Sunday, November 27, 2011

Celebrities vs. the TSA, a new blog documenting TSA absurdities

Instead of trying to identify real security threats, federal airport screeners waste their time treating everybody as a suspect.
They pat down children and senior citizens for weapons and explosives, even though they represent almost zero threat.
And they do the same for celebrities and other well-known public figures. Like that makes any sense.
The U.S. Transportation Security Administration would rather take the politically correct and inefficient approach of frisking everyone, rather than look like they’re discriminating against certain people, especially Muslims.
What they should be doing is employing information technology systems that tie airline ticketing systems and boarding pass kiosks with criminal and Homeland Security databases. That way they can flag suspicious ticket holders. They should use behavioral screening, which would target mostly single males, including Muslims.
To me, nothing highlights the absurdity of the TSA screening procedures more than agents frisking public figures.
The paparazzi and the general public have snapped photos of hundreds of celebrities going through TSA checkpoints and getting frisked or having to stand in the full-body scanners to check for weapons or explosives.
Is the TSA keeping the skies safe from terrorists or performing security theater when it gives model Anna Kournikova a pat-down? Maybe today will be the day she pulls out a box cutter and tries to hijack the plane, right?
Or when they frisk actor Ryan Gosling, do they think he might want to blow up a plane rather than try to win an Oscar or date some hot starlet?
It’s ridiculous, of course.
So I’ve created a Tumblr blog called Celebrities vs. the TSA. It aggregates photos of celebrities and other public figures begin groped, disrespected and inconvenienced by the TSA.
With photographers snapping away, TSA agents show the world that celebrities are just like the rest of us. That is, they’re treated as criminals like anyone else going through the TSA screening process.
Click on the tags for photos of celebrities being felt up, forced to dump their liquids, raise their hands or walk barefoot through the security area.

Celebrities speak out about the TSA

Many celebrities have taken to Twitter, YouTube or blogs to complain about how the TSA treats passengers.

Reality TV star Khloe Kardashian compared TSA pat-downs to rape, according to US Weekly and the Huffington Post.

“Baywatch” beauty Donna D’Errico believes she was pulled aside for a “naked” scan at Los Angeles International Airport just because she is attractive, according to CBS News, the Los Angeles Times, and the Huffington Post.

Former Miss USA 2003 Susie Castillo was left in tears by her invasive TSA pat-down and posted a video to YouTube immediately afterward to complain, according to the Raw Story.

“Star Trek: The Next Generation” actor Wil Wheaton wrote on his blog that he felt violated and humiliated by a TSA pat-down.

Country singer Miranda Lambert tweeted “Dear Airports. You suck,” after she was subjected to a pat-down on Oct. 24, according to Taste of Country.

“Dancing with the Stars” pro Cheryl Burke tweeted that she got “fingered” by a TSA agent, according to TMZ.

Speaking at a travel conference, actor Sean Penn said he isn’t a fan of TSA X-ray machines. “I’m not so interested in having my genitalia X-rayed,” he said, according to Dow Jones Newswires.

Former professional wrestler and ex-Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura said the U.S. is turning into the “Fascist States of America” with the TSA’s heavy-handed security at the nation’s airports, according to Infowars.
Ventura sued the federal government over its invasive pat-downs and full-body scans, but lost the case, according to the Star Tribune.

On Nov. 11, actor Alec Baldwin took to Twitter and wrote, “Flying used to be fun. Then pleasant. Now it’s awful. #solvetheTSAscreeningproblem.”

Reality TV star Jenni Farley, a.k.a. JWoww, of MTV’s “Jersey Shore” said on Twitter that she was singled out for a pat-down and “treated like a criminal,” according to the Associated Press. She said it was an abuse of authority, the Hollywood Reporter said.

Photos (top to bottom): Socialite Paris Hilton, former NFL coach Mike Ditka and actress Eva Longoria get searched by TSA agents.

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