Arianna Huffington loves her BlackBerry. In fact, a New Yorker profile,
which sported a photo of the Huffington Post founder clutching her
smartphone at home, explained that Huffington hides her three--yes,
three--BlackBerrys in the bathroom at night to ward off temptation.
But, alas, temptation appears to have gotten the best of her on a flight from Washington, DC to New York over the weekend. Huffington kept chatting and texting on her phone after the captain asked passengers to turn off their electronic devices and the plane took off, the New York Post reports, provoking the ire of fellow passenger Ellis Belodoff of Long Island, who allegedly exchanged angry words with Huffington and the flight crew. Huffington and Belodoff were briefly questioned by police after landing and released.
"She was putting the use of her BlackBerry ahead of the safety of the
entire plane," Belodoff told the Post. "It was purely her own self-interest she was concerned
Huffington Post spokesman Mario Ruiz, meanwhile, made light of the incident:
There was a passenger who seemed upset. Arianna thought he didn't like the snacks. Guess not. Maybe he was an iPhone fan. As you know, the battle between iPhone lovers and BlackBerry users can get pretty heated.
And J. Jennings Moss at Portfolio suggests, as the media tends to do, that the flap is part of a larger trend, noting that, in the last month alone, the actor Josh Duhamel got kicked off a plane after refusing to turn off his BlackBerry and a 68-year-old man punched a 15-year-old boy who didn't power down his cell phone:
The moral to all of this is simple: Consider the airplane a bit of a refuge from the nonstop need to be in touch, or to tweet your thoughts, or to play another round of Angry Birds. And if you have to get in that last email, do as the flight attendant asks. You and the other people on your plane might just get to your destination on time.