September 22, 2005, - 6:42 am
By Debbie Schlussel
It’s been four years of bad news for flight attendants.
First, 9/11 happened. Then, they were laid off. With airline bankruptcies like Northwest’s, they are being laid off again.
Now, in another blow, the movie, “Flight Plan,” is hitting theaters, tomorrow. Starring Jodie Foster, it’s an outrageous piece of propaganda and incredible display of the irresponsible.
I’m embarrassed to say that a very distant cousin of mine–Charles J.D. Schlissel–is executive producer of this outrage. The J.D. must stand for “Just Despicable.” If you’re a freedom-loving American like me, the rotten tricks of this movie will disgust you.
If you want to sicken yourself and see “Flight Plan,” stop reading here. But if you want to save ten bucks, keep going.
Throughout “Flight Plan,” we are given hints–very strong hints–that four Muslim Arabs are the terrorists on the plane. But in the end–breaking a cardinal rule of thrillers–the hints have no pay-off.
Instead, the terrorists are the flight’s air marshal and a flight attendant.
That is an outrage for a number of reasons. Two of those reasons are Betty Ong and Madeleine Amy Sweeney. Both were among the many flight attendants who gave their lives on 9/11.
They weren’t terrorists. They were American heroes. Instead of calling their families to say good-bye, they contacted ground crews and identified the hijackers. It was because of them that authorities were able to identify Mohammad Atta and his 18 thugs as Al Qaeda.
Other flight attendants were brutally murdered by the hijackers, who slit their throats.
And now Jodie Foster and Charles J. D. Schlissel have the chutzpah to portray these low-paid workers as terrorists?!
When I described the plot of this “film” to Lori Bassani–spokeswoman for the Association of Professional Flight Attendants, and a flight attendant, herself–she said, “That is so irresponsible.”
“The portrayal of flight attendants in this movie demonstrates an
insensitive and flagrant disregard for the very real challenges facing
the front line of defense (the flight attendants) on any aircraft in an emergency situation,” Bassani added. “Should there be another 9/11, it would be critical for the cabin crew to have the support of their passengers, not the distrust that this movie may engender. Our fellow crewmembers who perished in the line of duty deserve more respect.”
Yes, they do.
The flight attendant terrorist in this film is a conspirator in the murder of a passenger’s (Jodie Foster’s) husband; tries to murder the passenger and beats her with a large flashlight; helps kidnap the passenger’s daughter and lace the plane with explosives; commits fraud with the passenger manifest; and steals the passenger’s daughter’s boarding pass.
Flight attendants who are not terrorists are also portrayed harshly in this film. They are arrogant, cold and uncaring, and lazy. When Foster’s daughter disappears, they are rude, don’t seem to care, and resent having to look for the daughter. Two of them, who are supposed to be in a frantic search for the daughter in the plane’s hull, are making out there, instead.
Then, there are the Federal Air Marshals. This movie is a huge blow to their image, especially.
Is it more likely that a dedicated, patriotic American–who goes through a lot of federal training to serve his/her country and get security to carry a gun on board–would be a terrorist hijacker . . . or four suspicious-looking, strange-acting Arab Muslims?
“Flight Plan” wants you to think the former.
It is bad enough that, until recently, Federal Air Marshals were forced to dress in suits and engage in other behavior that made their identities very obtrusive to the flying public and easy marks for potential terrorists.
Being a Federal Air Marshal is tough work. It involves a lot of flying–until recently, with little recuperation time–to nowhere for no reason–certainly not the salary. Federal Air Marshals got no respect from Homeland Security and their DHS sub-agency, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
Now, there is “Flight Plan.”
The Federal Air Marshal in this movie (played by Peter Sarsgaard) kills a passenger’s (Jodie Foster) husband in Germany so he can smuggle explosives onto the flight in the dead man’s coffin; laces the plane with explosives; kidnaps the passenger’s daughter; hides her in the nose of the plane; steals the daughter’s boarding pass and commits fraud with the plane’s passenger manifest (with the flight attendant); demands $50 million; and tries to kill the passenger and her daughter.
Does this sound like a plot that will command respect for Federal Air Marshals on board your next flight? Didn’t think so.
Then there are “Flight Plan’s” suspicious Arab Muslim passengers. Schlissel and his production crew want you to question your suspicions of Arab Muslims, to think you are unfair and prejudiced.
That is the real message of this movie.
Schlissel picks four of the most fearsome looking actors (one of them is, in real life, Assaf Cohen, a Sephardic Jew–you know, the Jews who were kicked out of the Arab and Muslim countries they once called home). We know they are Muslim because when they depart the plane, the women accompanying them are wearing hijabs (head-scarves).
Each one of these Arab Muslim passengers looks more like Mohammed Atta than the next. And they were cast that way on purpose. Ditto for the knowing looks between them that imply they are about the hijack the plane–all done to that “evil villain” music scored in the background.
In the end, when they are innocent, and we–the evil viewers, for suspecting them–must feel guilty for wrongfully indicting them in our minds. In fact, the main Muslim Arab is so nice he even hands Jodie Foster her purse after the whole ordeal–in which she falsely accused him of being a terrorist–is over. Whatta guy. How touching.
This is the latest in a series of Hollywood releases where the terrorists are neither Muslim nor Arab. We can’t have that–because it might actually resemble reality.
Easy prediction: “Flight Plan” will score accolades and image awards from Islamist groups like CAIR and MPAC.
It’s bad enough that FBI Director Robert Mueller tried to dishonor Madeleine Amy Sweeney–one of the heroic, murdered flight attendants from 9/11–by giving a “former” Palestinian terrorist, Imad Hamad, an award (since revoked) along with Sweeney.
But Mueller tried to imply that the flight attendants were morally equivalent to Islamic terrorists.
This movie says they are worse.
Send Hollywood, Jodie Foster, and my cousin a different message. Boycott “Flight Plan.”
***UPDATE: In the same vein, Ms. Foster is set to play Nazi film propagandist Leni Riefenstahl in an upcoming movie glorifying that nauseating Nazi conspirator to genocide. Foster says Riefenstahl–who used concentration camp inmates as movie extras–was a good person, who was “libeled.” Right. Nazis and Extremist Muslims, Good; Air Marshals and Flight Attendants, Bad. We get it.
And John Hinckley tried to murder a President to impress THIS woman?!
Tags: air marshal, airline bankruptcies, al-Qaeda, Association of Professional Flight Attendants, Betty Ong, CAIR, Charles J.D. Schlissel, Debbie Schlussel It, DHS, director, executive producer, Federal Bureau of Investigation, flight attendant terrorist, Flight Plan, frantic search, Germany, ICE, Imad Hamad, image awards, Jodie Foster, Jodie Foster Film Defames Air, John Hinckley, Lori Bassani, Madeleine Amy Sweeney, Mohammad Atta, Mohammed Atta, MPAC, Nazi conspirator, Northwest, Peter Sarsgaard, President, Robert Mueller, terrorist, USD