Not even one of the nation’s most famous newsmen is exempt from being groped by airport security agents.
Appearing on CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman Monday night, NBC’s Brian Williams said he was groped by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) as he traveled through the Los Angeles airport.
“Air travel is such a joy in this country,” Williams told Letterman. “You get the enhanced schmegeggy right there… That’s an aviation term. For some reason coming back, I always get it at LAX. I get nailed.”
“They go, they go right in,” Williams explained. “This new thing, they go right after Dave and the twins… Either you go in the little thing and you put your arms up and parade around, and somebody in a booth somewhere looks at you naked through your clothing, or you can get the prod of your schmegeggy.”
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said it received over 900 complaints from travelers in November who were subjected to the new screening procedures of the TSA, which includes the use of body scanner machines and invasive physical pat-downs.
“Under the newly implemented enhanced pat-down, a TSA officer slides his or her hands over an individual’s breasts, buttocks, groin, and inner thighs, and inserts his or her fingers inside the entire circumference of the pant’s waistband,” a lawsuit filed against Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and TSA administrator John Pistole stated.
A woman who uses a wheelchair was recently searched and interrogated for an hour before being refused access to her flight by TSA officers that had found an “unusual contour” around her buttocks which they couldn’t explain.
Airports around the nation are considering replacing the TSA with private security contractors due to the persistent outcry from angry travelers.
“The TSA has grown too big and we’re unhappy with the way it’s doing things,” Larry Dale, president of Orlando Sanford International Airport, told MSNBC. “My board is sold on the fact that the free enterprise system works well and that we should go with a private company we can hold directly accountable for security and customer satisfaction.”
But even if the TSA gets tossed from airports, enhanced pat-downs and body scanning technology won’t go away with them. The agency sets security standards that must be followed by all airport security, public or private.
This video is from CBS’s Late Show with David Letterman, broadcast Jan. 3, 2011 (via Politico).