- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 25, 2016

A JetBlue passenger who was kicked off a flight last week for harassing Ivanka Trump has inspired a backlash from Trump fans who now are giving his book bad reviews on Amazon.

Matthew Lasner, a Hunter College professor, has seen his Amazon page peppered with one-star reviews and wry comments on his book, “High Life: Condo Living in the Suburban Century” (Yale University Press, 2012).

“Left me feeling verbally assaulted. Almost as if I had jetlag. I won’t be taking this flight again anytime soon,” said a recent anonymous one-star review.

Ms. Trump, daughter of President-elect Donald Trump; her husband, Jared Kushner; and three children were preparing to fly Thursday from New York City to San Francisco when they ran into turbulence from Mr. Lasner and his husband, Daniel Goldstein.

“Your father is ruining the country!” Mr. Goldstein told her, according to TMZ.

Mr. Lasner, Mr. Goldstein and their child subsequently were moved to a different flight. JetBlue later released a statement saying that a crew may ask passengers “causing conflict on the aircraft” to deplane, citing the “risk of escalation during flight.”

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Mr. Lasner documented the episode on Twitter, posting a photo of Ms. Trump with the message “Ivanka just before @JetBlue kicked us off our flight when a flt attendant overheard my husband expressing displeasure about flying w/ Trumps.”

In another tweet, he said, “Ivanka and Jared at JFK T5, flying commercial. My husband chasing them down to harass them. #banalityofevil.”

Later, Mr. Lasner leveled off his approach, saying Mr. Goldstein “expressed displeasure in a calm tone.”

Some of the Amazon reviewers were less subtle. One called Mr. Lasner “a nasty progressive who stalks women and children,” while others made tongue-in-cheek references to the JetBlue altercation.

“I was going to read this book on a recent JetBlue flight to ‘Frisco’ but found a much better use for the book in the lavatory,” said a review by P. Fagen. “They had run out of TP, and sure enough, this book provided the needed materials.”

Reviewer Richard A. Long added: “Some authors fly off the handle on their subject, and this one certainly did.”

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Of the 210 reviews posted early Sunday, 92 percent gave the book one star, although a few recent reviewers gave it five stars, including one commenter who said, “Great book. Almost finished the entire thing during a series of short layover[s].”

A petition on Change.org calling for Mr. Lasner to be removed from his Hunter College post had gathered 465 signatures as of Sunday.

• Valerie Richardson can be reached at vrichardson@washingtontimes.com.

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