TSA: “Your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval.”

PropagandaUncleSam
“Your comment has been saved and will be visible after blog owner approval.”

Another load of baloney (apologies to salted cured meats everywhere) from that reliable dispenser of it, the TSA Blog.

As we’ve written so many times, most recently on June 10th, the TSA Blog is the official on-line propaganda arm of the TSA. It supposedly exists “to communicate with the public about all things TSA related.” Also to “facilitate an ongoing dialogue on innovations in security, technology and the checkpoint screening process. We encourage your comments; your ideas and concerns are important to ensure that a broad range of travelers are active and informed participants in the discussion.”

But, of course, “TSA reserves the right to modify this policy at any time.” Mais oui. Just as they change rules at whim at the checkpoint, they change the rules at the blog whenever they want.

Lots of people comment, some anonymously, some under internet monikers, some under their real names, at the TSA Blog. Many of those comments are critical. There are also planted comments praising the TSA to the skies; readers call out those comments when they appear. They’re pretty easy to spot: they differ in tone from those of readers who genuinely appreciate the TSA. Several of our regulars, including Ron Bonner and Susan Richart, comment there often. But remember:

“This is a moderated blog, and TSA retains the discretion to determine which comments it will post and which it will not. That means all comments will be reviewed before posting.”

I first wrote about the TSA Blog’s censorship of my comments back in 2011. After giving up trying to comment under my real name, I recently started commenting under “Anonymous.” Lo and behold, most of my comments go through. Odd, considering that there are so many anonymous trolls on the web, and you’d think someone who isn’t afraid to sign his or her real name wouldn’t be objectionable.

This week, however, I apparently angered the TSA gods. I submitted a comment anonymously on Monday, July 7th; it never appeared. Then I resubmitted it, under my real name, on Tuesday, July 8th. Ditto. Here’s the scary terroristy comment I tried to leave (in keeping with internet convention, the italicized parts indicate that I’m quoting another reader):

Anonymous said…

RB said…
“Here we are the day before celebrating our nations Independence Day living under the oppressive power of TSA. It is a sad time for our country. How will our children’s children ever forgive us?”

that has to be one of the most dramatic over reactions i have ever seen/read. i thank you for making my day!
July 4, 2014 at 6:05 AM

I know — it’s such a dramatic overreaction to object to the abuse of people. I think it’s great that everyone is assumed to be a criminal and is therefore bullied and harassed. Go, TSA!

As for the obvious shill pretending to be posting “from the Middle East”:

Anonymous said…

TSA – I hate the lines, the delays, the invasiveness of the inspections, the restrictions on items I may take with me during air transport.

Thank you for making it safer than the prior free-for-all that allowed multiple planes to be taken over for use as a weapon of mass destruction, or that allowed hostage taking. There are still areas in the world where passenger safety is not a priority, and I happen to frequent those parts and it is unsettling.

Yours is a thankless job, you fail, your team take 100% of the blame, your success only inflames those that say you are unnecessary.

Take a bow, and the next time a complainer steps through your area, just say “You’re Welcome”.

Hand out for a shake, hat off in respect, belt, shoes, and laptop on the belt by requirement…

Regards Anonymously from the Middle East,
July 7, 2014 at 12:54 AM

Love your comedy stylings! Keep it up!

screen shot

I learned to add the “screen shot” indicator from another reader. That’s because she, too, used to be censored, and she wanted a record of the comments she submitted.

Since my original comment never appeared, I resubmitted it verbatim, with this prelude:

Trying to post this comment again, since it wasn’t allowed to appear yesterday, Monday, July 7th, when I originally submitted it. Now I’m submitting it again, this time under my real name. I stopped doing that in the past because you guys censored so many of my comments. When I started submitting them anonymously, then you usually allowed them to post. Not so yesterday. So let’s try again, shall we:

Lots of readers have commented since, so it’s not as if the moderators haven’t gotten around to posting comments. (They’re so busy, don’tchya know — propaganda is a full-time job!)

Anyhoo. I invite those of you who’ve never tried to comment at the TSA Blog to do so. You never know — you might get lucky and receive the blessings of Blogger Bob Burns, Blogger West Cooper, or any other of the merry moderators whose job it is “to communicate with the public about all things TSA related.”