Journalist association asks members to stop stealing from Air Force One

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They were prompted to take a drastic step by a trip to the west coast of the USA in February, during which several items were lost in the press section of the plane.

Plates with a gold rim, glasses or pillows have disappeared before, but now the thefts have reached unprecedented levels, writes the Brussels server Politico.

“In a sense, this is a very daring crime because this plane and the people on board are among the most secure entities in the world. And yet it has become a scandalously common ritual in which thieves proudly discuss their deeds and brag about stolen items. It seems like everyone is stealing aboard Air Force One,” the server writes.

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When US President Joe Biden travels, 13 journalists accompany him in the press section of the Boeing. During the flight, the cabin crew offers them refreshments, which the media, like the flight, pay for from their own budgets.

As a souvenir, packages of candies with the presidential seal and Biden’s signature are being distributed, other souvenirs can be purchased, writes the AFP agency.

However, many journalists feel that a selfie from the airport area with Air Force One in the background is not enough as a souvenir, and they need to take something tangible away.

For example, several sources said one longtime White House correspondent hosted gala dinners where food was served on gold-rimmed plates from Air Force One, which he apparently stole one by one during his travels with the head of state.

The budding journalist, in turn, recounted how, during his first trip on the presidential special, a more experienced colleague advised him to “take a drink away because everyone does it,” writes Politico.

“If you’ve accidentally taken something off the plane, we can help you get it back in peace,” the association’s president, NBC journalist Kelly O’Donnell, wrote in an email to colleagues. In response to her email, one of the journalists brought a stolen embroidered pillow to the White House.

According to White House officials familiar with the matter, the point was not to embarrass individual journalists, but to send a signal that the theft must stop. A former official in the presidential administration said it was not a massive theft.

“It was just small, chronic fraud. But we appreciated that O’Donnell took it seriously and sent that message,” Politico concludes.

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The article is in Czech

Tags: Journalist association asks members stop stealing Air Force

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