Last modified: 7:58 AM Saturday, 14 January 2017

Civil distractions?

I am beginning to wonder about the timing of this TSA “story,” now the darling of the internet after being introduced via right-wing/libertarian sites (such as Alex Jones’ paranoia/conspiracy/pseudoscience site, to which I intend to give no further publicity and therefore will not name) and then picked up by left-wing sites and the corporate media.

Red herring

“Looks like a red herring.”
[ Image Source ]

As StumbleUpon member Pasatter notes, it comes very conveniently at the same time that the Supreme Court is discussing whether class-action lawsuits are to be removed from the consumer’s arsenal against fraudulent and oppressive business practices, and Congress is examining recommendations from the deficit-reduction commission that call, among other things, for delayed Social Security eligibility.

These legislative issues are unglamorous but important to a lot of people, and I find it suspicious that, when such matters are on the agenda, suddenly civil-liberties questions like this, simmering on the back burner for many months, are shifted forward and brought to a vigorous boil with plenty of obscuring steam, often following exactly this pattern. Note that civil-liberties stories are virtually the only ones that can be introduced by one political faction and taken seriously by the other; thus the timing of their introduction can be a critical question, as it implies that both sides will then focus the attention of their readers on them, often to the exclusion of other stories.

Is it possible that some internet and other media entities hold such controversies in reserve, to be brought before the public just in time to distract people from the more significant matters under consideration?

Originally published as a review of a post on the TSA issue.

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