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November 22, 2010

CNN: It's not the TSA, it's you. (Ben)

The news of new TSA overreach is becoming a daily occurrence. Everywhere you turn you are bombarded with stories of TSA incompetence, harassment, and mission creep. In the past two days alone weve seen video of a boy being strip searched, the story of a man's urostomy bag being ripped, and a grandmother having to explain to her granddaughter why the TSA is touching her no-no spots.

Enter CNN reporter Jessica Ravitz, who is magnanimous enough to let us on in a little secret. You travelers ain't exactly hot stuff either.

The poor TSA agents have had to :

chase cats through terminals, watched an escaped bird fly overhead and come face-to-face with pet monkeys and other exotic creatures. One agent, while previously working at Washington's Dulles, opened a cooler to find a live penguin.

You read that right. They had to chase cats. Those poor tortured souls. CNN would like you to keep that in mind the next time you are in line at the airport and hesitant to spread you legs so a TSA Agent can pick at your dingleberries.

To be fair the article isn't a total defense of the TSA. The writers stated goal is to give the reader the impression that the TSA see their fair share of crazy passenger antics. Including a women who tried to smuggle weed into jamaica by taping it to her body a la Midnight Express.

However, I can't shake the feeling that the main gist of this article is to defend the TSA by attacking the people complaining about violations of their privacy.

It is an attempt to do two specific things. Discredit those making the complaints and stretch the content of their complaints to paint them as extremists or incessant whiners.

This is a common tactic on the left. To take your opponents argument and take it to the extreme. You want less government? Then you're an anarchist. You don't want to raise taxes? Then you want to abolish all taxes. You think the government does a poor job running some programs? Then you must want to get rid of roads, hospitals, sewage systems, etc.

The left all too often is allowed to make our arguments for us and in doing so they take perfectly reasonable arguments, and through sophistry and artistic license, make them into extremist stereotypes.

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posted by Open Blogger at 12:26 PM

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