are Republican propagandist would also be a mean drunk?

You're a bloody fool, Beyerstein.

"Me today. You tomorrow."

(Solzhenitsyn -- "Gulag")

Don't look at me. I'm not the one who got wasted on pills and booze and ran amok on an airplane.

First, they came for the drunken loons disrupting flights, and I did not stand up because I wasn't a drunken loon disrupting a flight, then they came for me.

He's not going to jail for 20 years. That's the maximum sentence. I'll bet he doesn't do a single day in jail. They'll let him plead to a lesser charge and go to an alcohol treatment program.

this is exactly why the patriot act was passed.
to deal with sleepy/unresponsive passengers err terroists

You're right, the PATRIOT Act sucks. It should be repealed. I've been arguing this for about eight years now. Now that a GOP operative has been ensnared the craziness of act begins to seem apparent to some people who didn't see it earlier.

Just keep whistling past the police state, honey. That'll do nicely.

I must say that you're pretty, though.


"Now that a GOP operative has been ensnared the craziness of act begins to seem apparent to some people who didn't see it earlier."

Yeah, it would appear that way to the typical partisan idiot except now the "peace candidate" Nobel Obama has continued the Patriot Act. He could have let it expire but no. And by the way - the wars are expanding in case you hadn't been paying attention.

Obama can't unilaterally revoke the PATRIOT Act. Congress has to do that.

Well he is supporting renewal of the Patriot Act surveillance laws:

I'm amazed at how people still believe in Obama after he has continued every Bush policy and expanded the wars. After he has bailed out the huge investment banks with taxpayer dollars to the tune of trillions. What more does it take for you to realize that this man is a con artist?

I don't completely agree with the notion that the guy was treated unfairly. If he was being belligerent, then he was belligerent after being denied service. If he was in a bar acting that way, he would be refused service.

I disagree with the Patriot Act being mentioned, or the PA having anything to do with this. This seems like something that has nothing to do with the PA, so that part is BS on the governments behalf.

I once was argumentative, not hostile, with the stewardess for not serving me any more alcohol. I wasn't "drunk" or rowdy, but it was a 5.5 hour flight, with a couple more hours to go, and was denied. I matter of factly stated my opinion. Wasn't disruptive at all. Also, I was getting a taxi home. I had six drinks. The cops greeted me at the gate when I got off. They took my info and then released me.

This guy seemed a bit belligerent, so I can't say that I fully agree with him seeming to get the short end of the deal. The charges of having to go to court I think might be a bit much, esp. the Patriot Act.

How has Obama expanded the Iraq War?

If you can't produce evidence he has, then it's disingenuous to talk about "expanding the wars." Obama expanded the Afghanistan war, a war of necessity which turned into a boondoggle after Bush decided to neglect it and divert military resources to Iraq instead.

I think Bass was treated fairly insofar as he was arrested for disobeying a flight crew and disrupting an flight. As a frequent flyer, I'm grateful that there are laws with teeth to deter drunk hooligans from harassing flight crews and other passengers.

Getting drunk and acting out on a plane is more serious than the same behavior might be at a bar where they can just show the person to the door.

I agree with Eric that 20 years in prison would be a ridiculously long sentence for what Politico alleges Bass did. I think ten days in jail, 1000 hours of community service, and alcohol counelling would be a fair punishment for his misdeeds.

Please leave the United States and go live in China if you are such a spineless, entitled, narcissistic wuss that you can't deal with someone giving you a mean face and being uncooperative.

I know many people want to turn the US into China where the government aims a tank gun at you if you criticize them but, thank God, there are at least some of us who won't stand for it.

God have people become pathetic.

No more "Give me liberty of give me death"

now its "I can't do anything myself!! Please, governemnt, come and take away this man who made a bad face!! I felt bad!!!"

W2Guy: out of curiosity, did you have the same "Go live in China" reaction when Bloomberg corralled anti-Bush protesters into detention camps during the RNC?

I'm not trolling. I'm genuinely curious - I know a lot of libertarians and generally anti-neocon right-wingers did have similar reactions, but I also know a lot didn't mind seeing people they didn't like get arrested.

Okay, that made me laugh.

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