John Tyner's caught-on-tape warning to the San Diego airport security agent assigned to pat him down, "If you touch my junk, I'll have you arrested," has become a rallying cry for privacy advocates and others opposed to the TSA's stringent new airline safety rules. (Watch the video below.) After Tyner, 31, refused to pass through the TSA's new full-body X-ray scanner, and rejected the pat-down alternative, he was escorted from the security area. Now the TSA says it is investigating Tyner for leaving the airport without undergoing a security check. Is the TSA pushing this too far?
Leave Tyner alone: "It's the TSA that should be investigated, not Tyner," says Jane Hamsher in The Huffington Post. What the TSA did to him is "a full-on outrage," and now the world has seen how those who reject its "porno scanners" or "sexual molestation" techniques are treated. The agency is blatantly trying to make an example of Tyner so other "refuseniks" will fall in line.
"Investigate the TSA, not Tyner"
We can't have our airports clogged with Tyners: The TSA's proposed $11,000 fine for Tyner is "probably too high," says Peter Jensen in The Baltimore Sun. But so was Tyner's "over-the-top" reaction to the reasonable "little indignity" he was asked to endure so that he and his fellow passengers can fly "explosive-free." Luckily for anyone hoping to make their flight, most passengers put "safety first, Victorian-sensibilities-toward-touching second."
"'Don't touch my junk'"
The TSA is risking "an even-bigger backlash": "Both sides make important points," says The San Diego Union-Tribune in an editorial. But for now, about 80 percent of the public is on the TSA's side. If the TSA "prosecutes — and martyrizes — Tyner," however, it will just compound this P.R. debacle, and public support could "plummet." The TSA should revisit some of its policies, but calmly, not "under fire."
"Tyner saga: TSA risks further backlash"