It's a little hard to figure out what's more ridiculous about the U.K. tourists banned from entering the U.S. after Twitter jokes: Is it how seriously U.S. security folks take their Twitter or how shocked and appalled the Daily Mail is about it? On the one hand, damn, U.S. security really took one tourist's tweets way too seriously: "Free this week, for quick gossip/prep before I go and destroy America," read one, according to The Daily Mail. "3 weeks today, we're totally in LA pissing people off on Hollywood Blvd and diggin' Marilyn Monroe up!" read another, per the Register. When the tweeter, Leigh Van Bryan, got to Los Angeles with his friend Emily Banting, the pair was stopped and then formally denied entry because U.S. authorities who'd read Van Bryan's tweets thought they were coming to commit crimes. "Federal agents even searched his suitcase looking for spades and shovels, claiming Emily was planning to act as Leigh's 'look out' while he raided Marilyn's tomb," The Daily Mail reported. Wow, immigration authorities. Overkill!
Van Bryan tried to explain to the authorities that it was all a misunderstanding. All that stuff about Marilyn Monroe was a Family Guy riff and, per The Daily Mail, "Despite telling officials the term 'destroy' was British slang for 'party', they were held on suspicion of planning to 'commit crimes' and had their passports confiscated." The Daily Mail was shocked—shocked!—that the U.S. authorities didn't take the pair's word for it , locking Leigh up with "Mexican drug dealers," the paper claimed. Those security types really don't understand the young people. Besides, how could anyone deny Banting's airtight explanation that her friend meant no harm? "We just wanted to have a good time on holiday. That was all Leigh meant in his tweet. He would not hurt anyone. He is gay."
[Photo inset via Leigh Van Bryan's Twitter]
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.