Now that the story of TSA scanners has been in the media for a few days, what does a pundit have to do to get some attention around here?
Some dramas seem tailor-made for the Internet’s ephemeral obsessions, and the kerfuffle over the Transportation Security Administration’s new airport screening procedures is a perfect example. It’s got all the ingredients to feed a media circus: a whiff of government overreach, children prodded to tears, bold push-back, splashy protests, federal employees apparently frisking nuns–an irresistible recipe seasoned by the immediacy of next week’s Thanksgiving travel crunch. […]
While you’d never guess it from the hysterical media coverage, most people are…pretty OK with that. The breathless headlines and expert discussion forums provide a distorted picture of public perception. According to a CBS News poll, 81% of Americans approve of the decision to use full-body X-ray machines to weed out terrorist threats. Sometimes the screams of an aggrieved minority drowns out the rest of the public, and this may be one of those cases.
This fucker pushes all my buttons. The first button is the “in it but not of it” button, where some media asshole contributes to a media circus while pretending he’s above the fray. Then you have the “premature poll” button. This whole story has been around for a few days, so relying on a poll to determine settled public opinion is about as sensible as quoting polls of the 2012 election.
The “aggrieved minority” bit is a bit of an echo of this guy, who says that only yuppies fly, and they should just shut their privileged pieholes because they’re not getting waterboarded at Gitmo or being denied the right to vote. Maybe he’s watched a little too much Mad Men, because the 60’s was the last time that flying was a privileged mode of travel.
Of course, these guys have nothing on the ultimate contrarians at Slate, who I’m sure are working on the definitive “X-Rays are good for you” TSA piece, despite the lack of evidence that they’re anything but dangerous.