What If The Standard Operating Procedure Sucks? Ctd

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 15 2011 @ 5:21pm

A reader writes:

I'm the father of a 7-year-old boy and a 4-year-old girl.  I've watched that video a couple times.  I don't have a strong stance on the TSA controversy.  I pretty much agree that it's all theater and probably doesn't really make us safer. But as a father watching that video I have to wonder: am I the only parent that thinks this is a whole lot of something about nothing?  

The woman seems to be doing her job professionally.  She doesn't in any way touch the girl inappropriately.  And the story of how the girl was in tears following the pat down seems bogus to me.  If she was in tears, it was because the parents were overreacting and made the situation worse than it was.  A child that age would have no idea that she was "violated" in some way from what I saw in the video.  

Does she feel violated after seeing a doctor?  A doctor may have more education than a TSA agent.  But a doctor touches children in much more intimate and potentially violating ways.  A person puts on a white coat and hangs a degree on their wall and most people are fine having their naked bodies touched and fingers inserted into any body cavity.  We are OK with this because we know it may save our lives or at least help us get over some malady.  Certainly the privacy of a doctor's office makes the situation somewhat different.  But my guess is the child would be even more traumatized, or at least the parents would be, if they rushed her off to a small room and did the pat-down in private.  

The pat-downs may indeed be theater.  But the parents posting this on YouTube and going on all the morning talk shows is theater too.