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The TSA – The Media’s Latest Target!

We live in a strange world folks. A world where cable news in particular can pick a topic and beat the hell out of it, slant it, create a narrative for it in the face of evidence to the contrary and then ride that narrative until they see a shift in public opinion that then justifies their narrative. It’s pretty fucked up to be honest. In fairness, the cable news stations have 24 fucking hours a day to fill and you can only obsess about Lindsey Lohan and Snookie so much before you have to come up with some other shit to sensationalize.

The TSA has become the boogeyman of late. There aren’t any Democrats running for any imminent elections to beat up on, so they have to pick something. Here is a good example of the blogosphere perpetuating this phenomenon. From the usually great Karoli at Crooks and Liars…

Yes, TSA procedures suck, and yes, they’re heading toward a tipping point where there will be nearly unilateral support for getting rid of them.

So am I wrong, but aren’t there a ton of polls out showing that the vast majority of the general public support using the scanners? I’m sure the media’s narrative is starting to have it’s intended results, to vilify the TSA….the latest target for populist outrage, but so far Karoli’s line “heading toward a tipping point where there will be nearly unilateral support for getting rid of them.” Really? The media has a lot of work to do to accomplish that. But they are on it, that’s for sure.

Just pay attention to how the cable news stations are just repeating, repeating, repeating….with subtle things like “groping” and “pawing” and “breasts” and “junk” or whatever the fuck. They are trying to appeal to the “knee-jerkers” who will jump into outrage mode on a dime. We’ve become a nation of fraidy cats (sp) and wimps. They will keep beating this issue relentlessly until either something drastic happens or some other natural or man-made disaster distracts them. Then, it’s off to the races on the next media obsession. What a world, what a world.

And of course there are Republicans who immediately think, how can I make some money on this or help some other rich guy make some money on it. Steve Benen (emphasis mine)

But as travelers grow more frustrated with heightened airport security, it appears Republicans are opening a new front on the privatization crusade.

A Republican lawmaker, who is faulting big government spending, is suggesting that airports dump the Transportation Security Administration altogether, and opt instead to privatize security.

And some airports, fed up with poor service in a climate where travelers are outraged about the prospect of full-body scanners, are listening.

The consideration comes after Florida Republican Rep. John Mica — a longtime critic of the TSA — wrote letters to the country’s 100 busiest airports earlier this month asking them to switch to private security.

[...]

There are a variety of angles to consider here. Note, for example, that private companies that stand to benefit from privatization also happen to be generous campaign contributors to Mica’s re-election campaign.

Even more importantly, several domestic airports already use private screeners, but it’s still the TSA that establishes mandatory security standards. If Mica or other Republicans want to have a conversation about whether those security measures are appropriate, that’s fine. But whether those doing the screening are public employees or private contractors doesn’t change the standards themselves. Selling this as some sort of cure-all for frustrated travelers is silly.

As Josh Marshall joked yesterday, “Watching cable TV this morning it seems like the new idea is that this would all be better if private sector workers rather than government employees were inspecting Americans’ crotches, boobs, etc.”

Steve Benen goes on to ponder just how wonderful it would be to have Blackwater-style companies taking over the screening, oh happy day!

November 24, 2010 Posted by | General, Media, MSM | , | 3 Comments

   

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