There's a certain kind of TSA bad apple - in between the outright thief, the malicious prankster, and the sexual harasser - which is the "petty bureaucrat gleefully wielding their power to bully passengers" bad apple. These bad apples know all too well that they can prevent travelers from reaching their flights on time, and they're going to ostentatiously use their authority to show they have it. It's kind of pathetic, and it's nowhere near the majority of TSA agents who behave this way, but it's a thing.
Or as the Bloomberg News described a recent Congressional report, "TSA's Insensitivity Impedes Security, House Panel Says." The report partly focuses TSA's reactive practice of trying to protect us from yesterday's attack, which is an issue we've hit again and again. It also focuses on the agency's habit of rolling out technologies before they've secured public buy-in, and you can read our old rant about that here.
And yes, it focuses more broadly on TSA's insensitivity. More problematically for the agency, it comes just as another TSA bullying scandal is in the midst of going viral. Someone with the YouTube handle AirportVideoofTSA was apparently asked to submit to one of the Starbucks checks with which we've been having so much fun. The traveler declined in what might be described as a less than gracious way. By law that means that the TSA had a right to pull her aside, and fair enough, and whatever.
But according to the video, refusing to submit to the check isn't why the woman was forced to miss her plane - which she did. Instead it's because the TSA agent didn't like the woman's "attitude." We're pretty sure that's not one of the listed reasons for when agents to pull aside travelers, no matter how much they'd like that to be true.