What happened: Taylor Lorenz, the Washington Post reporter best known for attending a teenager's birthday party and being cited in Chinese propaganda broadcasts, survived a "dangerous" encounter at John F. Kennedy International Airport over the weekend.
• The 38-year-old teen journalist complained that TSA agents were "forcing all passengers to remove their masks before they even step up to the security desk" to have their boarding passes checked. "I can't believe they're doing stuff like this in 2023 [spiral eyes emoji]," Lorenz wrote on Twitter, the immigrant-owned social networking website.
• Lorenz described the situation—unmasked passengers at an airport in 2023—as "so dangerous" and "so insane." She accused a TSA agent of behaving with "abject cruelty" for telling "a woman" that she shouldn't be flying if she was "so scared" about removing her mask for several seconds at a security checkpoint.
• Nevertheless, she managed to survive. "I tried to just hold my breath but I had to breathe a couple times [spiral eyes emoji]," Lorenz confessed.
Why it matters: For many liberals, the combination of Donald Trump's election and the COVID-19 pandemic had a catastrophically damaging impact on their ability to function in society.
• Lorenz and others continue to insist in 2023 that outdoor dining is a life-threatening activity.
Crucial context: Several weeks before her "dangerous" and "insane" airport ordeal, Lorenz made an appearance at the World Influencers and Bloggers Awards at the Cannes Film Festival in France.
• Lorenz attended the indoor gala wearing an exquisite sequined face mask. She gave a speech on "building relationships with press and media" and accepted the award for "top tech and media influencer."
• She even risked her life to pose for this group photo with two dozen of her fellow award winners—none of whom were wearing masks.
Bottom line: Would that we all could be so brave.