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!
I’m sure I will piss off almost everyone with this post, but I’m telling it like I see it whether you all agree or not. “Bring it on!” :)
I don’t give a shit if someone has a black and white, negative image of my naked body. If someone, somewhere gets off on it, good for them. Something has to get them off, right? Give me a break, people, you can’t even recognize faces in the images and if I really wanted to look at pictures of naked people, I would go to one of the many millions of porn websites like The Huffington Post, where I can see them in color, with real skin and everything. If there is a small group of people who get off on these negative images, who gives a shit, really? There are people that get off on fully clothed people too, should we all get naked so those people don’t get off on it. Let’s do it, everyone get naked.
When it comes to the “enhanced pat downs”, I think we should all just deal with it. If it makes some people feel uncomfortable, so what. Who ever said that everything in life should make you feel comfortable. If you’ve ever traveled to Israel or many European countries, you’ve felt this discomfort before. It passes and if it doesn’t, there are other issues that you should probably deal with before deciding to get inside a big metal object that flies thousands of feet above the ground and can be taken down with a small explosive stuffed in someones underoos. Put on your big boy underwear and suck it up. Hell, if the TSA person looks good enough, I might like a little “enhanced pat down”…embrace the pat down, my new motto.
I see this latest populist outrage as just another sign that Americans really think they should be able to have their cake and eat it too. If someone were to actually pull off an “underpants attack” like was attempted last Christmas, what do you think the populist outrage would be then. The sky would begin to fall in and President Obama and the TSA would be completely at fault. People would be asking why we can’t do it like Israel does. People would be telling stories of how lax security at airports is, what an outrage it is that we can’t even protect people who fly. You know it is true, Americans blow in the fucking wind like a damn wind chime…constantly making noise and going whichever way the wind blows. The biggest hypocrites in this regard are the Republicans, of course. Their outrage is particularly nuts, because unless you have been in a cave for the last 10 years, these are the same people who defended warrantless wiretapping, detaining un-charged prisoners indefinitely and starting a fucking war in Iraq for no good reason. And now all of a sudden, they are defending civil liberties, give me a fucking break.
When people say it is an invasion of privacy to get patted down or have a full body scan, I want to ask them how purchasing a ticket from a private company, a choice that is made by the consumer that comes with stipulations, constitutes an invasion of privacy. There are stipulations on all sorts of purchases we make, especially when it can cause harm to others…guns, automobiles, motorcycles, alcohol and many other things that people would claim an invasion of privacy on. Hell, when I went to see the Daily Show with Jon Stewart, I had to go through a metal detector on the way in and on the way out, almost had my video camera confiscated because I tried to get a shot of the cool set when I was walking out. I was in their private space, and had to play by their rules. I see walking onto an airplane in much the same way, if I want to fly, I have to go through a bunch of hassle to do it. If I want to get to New York in 2 hours instead of 12, I’ll put up with whatever they want to do to me.
The last thing I’ll say about this is that I don’t care what other people have between their legs, but I don’t have ANY junk between mine. I have a precision instrument down there and if someone wants to grab it, they should at least kiss me when they are done.