Are government bloggers citizen advocates or are they PR staff required to parrot the agency line?
I've been thinking about that in reference to the growing controversy about "naked scanners" and groping by agents of the TSA.
Despite the countless stories by those who have been groped at TSA checkpoints, "Blogger Bob" of http://blog.tsa.gov insists that it's never happened:
"Also, there is no fondling, squeezing, groping, or any sort of sexual assault taking place at airports. You have a professional workforce carrying out procedures they were trained to perform to keep aviation security safe."
This is so contrary to reality to boggle the mind. It's insulting, really. Who are you going to believe? The growing number of citizen reports (including video) or some anonymous agent of the government?
Blogger Bob also states that their naked scanners won't be storing the pictures they take of you. Despite the fact that the very same machines were used by the US Marshals. And pictures from those machines are now online at Gizmodo.
It's disappointing. Blogger Bob, whoever he/she is, serves the public not Janet Napolitano. They should offer facts and information, not obvious and incredulous spin. I've been impressed that the TSA has a blog, which is brave, but to use it as a propaganda tool is an embarrassment.
We citizens have a right to honest information from government employees, not PR bullshit.
It's a slippery slope that the TSA is on. This debasement of language ("enhanced patdowns") and willful deceit by government agents is a really bad development.
That hand on your groin - merely an enhanced patdown! And don't worry about those machines scanning you. We've always been at war with Eastasia...
I think if Orwell wrote 1984 today, Winston Smith would be a TSA blogger.