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The Nation: TSAstroturf: The Washington Lobbyists and Koch-Funded Libertarians Behind TSA Scandal [View All]

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OregonBlue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Nov-25-10 06:25 PM
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The Nation: TSAstroturf: The Washington Lobbyists and Koch-Funded Libertarians Behind TSA Scandal
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Edited on Thu Nov-25-10 06:25 PM by OregonBlue
Does anyone else sense something strange is going on with the apparently spontaneous revolt against the TSA? This past week, the media turned an "ordinary guy," 31-year-old Californian John Tyner, who blogs under the pseudonym "Johnny Edge," into a national hero after he posted a cell phone video of himself defending his liberty against the evil government oppressors in charge of airport security.

While this issue is certainly importantand offensiveto Americans, we are nonetheless skeptical about how and why this story turned into a national movement. In fact, this whole campaign feels a bit like dj-vu: As the first reporters to expose the Tea Party as an Astroturf PR campaign funded by FreedomWorks and Koch-related front groups back in February, 2009, we see many of the same elements driving the current "rebellion" against the TSA: Koch-related libertarians, Washington lobbyists and PR operatives posing as "ordinary citizens," and suspicious fake-grassroots outrage relentlessly promoted in the same old right-wing echo chamber.

Meg McLain almost became a national celebrity as the first victim of the body scanner/TSA molesters. On November 8, McLain was preparing to fly out of the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, airport, when she claimed to have been the victim of invasive TSA molestation. According to McLain, when she refused to have her body scanned, the TSA agents supposedly started screaming "Opt out! Opt out!" and pulled her aside and "molested" herspecifically, they "squeezed and twisted" her breasts so hard that "it hurt." ("OptOut" is the name of a "grassroots" protest movement designed to tie up airports during the holidaysmore on that later.) As she described it, "It's getting to the point where I feel more physically molested than if some random guy actually came up and molested me. It's more intrusive than that." McLain also claimed that she was made to stand in an open area next to the metal detector, where every passenger could look at her while a TSA agent "screamed" at her, until, finally, she was handcuffed to a chair by a "dozen cops." McLain immediately called into the Keene libertarian radio show to tell her awful story, which was posted on YouTube, and spread virally after it was promoted on Drudge Report.

There was only one problem with McLain's story: she made it up. The TSA released video evidence showing that McLain wasn't molested, wasn't screamed at and wasn't attacked by a dozen cops and half a dozen TSA agents. In fact, other passengers don't seem to notice her, although a TSA agent does seem to be trying to comfort McLain, offering her tissues as the libertarian rebel breaks out crying.

http://www.thenation.com/article/156647/tsastroturf-was...

Long article we all should read. As I have mentioned several times today, I started reading DU and had to check to make sure I hadn't accidentally gone to FreedomWorks instead.
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