7. Abominable security. Because the facility is located in the middle of a dreadful slum, the security “guards” the USTA hires look, act, and speak in a manner which makes pre-TSA airport screeners seem like Oxford graduates in contrast. They do a terrible job, while treating everybody who works in the stadium and the paying fans like they’re members of The Crips. In the meantime, equipment vanishes by the cartload (My outfit once lost 15 laptops in one night). Every morning, I show up at the gate to have some skeevy-looking ex-convict with a shaved head, tattoos, and glassy eyes rummage through my knapsack, pawing my sandwich, my bottle of iced tea, and my Wall Street Journal. NOTE: I have read the Wall St Journal daily since I was a teenager. Now that Murdoch has bought the Wall St Journal, I will never read it again. Why bother? I could, in theory, watch the Faux News Channel for free, but I never do because they do not broadcast actual news.
New York Times, anyone?
The absurdly bad security at the US Open – and the absurdly incompetent street urchins who are employed to implement it – reminds me of an interview I saw on an American talk show about a year ago. The interviewer asked his guest, the head of security for El Al, why security at the US airports is so awful, so unnecessarily time-consuming, and so utterly ineffective. The Israeli’s chilling reply: “because in Israel we look for terrorists, in the US you look for nail clippers”.