The media just doesn't get it

Old Aug 10, 06, 9:27 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Dulles, VA
Programs: UA Life Gold, Marriott Life Titanium
Posts: 2,589
The media just doesn't get it

I know that most of what TSA/DHS does is window dressing so all the tourists who fly about once a year can be impressed by the "shock and awe" of the washout cop/soldier/wannabe tuff guy working for TSA when he finds an oversharp pair of toenail clippers in Granma's handbag, but still......

The media keeps mentioning that the airlines shouldn't suffer too much "due to passenger fears of terrorist attacks". I know of no business travelers who fear terrorist attacks. What we fear are screwed-up airline employees/airport employees/TSA screwing up our days by doing stupid crap like they've done today.

If in the prior 4.5 years-+ that Thousands Standing Around has been in business, they have not shown us who fly every week that they really know what the hell they are doing. The credibilty gap is huge, because of silliness like Shoe Carnivals, retaliatory secondaries, rudeness, and silly policies like banning lighters 3 years after they either should or shouldn't have, etc. I kept reading today that TSA/DHS will "reevaluate". Well, it took TSA/DHS over three years to eliminate the absolutely idiotic 30-minute rule on flights in and out of National. Who has much confidence that they will actually examine the "threat" from today and create an actual useful policy from it?

Heres a quote from the newswire: "The sports drink could be combined with a peroxide-based paste to form a potent "explosive cocktail," if properly done, said a U.S. counterterrorism official." ..., so if I drop some Pop Rocks in a jug of Gaterade and drop my Ipod in it, I can suddenly blow an airplane up? Are these bozos serious??

It used to be that to defeat a country you had to raise and train an army, manufacture arms and ammunition, create logistics systems, housing and medical support, transportion, etc. It appears that today, all you need to do is download some blueprints from the web site of your local zoning commission and spread them out on the floor of your favorite cave in Pakistan or wherever and cause a complete shutdown of a city. Or maybe you can just sit around in an apartment and think up goofy stuff like mixing Gatorade and peroxide paste into a bomb - this from the brain trust who sent Richard Reed on a plane with a shoe full of explosives but forgot to issue him a 59-cent Bic lighter to actually make it work. Hell, your plan doesn't really need to work, you just have to think something vaguely plausible up and the Western security agencies will eat it up like ice cream. Why destroy your enemies' economy and lifestyle when you can get them to do it to themselves?

Were those guys in Europe and Pakistan planning something? Possibly. What I know is banning water and toothpaste and eye drops and whatnot from airplanes today is a ludicrus reaction. It seems the investigation was going on for some time but they decide to ban stuff only after they catch everyone? Does this make any sense to anyone?

Look - if someone really wanted to destroy an airplane, they can. Either accept this as fact and get on with life or just ban commercial airliners alltogether and we'll go back to taking a week on a ship to get to Europe.

We don't fear the terrorists, we fear and loathe the reaction of those people supposedly in charge of helping and protecting us.
catocony is offline  
Old Aug 10, 06, 10:10 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Austin, TX -- AA PLT 2.8MM+ (life PLT); IHG PLT Ambassador; UA Gold
Posts: 5,444
Heres a quote from the newswire: "The sports drink could be combined with a peroxide-based paste to form a potent "explosive cocktail," if properly done, said a U.S. counterterrorism official." ..., so if I drop some Pop Rocks in a jug of Gaterade and drop my Ipod in it, I can suddenly blow an airplane up? Are these bozos serious??
Mentos+Diet Coke = lots of fun
hauteboy is offline  
Old Aug 10, 06, 10:13 pm
  #3  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Marietta, GA
Programs: Delta MM
Posts: 609
The media doesn't get it? Really? Wow. Did you really have to burst my bubble? I mean, what's next? Are you going to go completely nuts and try to tell us that the government wastes our tax money?!
John C is offline  
Old Aug 10, 06, 11:05 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: DFW
Programs: AA EP 3MM, UA Silver, Bonvoy Ambassador, Hyatt Gobalist, HH Silver, Caesars PLT
Posts: 7,021
Originally Posted by hauteboy
Mentos+Diet Coke = lots of fun
youtube is great, isn't it?
aamilesslave is offline  
Old Aug 11, 06, 1:30 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: HKG
Programs: AA 3MM EXP, SQ Solitaire, LH SEN, CX DM, GP Courtesy Card, Marriott LT Titanium
Posts: 2,959
I completely agree with the OP. Its not just the media.. I think 90% of people in general doesn't get it, and its usually the ones who don't travel at all...
tfung is offline  
Old Aug 11, 06, 3:34 am
  #6  
Original Member
 
Join Date: May 1998
Location: PDX
Programs: TSA Refusenik charter member
Posts: 15,973
I swear to the Lord if I watch one more newscast interviewing *only* travelers who say sh!t like, "Well, if it makes us safer," and "Well, we're at war" or any other similar nonsense I'm gunna ... gunna .... what was that part about Pop Rocks + Diet Coke + an iPod??

Here's what I'd say:

Basically, a chemist with a vendetta could pull it off, without blowing himself up before reaching FL350.

And *that's* why airport security ala TSA's hysterical brand little chance of stopping a terrorist attack. Zero tolerance doesn't work and is as much a fantasy to achieve as the existence of the Easter Bunny.

Someone could just use a catheter to, erm, upload the explosive substances. It would then just be a matter of flipping a coin to decide which orifice gets which material.
I'd die and go to heaven to see the look some of my former colleagues faces (print journalists).
essxjay is offline  
Old Aug 11, 06, 4:35 am
  #7  
us2
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: Southern California/In the air
Programs: DL
Posts: 10,382
What's really surprising about the poor media coverage is that so many journalists themselves are heavy travelers. While this is less true of local news types, this is not true of many network correspondents and print journalists, many of whom work off computers and do not have the luzury of standing around waiting to see if their checked bags will turn up. They are every bit as affected by this stupidity as the rest of us, yet we hear nothing from them. And the one-sidedness of the reactions today was simply disgraceful. They couldn't find one person who feels like this is all overkill?
us2 is offline  
Old Aug 11, 06, 6:58 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: FLL
Programs: DL ♦M MM|HH♦|Marr Slvr|CO UA AA US|Pri Cub Plat|SPG|Avis 1st|Htz 5*
Posts: 5,044
I agree with the OP about the media hype. And I also feel that the TSA is reactive instead of proactive. Richard Reid used matches and failed to ignite his shoe bomb; but lighters are banned. The TSA restricts matches to 3 books per person. Weren't there 5 hijackers on 3 of the 9/11 flights? Let's see... 3 X 5 = 15 = unsafe!

Another media practice that irks me is interviewing pilots as they leave the secure area of an airport. They aren't at baggage claim to get their rollerboards so OF COURSE they are going to say "well, if it makes things safer...". What a lame comment. If the TSA were to require that all crews report two hours prior to the airport than they are required now by their employers AND the employers were exempt from paying them any more money AND they had to wait at baggage claim like everyone else for their bags then they would not be so quick to support the TSA's actions. They would probably threaten to strike for more pay and less hours. This is exactly what happens to me as a biz flyer. I have to add more hours to my travel week with no extra pay and I am forced to wait at baggage claim even if I have very little stuff to carry for a biz trip. But a strike is not an option for me.

On another thread a poster mentioned that many airlines require the female FAs to where makeup so they shouldn't be required to discard all liquids. Since when do the airline policies trump the TSA?

So much of this is ratings hype by the media.

Imagine if everyone entering the Golden Gate Bridge had to dispose of all liquids. After all, in the middle of the bridge one could combine mentos and diet coke and take down the bridge. Even if this happened would ALL highways require security lines to enter? WE CAN NEVER BE 100% SAFE IN ANY SITUATION! I am not saying we should make it easy on the crazies but these terrorists captured yesterday were planning a suicide misssion! What do they care if they are locked up forever in a prison. They actually accomplished much of what they were trying to do without actually having to sacrifice their lives.

How could we possibly prevent havoc from people willing to die for their cause. A suicide bomber could enter a grocery store on Main Street, USA. Should we be stripped of all clothing even in winter just to go shopping?

I see only group of people able to "force" the hand of the TSA on flying policies...

not the AARP
not the NRA
not the FT community

no, I believe the soccer moms have the upper hand. The moment children can not be taken on planes because of liquid rules, or no carry ons (including strollers), or no baby powder (it could be laced with antrax) I believe the "family" lobby will get them to loosen their restrictions. There is nothing more powerful in sound bites than "but think of the children "
Evan! is offline  
Old Aug 11, 06, 7:06 am
  #9  
Moderator: Marriott Bonvoy & Travel with Children
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Winter Garden, FL
Programs: Delta DM-3MM United Gold-MM Marriott Lifetime Titanium Hertz President's Circle
Posts: 13,724
I agree totally with the OP.
Originally Posted by tfung
I completely agree with the OP. Its not just the media.. I think 90% of people in general doesn't get it, and its usually the ones who don't travel at all...
Yep.
Originally Posted by us2
What's really surprising about the poor media coverage is that so many journalists themselves are heavy travelers. While this is less true of local news types, this is not true of many network correspondents and print journalists, many of whom work off computers and do not have the luzury of standing around waiting to see if their checked bags will turn up. They are every bit as affected by this stupidity as the rest of us, yet we hear nothing from them. And the one-sidedness of the reactions today was simply disgraceful. They couldn't find one person who feels like this is all overkill?
I suspect that big national correspondents use private planes -- or will now!

Bruce
bdschobel is offline  
Old Aug 11, 06, 7:18 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NYC/SYD
Programs: Virtuoso Travel Advisor. FSPP, Ritz STARS, Rosewood Elite, Belmond BelliniClub. SPG PRO
Posts: 2,445
Originally Posted by hauteboy
Mentos+Diet Coke = lots of fun
So much fun they had a "race" on the morning news show here about it with 5 of the cast each doing one to see which would have the best effect.
tenmoc is offline  
Old Aug 11, 06, 7:29 am
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
Location: Bryn Mawr PA & Wailea HI
Posts: 15,726
I fly about 100k miles per year and honestly I feel less safe when I see 2-20 fat totally-dressed-in-black-clothing local cops strolling around an airport armed with H&K MP5 submachine guna *and* a Glock automatic than I do seeing no fat cops at all. I really cringe when I see 19 year old camo-clothed National Guard Corporal toting an M-16 in an airport.

MisterNice
MisterNice is offline  
Old Aug 11, 06, 7:34 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Somewhere today, somewhere tomorrow!
Programs: Delta DM
Posts: 6,768
I agree with the OP. I recall reading earlier last week in an AA Fourm about a Pilot told the passengers that NO ELECTRONICS WERE ALLOWED in the lav's....I think that the airlines/Gov knew well in advance about it and were watching for things. Just funny that in hindsite, the airlines were watching out and were not left in the dark. Maybe one thing that the Fed Gov has done right in the past 6 years.
iCorpRoadie is offline  
Old Aug 11, 06, 7:40 am
  #13  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Programs: AA, WN RR
Posts: 3,122
Originally Posted by iCorpRoadie
I agree with the OP. I recall reading earlier last week in an AA Fourm about a Pilot told the passengers that NO ELECTRONICS WERE ALLOWED in the lav's....I think that the airlines/Gov knew well in advance about it and were watching for things. Just funny that in hindsite, the airlines were watching out and were not left in the dark. Maybe one thing that the Fed Gov has done right in the past 6 years.
Watching out for electronics was watching out for the wrong risk factor. The correct risk factor: arrests of suspects in Pakistan. Take the reasoning from there...
PatrickHenry1775 is offline  
Old Aug 11, 06, 8:39 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: FLL & PIT
Programs: Marriott Platinum for Life.
Posts: 1,235
Originally Posted by bdschobel
I agree totally with the OP.
Yep.
I suspect that big national correspondents use private planes -- or will now!

Bruce


It was reported yesterday that CNN's Cooper Anderson had to charter a private plane to get him from Tel Aviv to London so he could cover the "breaking story". There was no way to get him there on any commercial flights since LHR and LGW were shut down for a while.

trvlr64 is offline  
Old Aug 11, 06, 9:26 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: New York, NY USA
Posts: 284
Just saw this CNN article questioning the new restrictions.

http://www.cnn.com/2006/TRAVEL/08/10...eax/index.html

(excerpt)
"Boyd sees the U.S. Transportation Security Administration's ban as a knee-jerk reaction that leaves Americans no safer than they were before the 9/11 attacks.

"Remember Richard Reid, the guy who tried to light up his shoe on the airplane? After that we had to take off our shoes. Imagine what would have happened if he had hid that bomb in his pants," Boyd said."
wildblue is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread