If you have watched any TV news or read any newspaper stories about the TSA lately, you probably heard about TSA Opt Out Day. The idea was for so many people to opt out of the X-Ray scans that it would overwhelm the TSA agents trying to do pat-downs and wreak havoc with long lines and delays.
So what happened?
The vast grassroots uprising that would show the TSA who’s boss… is nonexistent.
Jeff Jarvis, a blogger and journalism school professor, has been following the (lack of) protest on Twitter.
I bet when the final numbers come in we will see that the Twitter-led #wontfly movement will prove to be negligible at best.
Adam Savage of Mythbusters made it on a plane, after being X-rayed, with two twelve-inch razor blades.
A Republican congressman wants to get the Transportation Security Administration out of the airport security business and give it to a business that happens to be one of his big campaign contributors.
For Republican Rep. John Mica of Florida, the way to make travelers feel more comfortable would be to kick TSA employees out of their posts at the ends of the snaking security lines. This month, he wrote letters to nation’s 100 busiest airports asking that they request private security guards instead.
Companies that could gain business if airports heed Mica’s call have helped fill his campaign coffers. In the past 13 years, Mica has received almost $81,000 in campaign donations from political action committees and executives connected to some of the private contractors already at 16 U.S. airports.
Sounds good? Well… “contractors must follow all TSA-mandated security procedures, including hand patdowns when necessary.”
In other words, nothing would change except the badge of the person patting you down.
I thought that last night’s Saturday Night Live was the best of the season, and this clip was maybe the best of the night.
It features Saturday Night Live taking on the controversial TSA pat-downs.
The Transportation Security Administration employees who have to do the new screening procedures at airports don’t like the new procedures any more than you do.
“I was asked by some guy if I got excited touching scrotums at the airport and if it gave me a power thrill. I felt like vomiting when he asked that. This is not a turn on for me to touch me it is in fact a huge turn off. There is a big difference between how I pat passengers down and a molester molesting people.”
On Friday, the Transportation Security Administration announced that it would let uniformed airline pilots skip the screenings, reversing an earlier policy that everyone had to go through the screenings as part of the agency’s efforts to prevent terrorist attacks. Pilots who are traveling out of uniform or not on official business will still be subject to searches, the agency said.
The full-body scans and pat-downs being performed at a number of airports have angered travelers, many of whom said the searches were invasive and likened them to virtual strip searches. Passengers have also raised concerns about the long-term effect of radiation exposure from airport scanners.
Another way to skip out of the line is to be the incoming Speaker of the House. Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, trying to show his everyman cred, has been flying commercial. But unlike the rest of us he doesn’t get patted down.
Spokesmen for U.S. Reps. Dan Burton, R-Ind., and Andre Carson, D-Ind., said the congressmen endure the same security as the rest of the flying public. Josh Gillespie, Burton’s spokesman, said the same is true of other officials. Recently, Gillespie said, he saw new U.S. Attorney Joe Hogsett at the airport, going through the same security procedures he was.