Jaunted: We're almost beginning to feel sorry for the TSA officials. They spend much of their time dealing with what appear to be the world's dumbest passengers, and then at the end of it all they get yelled at by angry politicians. This week is proving to be particularly bad.
Top agency officials spent most of today facing withering criticism from Senators, up to and including the accusation that they show "arrogant disregard for real Americans who have to put up with this baloney." We're not really sure what that means, and we tend to cringe when politicians start posturing on behalf of "real Americans," but certainly TSA workers have been a little grabby lately with diabetics' insulin and cancer survivors' body parts and other people's stuff in general.
These Senate hearings are almost kind of Congress's way of piling on, given that House members were outright calling for investigations of TSA over the summer.
But just because TSA agents are sometimes really bad at their jobs, let's not lose sight of the fact that—apparently—the flying public has also been infiltrated by reckless idiots. Two recent incidents illustrate the point fairly well, and we're duly filing both in Jaunted's bad ideas archive:
Incident one, from earlier this month: a JFK passenger tried to check through four sets of brass knuckles, two stun gun flashlights and a sword in his luggage. It turns out that all seven of those weapons are prohibited, and he was arrested. Oops.
Incident two, from yesterday: a Southwest Airlines passenger tried to break into the cockpit of the airplane. It turns out that TSA and the FBI frown on that kind of thing, and the airplane was diverted to Amarillo, Texas (yes, they have an airport in Amarillo, Texas). He was obviously arrested.
Obviously the antics of morons and lunatics don't justify TSA's incompetence. But weekly passenger insanity does kind of put what their agents are going through into perspective.