Not content with its Orwellian brand, TSA contacted SF Weekly demanding they stop using the below scanner image and instead use TSA’s own “approved” images. What is the TSA good at? They suck at security, they suck at customer service and now they suck at public relations. What are these people good for?
We knew the TSA was sensitive about this whole scanner thing, but not this sensitive: This morning, SF Weekly got a phone call and a wrist-slap from the Transportation Security Administration’s press department. It turns out the TSA doesn’t like the image of body scans we used with our piece last week about how the scanners do not bombard people with an unhealthy dose of radiation.
The call was a bit odd coming from a government agency being widely accused of acting like Big Brother run amok. Especially when the story quoted U.C. San Francisco radiation experts defending the scanners as safe. But I guess we could say the agency’s true feelings about this public relations debacle have now been laid bare.
The woman on the phone told SF Weekly that they were not accurate images of the scanner, and urged us to either indicate to readers that those aren’t accurate pictures or use the officially approved scanner images.
We called TSA regional spokesman Nico Melendez for clarification, and he told us the agency is simply trying to keep the information given to the public about the scanner images accurate. “We’re not monitoring, but when we come across [an inaccurate image] we try to let them know it might be misleading.”
He says the photo we used is from a press tour several years ago of the TSA’s technology center in New Jersey, which, much to the TSA’s chagrin, is still being widely reused by media. “That is the image with no privacy filter installed, absolutely not the image our officers see,” Melendez wrote in an email.