Communication is TSA’s Bigger Problem

Chatter surrounding the TSA’s new pat-down rules reached a fever pitch and then… ho-hum. Today is here and there aren’t any reports (so far) of protests at the airports. Just lots of people who want to get to where they’re trying to get to.

So can it be that the media blew the issue out of proportion? That’s Howard Kurtz’s opinion. According to his story on The Daily Beast, NBC Nightly News did four stories on the subject last week, the CBS Evening News did five, the story was the lead on today’s morning shows and network programming, and took a cover spot on the New York Times.

All this and the scanners have only reached 70 out of 453 U.S. airports.

In response, TSA head John Pistole “stiffly sticks to his talking points and keeps turning the conversation to terrorism,” Kurtz writes. “The only ground he would cede is that ‘we haven’t done a good enough job educating people.'”

Indeed, some argue that it’s the comms lapses that have been the biggest problem all along.

“That’s why the education component is so important – it’s telling the traveling public what they should expect,” Roger Cressey told Cressey worked with counterterrorism efforts during the Clinton and Bush administrations.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs has emphasized that the policy will evolve. And some people can have a little fun with it by getting their Foursquare “Baggage Handler” badge.

Update: A protester in Salt Lake City.

[Image via AllTop.]