It goes without saying that TSA is frustrating. At the top of agency, the lack of transparency from political appointees has now reached arguably illegal levels. At the bottom, "bad apple" agents range from the douchey to the cruel to the absusive to the criminal. And of course they're often very bad at their jobs.
Yet pluralities to majorities of Americans continue to be basically OK with TSA.
The old theory was that TSA's support was coming from the 75% of Americans who fly infrequently or never fly. The line went something like "half of Americans don't go to airports so they obviously don't care about getting groped, and then half of the Americans who do go to airports don't do it often enough to get groped, so there you have it." But that doesn't seem accurate. There's no significant difference in how fliers and non-fliers perceive TSA's tactics.
It just seems that most Americans think TSA's measures provide a good balance betwen security and hassle. We'd be inclined to differ on some pointslots of TSA's policies seem like useless security theater, and some of the hassle is surely unnecessarybut even we've gone on rants when critics get silly in attacking the agency. And what we think doesn't matter anyway, since the question is what the American public thinks, and the answer to that hasn't changed in years.
[Photo: Wayan Vota / Flickr]