TSA’s Blogger Bob responds to Amy Alkon’s post

The TSA’s celebrated (cough, cough) “Blogger Bob” has responded to Amy Alkon’s post about her most recent experience at JFK. Here’s the full text, with link below: 

Here we go again… TSA seems to be a frequent and a convenient subject on this blog. The writer’s language characterization towards TSA and our employees is offensive to say the least. Name calling, insults, the whole gamut…

In her latest screening incident, she’s angry because a supervisor wouldn’t give her the name of an officer who had just screened her. An officer who – by the way – by all accounts other than Ms. Alkon’s, did her job by the book. It is more likely that she wanted this information so she could post the officer’s name on her blog as she’s done before with other incidents. In fact, she named and publicly accused one of our officers of rape after a routine pat-down in an earlier allegation.

Ms. Alkon says all sorts of things in this post, but what Ms. Alkon doesn’t tell you is that from the moment she entered our checkpoint, she began making statements such as “TSA gets paid to molest passengers and touch their private areas.” Does that sound like somebody who wants to get through the checkpoint smoothly? No, it sounds like somebody who makes a living by agitating situations and writing about them.

Also missing in the details, Ms. Alkon wasn’t selected for a pat-down as she states in this post. She opted out of advanced imaging technology (body scanner). It’s acceptable to opt out, but the standard protocol when a passenger opts out is that they receive a pat-down, not a free pass through security. If you read Amy’s comments, she knows this. As Ms. Alkon continued to make a scene, the checkpoint supervisor stated he would have to call airport police if she did not cooperate with the screening process.

We understand that not everybody likes or agrees with TSA’s policies and procedures. Part of what makes this country great is that we can openly complain on blogs such as this one, but I think it’s only fair that the blogger in question should be fair and accurate about what they write about and also consider the privacy of the individuals involved. After all, these individuals are doing the job the way they’ve been trained to do it. They show up to work daily with the intent of protecting our Nation’s transportation network.

I can assure you of one thing, an infinitesimal number of our employees know of Ms. Alkon. I can also assure you that reoccurring allegations like hers seem to be more self perpetuated rather than based upon reality and do nothing but detract from the mission at hand.

Bob Burns
TSA Blog Team

Posted by: Bob Burns at November 20, 2012 7:16 AM

Go to Amy Alkon’s personal blog to see the response in its original location. He also posted a response at Propaganda Central, aka the TSA Blog. As I’ve said before, I long ago stopped trying to comment there as my comments were always censored (our tax dollars at work!). There’s a reason Bob Burns is known far and wide as “Bloghdad Bob.”

  • RB

    It is the page views on the Amy Alkon thread at TSA’s Propaganda Village (the TSA Blog) that needs to be bump up a few thousand. In my earlier post I gave the address for that thread. Please go and add a few page views.

  • RB

    I realize this story is a bit aged now but TSA worked hard to move this off the front page of the TSA Blog. On the home page of the TSA Blog are popular stories listed by popularity per TSA’s Bob Burns. Apparently the Amy story hasn’t received enough page hits to make the list. So lets help out a bit and be sure the Amy Alkon story gets a mention on the TSA Blog homepage.

    We need page views, lots of page views. Go here:

    Her We Go Again…Amy Alkon

    • Susan Richart

      After you’ve read the TSA Blog article about Amy (I think it’s been pushed to the 3rd or 4th page by now), please tell Bob that his comparison of a thread that’s been up for 4 years with a thread that was only posted a couple of weeks ago is not valid.

      Yes, I realize that RB asked for the comparison of the safety razor thread to the Alkon thread, but if Bob were totally and completely honest, he would have forthrightly stated that such a comparison was not valid. Then he would have compared another very recent “look what we found!” thread to the Alkon thread.

      Lisa, can you tell us how many views this thread has had since it went up?

      • Well, it’d take me some time to do an exact count, cause I’d have to add up all the hits from the individual days, but I can tell you right off the bat that it’s been thousands. It got picked up by other sites and went viral for a while there. It’s still getting hits.

        • Susan Richart

          Thanks, Lisa.

  • Finrod Felagund

    I would imagine that any sane person complaining about an organization that has had over 17,000 complaints of theft and/or sexual molestation (and counting!) would in their reply be ‘offensive to say the least. Name calling, insults, the whole gamut’, because it would be one hundred percent completely justified and appropriate.

    Stick your crap where the sun don’t shine, Bob.

  • RB

    I posted the following question to Blogger Bob on the TSA Blog.

    As a PR person do you think your article attacking Amy Anklon improves the public’s view of TSA or makes it worse?

    I suspect I will never see an answer to that question but I would hope that TSA considers what happened and make some changes. Perhaps TSA should try working with the public instead of making enemies of the public. But I’m afraid that is asking to much for the TSA brain-trust to comprehend.

  • cjr001

    The last thing Propaganda Bob knows about is reality.

    • RonBonner

      There must be noxious fumes or something around DC.
      Look at how it removes all self control and reasoning ability from people like Bob Burns.

      • Daisiemae

        The fumes are coming from all that money they are burning.

      • Finrod Felagund

        Yeah, there’s more than one reason why I’d like to renumber the interstate Beltway around DC to I-666.

  • Susan Richart

    I have e-mailed all my Congressional representatives asking that Mr. Burns immediately be relieved of his duties with the TSA as a result of his completely unprofessional attack on a private citizen.

    In addition, I have faxed similar requests to Congressmen King and Rogers of the House Homeland Security Committee.

    I ask each of you to consider doing the same.

  • joentokyo

    You don’t have to be a criminal to get a job at TSA, but it really seems to help.

  • This is a highly unusual response from Bob.

    • Chris, you’re being sarcastic, right? Sorry, it’s getting hard to tell these days on the intertubes! But just in case you’re not, he posted the same response at the TSA Blog, link above.

      • mkcrbl

        I agree with you posing the question, for if you hadn’t, then I most likely would have. After all, this surely isn’t atypical conduct from Mr Bob.

    • Actually, I agree that it’s unusual. Blogger Bob’s usual response to a virtual angry mob is to ignore the incident and hope it dies down.

      • RonBonner

        Blogger Bob, Curtis Robert Burns, has still not answered the question if TSA employees must identify themselves if asked. The TSA Comment document
        http://www.tsa.gov/sites/default/files/images/tsa_complaint_submission_form.pdf

        asks for the name of the TSA screener so it seems likely that TSA expects a person to collect this information.
        As far as the TSA post written by Bob Burns attacking Amy Aklon if he worked for a civilized company he would be out on his ear! If Bob Burns posted that attack at the request of someone else at TSA they should both be fired for cause.

        • Susan Richart

          You can’t fail to notice how quickly he moved that thread off the front page. Did it by reposting a thread he’d previously put up on 11/15.

          The comments must really have got under his skin.

          He’s a scumbag.

          • Daisiemae

            Good! Let’s keep up the pressure.

    • Susan Richart

      It’s highly unprofessional, extremely personal and indicative of the depths to which the TSA will go in their feeble attempt to defend themselves.

      It’s even lower than Pistole’s method of striking back as published in last Sunday’s Washington Post.

      TSA is reacting to increasing criticism through its normal route of intimidation and blaming the victim.

      I hope Bob has trouble sleeping at night.

    • RonBonner

      Chris perhaps you have the contacts to ferret out the answer to the question if TSA employees must ID themselves if asked.
      Would think that an easy question for TSA to field.

  • Chris Bray

    The only thing Bob doesn’t manage to do is discuss the TSA’s policy regarding requests for the names of their pizza box-recruited “officers,” or explain why government employees are entitled to be protected from identification while doing their pathetic “work” with the public in a public area. He rants, howls, whines, and ignores every question of policy that you might ever raise.

    Citizen, stop! You are hurting the feelings of the state!

    Loathesome creatures.

    • mkcrbl

      Quote: “He rants, howls, whines, and ignores every question of policy that you might ever raise”.
      That’s surely typical of roguish people or creatures. It’s a little difficult to refer to these creatures as people.

  • So, Amy, you offended Blogger Bob through your “language characterization” (whatever that is). The tone of this response is pretty nasty and sounds awfully personal. I think you got under Bob’s skin.

    Good for you.

    Because, like Bob, I am offended.

    I am offended that an agency so rife with pedophiles and petty thieves has the audacity to pretend that it’s keeping Americans safe.

    I’m offended that the official spokesman of that agency seems to think it’s his job to mock the traveling public for bringing silly things onto planes with his regular faux-amazed recitation of how many chain saws the TSA has confiscated.

    I am offended by the billions of dollars of contracts routed to well-placed friends.

    I am offended by Bob’s pals in Congress who know that this agency has grown out of control but are too craven to take a stand against TSA abuse for fear of looking “soft” on terror if another attack ever comes.

    I am offended that the youngest, the oldest, and the least able among us are so often singled out for abuse at the hands of blue shirted gropers.

    And most of all I am offended every time Bob and his ilk try to make the case that only by stripping the American people of their fundamental right to privacy can their freedom be guaranteed.

    Don’t stop what you are doing, because rigtht now I am offended at the whole damned enterprise.

    • Daisiemae

      That makes two of us! I am extremely offended by everything this revolting agency of criminals and perverts does.

      • GOP_Lies

        That makes three of us! I am offended by the fact that the TSA engages in sexual molestation of the American taxpayer on a daily basis and that they are paid to do this with my tax dollars. This Bob Burns must be a member of the TSA’s Sexual Deviant Club for which the TSA has untold numbers as members. Everyday they violate the Fourth Amendment and probably get off in the process. The TSA is a despicable anti-American organization who has NEVER PROTECTED THE AMERICAN PEOPLE FROM ANYTHING and steals from the American people on a daily basis as well, among other things. They will NEVER get to molest me as I will never fly again. If enough people come forward and refuse to fly because of this despicable organization the airlines will take notice and will force the government to take notice. We can only hope. The old saying “money talks” etc. applies here!