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Is the TSA a Broad Government Conspiracy to Molest Airline Passengers?

By Dustin Rowles | Miscellaneous | November 23, 2010 |

By Dustin Rowles | Miscellaneous | November 23, 2010 |

I am flabbergasted by all the attention that the TSA has been receiving during the last week, leading up to the busiest travel day of the year. To me, this story is like one of those stories where the media attempts to capture both sides of an obviously one-sided issue, and in order to do so, they are forced to interview a conspiracy crackpot to get the minority opinion. And now, the media — with little else to focus on post-election — has taken the crackpot’s irrational fears and blown them up large.

Basically, the new TSA regulations give travelers one of two options: a full-body X-ray scan or a full-body police-style pat down (or both, in some cases), although it is my vague understanding that only a small percentage of airline travelers will have to endure either.

One camp seems to be complaining that the X-ray scans are too invasive (or even dangerous) while the other is claiming that the pat-downs are too invasive. And everyone seems to be complaining that airline security is not safe enough. The ACLU wants to sue. Parody videos are being launched, Tea Party crazies are declaring tomorrow “Opt Out” Day, and they’re not trying to opt out of gropes; they’re trying to opt out of body scanning. And a sex writer stripped down to her skivvies to mock the invasiveness of the full-body search. Even Jesse Ventura will no longer fly because he feels he’s been sexual assaulted (bitch, please. Like anyone would want to fondle you).

Meanwhile, 64 percent of Americans approve of the full body scans and a little less than half approve of the pat-down searches.

Today’s Pajiba Debates ask: Do you really care, or is this a media-driven story during a slow news week? And if you do care, why? What is the alternative? And do you really think the TSA is a broad government conspiracy to molest airline passengers under the guise of safety?

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Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.