Gallup: Majority of Americans Think the TSA is Effective


For all the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) horror stories that pop up in local papers, then Drudge, then (often) Reason, turns out according to Gallup, that group of much-maligned gropers are doing okay. Or rather, 54 percent of poll respondees say that the TSA is doing a "good or excellent" job. However, a paltry 13 percent (barely more than the 12 percent who said "poor") actually think the TSA is "excellent."

More Gallup results say that a very sad 9 percent of folks think the TSA is "extremely effective." Forty-four percent think the TSA is "somewhat effective."

The official TSA twitters are proudly touting these poll numbers, even including the "surprise" that Forbes incluTded in their headline on the results. The TSA knows they are not well-loved and all, so maybe we should give them this one.

Back in November 2011, Reason-Rupe asked about the TSA. They found that 69 percent of people thought the agency had made air travel safer. Confidence that they would catch a terrorist in an airport was split 49-44 in favor of yes. Check out the rest of that poll over here.

Meanwhile, the worst TSA story of late comes from RT (taken off of a web forum that says a woman who had previously been the victim of a violent sexual assault had to go to the emergency room after getting an extra pat-down from TSA employees. It's hard to read, and it would be nicer to think that it's someone making it up in order to sully the TSA.


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  1. As she started shaking and sobbing in the room as the TSO began to touch her breasts, I gently touched her arm. Big mistake ? the TSO yelled that I couldn’t touch her and that I’d need to go through screening again.


  2. I don’t take much issue with the TSA workers at major airports. They tend to understand the assembly line they work on. It’s at the small and medium sized airports where they think of themselves as “federal agents”, with all the nonsense that accompanies that bravado, where you become annoyed and frustrated.

    1. I’ve seen that too. Fly through LAX or Denver or Dallas or Minneapolis or any major hub and they’re just punching the time clock and making sure you’re not carrying ordnance. Fly through Boise or Duluth or Sacramento and they’re sure every twentieth passenger is either a terrorist or on a scouting mission for one.

    2. Really? I’ve been through a particular airport in Bumblefuck, PA numerous times and I’ve always found them to care the least.

      1. How many flights a day does Bumblefuck Regional Airport handle?

  3. So- a majority of Americans are retards.

    [insert expression of disbelief]

  4. Polling is, as always, bullshit. So the TSA can take “positive” poll numbers and shove them up their ass. I’d normally say these poll numbers were flat out horseshit, but a lot of people seem to be stupid sheep who conceivably actually feel “safer” being groped by high school dropouts when on their way to flying somewhere, so who the fuck knows. Either way, it’s depressing.

    1. I’ve had people tell me that being groped by the TSA goons is better than being blown up, and I’ve had people tell me that I shouldn’t say bad things about the TSA goons because they’re just following orders. So, yes, normals are gigantic morons.

      1. I’ve never met a single person who thought the TSA was anything other than a jobs mill for retards, but that’s probably my own personal Pauline Kael experience.

        1. fwiw, i read recently that the pauline kael/nixon thing was apocryphal.

          i don’t know either way, but the metanarrative is compelling.

    2. The poll was of “Americans.” I wonder how a poll of people who have actually flown in the US would look.

      1. My bad, they did ask. I blame Lucy for not mentioning this in her post.

        1. Indeed. Another crazy thing:

          Younger Americans have significantly more positive opinions of the TSA than those who are older.

          It’s partially from not remembering the old system, though.

  5. It’s always fun to argue with a normal about how TSA agents are immoral scum. If you get the other person to tell you that the TSA goons are just following orders, you win the game.

    1. You know who else was just following orders?

      1. Mary Stack?

      2. C3PO?

      3. Ringo?

      4. your mom? She’s good at it too.

      5. The US government?

      6. Chik-fil-a employees?

      7. The Chi-Com badminton team?

      8. Mitt Romney

      9. Me?

  6. During a conversation with my ultra-liberal aunt and uncle, I said the TSA was worse than useless, and should be abolished. They were aghast.

    1. I had the same routine with my conservative brother.


      1. Most of my conservative friends intensely dislike or furiously abhor the TSA, with the severity of their detestation varying considerably.

        1. I hear you. I haven’t tried discussing it with him since that last time because it really doesn’t do anything good for either of us.

          1. I mean, you’ll always get neoconservative types whose first reaction is TEORISTS, MUST INSTITUTE POLIS STATE FOR THE GOOD OF MENKIND, but I’m fortunate enough not to know too many of those people.

  7. People love polls when the polls confirm their own biases and hate them when they don’t.

    1. “Four out of five dentists agree.”

      1. That fifth dentist is behind in his alimony.

    2. exactly. if the poll said “60% of people think police brutality is out of control” people here would be fellating the poll takers and proclaiming to the high heavens that polls are the greatest thing since the whedonverse

      1. I wouldn’t be.

        1. well *you* wouldn’t, but we all know you are awesome and have a giant american penis!!! (by way of giant soviet penis?)

          1. I wouldn’t be because I don’t have much faith in the utility of polls, whichever way they swing.

            And yeah, my dad was even a card-carrying member of the CPSU. Now, all the penises in my family have been naturalized. Thanks for your interest in my dick.

            1. i’m there for you, man.

              and heck, SOMEBODY has to be interested in it.

              1. Ouch. That’s low, dude.

      2. I wouldn’t be.

        I’d be wondering what the fuck was wrong with the other 35% (I’ll assume the remaining are current or former cops/prison guards)

        1. I’m all out of Internets do hand out. Will you take a commemorative monocle instead?

  8. I fly a lot, and I always “opt out” of the rapyscans, so I’m used to the TSA idiocy.
    What concerns me is the massive scene that is likely to occur when I fly with my wife and seven-year-old twins for family vaca in January.
    I fear my wife might actually pull the arms off some TSA goon if he/she insists on touching the children.
    Last time we, fortunately, avoid rapyscanning, so there was less of an issue. She still nearly went berserk when the TSA dude tried to give the kids “TSA badge” stickers. My wife deals with idiots in authority even less well than I do.

    1. Your wife is awesome. I would definitely be sent to Gitmo for life if some goon tried to give my kids a TSA badge sticker.

    2. I won’t fly simply because I don’t want to go to prison for killing some TSA motherfucker for groping my daughter.

    3. I like your wife.

        1. No, wait; let’s see where this goes…

          1. Dirty, filthy man!

  9. Gallup: Majority of Americans Think the TSA is Effective are fucking morons


    1. I can’t understand why this still surprises people.

    2. Good thing we’re not a democracy.

      1. At least we’re not supposed to be.

    3. libertarian elitism. i mentioned this in another thread. people were like “where?”

      it’s pretty typical. if you disagree with the masses, THEY must be idiots. elitism 101

      1. So you are in favor of direct democracy?

      2. In a nation filled with progressive elitism, conservative elitism, etc., why shouldn’t libertarians be elitist as well?

        As a police officer, you must meet a lot of masses, so to speak. How is the idiocy rate among them?

  10. Third comment in the article about the rape victim:

    Ramesh (unregistered) August 09, 2012, 16:50 -3 The Police are doing a job and keeping people safe from terrorism. Sometimes they might be getting a little bit carried away but we must forgive them. Terrorism is most important issue ion world right now and we cannot let terrrorists be thinking that we are not on side of our Police. Thank you.

    Please tell me this is a sockpuppet. Anyone who thinks this way should be put out of their misery. This is not a person, this is an animal. Why else would someone be OK with being treated like one?


    1. What’s up with the creepy unnecessary capitalization of police?

      1. Deities are routinely capitalized.

        1. Praise be Obama and all the Divines!

      2. That’s another thing: the TSA are not “police”. The kid groping toddlers today is the same kid who was flipping burgers at the airport Mickey D’s last week. Only difference is now he has a nice cushy unionized job where he gets to feel people up and look at nudie scans all day long and never be held accountable for anything ever again. Yay! Isn’t this country great?

        1. thank you. they most definitely are NOT police.

          yes, they wear badges. so do security guards.

          1. The ones I’ve seen have patches, not even badges. Maybe badges are part of the union contract?


      1. Sometimes I need to be reminded why I loathe people so much.

        1. ah yes. the libertarian penchant for elitism and the “i know best and the huddled masses are idiots” meme.

          if there is ANYTHING that turns people off from any ideology (or group in general), it’s when members of that group consider themselves vastly superior to everybody else and also misogyny and misandry.

          1. It’s a good thing, then, that many or most of us aren’t actually members of a single group, or even appropriate categorized as ideologically compatible.

            1. it’s also a bad thing that i constantly see this “i/we are so much smarter than the huddled masses because i am a libertarian and they believe X”

              that attitude (and it’s an attitude as much as a belief is very common here.

              there’s even a post about how loki “loathes” people.

              elitism and hate is not a winning philosophy.

              i just thank god loki et al aren’t cops.

              i love people and i respect those i disagree with.

              and imo, if more libertarians respected people with different beliefs and weren’t such antisocial misfits, it would help our cause

              1. plus they’d get laid moar often

              2. How and why am I supposed to respect people whose sociopolitical convictions are foundationally immoral?

                1. you can respect people and disagree with (some or all) of their beliefs.

                  it’s kind of like the love the sinner, hate the sin, except beliefs aren’t acts.

                  1. Not if their heartfelt convictions amount to slavemaking. Sorry.

                  2. when their political philosophies infringe on my rights, then yes I will criticize them, even on a personal level. They think they have the right to dictate how I run my life. They can drink a bottle of drano for all I care.

              3. Wow, Dunphy of all people wants to chastise libertarians for being part of a group that tends to see the rest of society as beneath them?

                1. “Wow, Dunphy of all people wants to chastise libertarians for being part of a group that tends to see the rest of society as beneath them?”

                  damn skippy.

                  and i don’t WANT to chastise libertarians who think thusly.

                  i DO chastise them, and people of any ideological stripe, who do so.

                  it’s also a tremendous sign of immaturity

              4. “it’s also a bad thing that i constantly see this “i/we are so much smarter than the huddled masses because i am a libertarian and they believe X””

                So you are an adherent of political relativism?

            2. Jesus Christ, dunphy, just shut the fuck up.

              1. Warty, dunphy is under the insanely retarded delusion that we give a rat’s ass about his opinion or want to hear his moronic views on…anything. Don’t ruin his fantasy. It’s all he has.

                1. epi, the fact that many people spend metric assloads of time arguing with me is proof positive they care about what i say

                  i’m also not interested in being part of your circle jerk. if you think i come here to be popular or loved, you are high. it’s the same reaction i would expect from posting on a KKK site. bigots will be bigots

                  and the fact that there are people here who openly admit to “loathing people”. that’s ExACTLY the kind of person i never want to be sympatico with.

                  if there is ONE thing i have had reinforced by over 20 yrs of police work, it’s that i love people.

                  it must be miserable to go through life such a sad, pathetic, people hating loser.

                  and somebody who hates people most likely is stunningly insecure.

                  1. “and the fact that there are people here who openly admit to “loathing people”. that’s ExACTLY the kind of person i never want to be sympatico with.”

                    In other words, you loath them.

                  2. and somebody who hates people most likely is stunningly insecure is an astute observer of human nature.


                2. there you go again

                  showing your bigotry against police

                  the people in my city respect me and thank me every time i tase them

                  1. the bigotry against police is evidenced by people who openly admit to “hating the police” or post under names exhorting me and/or police to die in a fire.

                    the problem with the bigotry is that it’s nigh impossible for a bigot to look dispassionately at facts/evidence.

                    i don’t care if it’s bigotry against black, cops, or whatever.

                    if you are filled with hate and prejudice, you aren’t able to rationally parse data

                    1. Keep talking, short bus. I don’t read a thing you write because I require that people know how to fucking use capitols and punctuation. Waste all of your own time that you want, troll.

                    2. “the bigotry against police is evidenced by people who openly admit to “hating the police” or post under names exhorting me and/or police to die in a fire.”

                      I don’t hate cops. I hate cops who do bad shit. How much simpler can this be made for you to understand it? I am, however, and always will be, distrustful and cautious of cops. That doesn’t mean I want them all to die in a fire.

                      The guys who executed Jose Guerena, for instance? Yeah, they can die in a fire. A really big, hot, painful, chemical fire. Sorry if you disagree.

                    3. not everybody here is an anti-cop bigot. heck, several outside the epi/sloopy echo chamber/circle jerk have even said they greatly respect my posts, and cops in general.

                      concluding that the guerana shooting was an ‘execution’ is not the kind of thing that would reveal somebody to be an anti-cop bigot.

                    4. That “anti-cop bigot” [CANARD] is getting tired, Dunphy.

                    5. Maybe they just need more training, like your colleagues that beat the Mexican Piss out of people in Seattle.

                  2. feel free to ignore the metric assloads of evidence that people DO respect cops, by a substantial minority

                    surround yourself with fellow travelers, ignore all evidence that upsets your prejudices, and wallow in ignorance of the real world outside your echo chamber

                    or engage in elitism. they think differently than you, so they must all be “morons” and it is entirely justified to “loathe” them

                    1. OK, if you truly believe that cops have the overwhelming support and trust of a vast majority of the American public then why are you so butt-hurt about the [CANARDS] propagated by anti-cop-bigots(tm)?

              2. This is unnecessary. What Dunphy is saying is actually good advice, politically. On the other hand, none of us are politicians.

                1. True.

      2. The groundlings have always loved theater and this is security theater.

    3. Maybe Ramesh is playing to our valiant friends at No Such Agency.

  11. …it would be nicer to think that it’s someone making it up in order to sully the TSA.

    Really? Do you think that? Then why did you reprint it? Wasn’t I just reading about how liberals will believe any story about how the wealthy torture babies for entertainment? Where do you draw the line Reason? What won’t you print?

    1. cant tel if serios

    2. Articles about litigious douches? Comments about sheep…

  12. I’ll just leave this here to infuriate a progressive or two:

    The best security against terrorists.

    1. Right, because if everyone was allowed to carry guns the 9/11 terrorists would still have tried to hijack the planes with box cutters.

      You don’t have to be progressive to wince at stupid people flying their stupid flag.

      1. I’m sorry, bro, are you new here?

        Assuming you’re not a troll, let’s start on the right note here: Who are you ideologically? What would you categorize yourself as?

        1. I am one of the OGs here and I am more Libertarian than thou.

          1. I was being facetious. I really don’t give a fuck.

  13. A majority of Americans also believe in UFOs, and ghosts, and supported Obama.

    1. and supported Obama.


      Sweet fucking God, why must you depress me with these reminders?

      Millions of my compatriots actually voted for that petty tyrant.

      Where’s the booze? I need to get wasted pronto.

      1. not correct.

        a majority of VOTERS supported obama

        whether a majority of AMERICANS did is another thing entirely. i did not see any poll of, for example, 6 yr olds

        1. I know. That’s still millions of people, Dunphy. That’s fucking awful.

          Like, imagine the Death Star blowing up Coruscant and all its trillion+ inhabitants. That’s how fucking awful it is.

          1. There were Rebels on Coruscant, so everyone on the planet is a legitimate target.

            1. I’ll go ahead and assume you’re not a big fan of Hiroshima and Nagasaki ’45.

              1. Destroying Coruscant will make those Rebel scum elsewhere think twice about attacking us. It’s the Rebellion that decides whether or not The Empire is at war with it.

                1. My grandfather was scheduled to invade Coruscant, and the Death Star saved his life. I owe my life to the brave decision to destroy Coruscant.

                  1. I’M RESISTING THE URGE TO FLING. STOP IT.

                2. Nice try. You’re not drawing me into another shit-slinging contest about the bombings.

              2. Or Hamburg or Dresden for that matter.

                1. Those younglings knew what they were getting into when they decided to wage war on The Emperor. If they didn’t want to die maybe they should have left the planet.

                  1. Don’t harbor rebels in your midst, even if you don’t even know they are there or where they are, if you don’t want to die for the crime of being relatively near them.

                    1. Urge to fling successfully resisted. This meditation shit’s really working.

                    2. a first step towards enlightenment

                    3. “a first step towards enlightenment”

                      sayeth the dimmest of bulbs

                  2. No, no, we shouldn’t blame the children, blame the creepy, pederasty-loving Jedi for rotting their minds and convincing to follow them on some damn fool idealistic crusade.

          2. i’m just trying to lessen the blow.

          3. Why would the Death Star, a weapon of the Empire, blow up the Empire’s capital city/planet? At least make sense if your going to use metaphors.

            1. Holy shit, Maestro. Fine.

              It was a secretly constructed third Death Star attacking Coruscant after its second liberation by the New Republic.

              Happy now?

              1. Nerd rage!

        2. The vast majority of 6 yr olds attend government schools. Do you really think the first grade is some bastion of independent thought in defiance of parents and authority figures?

          1. it was an example. the point is that nowhere NEAR a majority of americans voted for obama. or any president i am aware of.

            it was simply a factual misstatement. a majority of those who VOTED supported obama

            that is irrefutably true (unless you believe the results were fudged)

            i see no evidence to believe (it may or may not be true) that a majority of americans support him

      2. I think it’s closer to 45 percent now, so not quite a majority anymore.

        1. So 45 percent of them are still either retards or slavemakers. Fuck.

          Well, I guess 45 is better than 55.

    2. I believe in UFOs, because it’s more fun that way.

      Being a purely rational creature seems less enjoyable.

  14. Thank you Gallup. As Jennifer says, the government’s cock won’t suck itself…

  15. “Gallup: Majority of Americans Think the TSA is Effective”

    A majority of Americans also think that Hershey makes chocolate.


    1. Shit, wrong thread. Well, whatever.

    2. Could someone fill me in about this Joe? Was he some troll you guys chased away, or what?

      1. RPA,

        Joe was generally regarded as a liberal troll. Kind of like Tony, but would actually concede points when pushed hard enough.

        Not sure whether he was driven away, or found some other use for his time.

        I also seem to recall someone saying he died.

        1. joe was not a troll for a long time, but he was an asshole, which is often trollish. Which is OK. But as the 2008 election wound-down he was getting histronic and knew he was going to be on the hook for everything Obama fucked up, so he called us all racists and stormed off.

        2. Thanks, Sug.

          For those who don’t know, Sug is our institutional memory.

          1. I also enforce the dress code. Who else had the power to stop Warty from wearing a singlet whenever he posts?

            1. Reason has no dress code, dang it!

              1. Quiet, woman! You invite calumny down upon us all! Right now, someone is probably putting on a bow tie. [shudder]

                1. How dare you slander the noble bow tie! What else would I wear with my smoking jacket? A cravat? Do I look like a fucking Hefner wannabe? Dean Martin would never have worn a cravat with a smoking jacket.

            2. But the commentariat at HR does, Lucy.

              1. I like how you guys take commenting much, much more seriously than we take blogging.

        3. I’ve heard that MNG died but you still have occasional joe_from_lowell sightings on other blogs.

          1. The operating theory on MNG is that he was doing a portion of the anono-grifing and then left when he could no longer play. He certainly wasn’t banned and was able to retrieve his handle. He posted for a week or so after registration.

  17. Ok since no one else has gone there.

    If all TSA agents looked like the one in this picture I wouldn’t mind being groped at all.

    1. “Does it look like there’s a gun down my pants?”

  18. I take any poll results with a grain of salt, because:

    1) It’s been demonstrated that poll respondents want to please the pollster by providing the “correct answer.”

    2) There are people who consistently refuse to participate in polls. The number is unknowable. I suspect these are the “trust nobody” sort so they’d be equally suspicious of both pollsters and govt agencies.

    Also, there’s the intimidation factor. If someone calls you up and ask you if you trust the government, of course the correct answer is “yes.” (Actual correct answer is to not pick up the phone, but you all know that.)

    1. So which is worse? Pick up the phone or don’t pick up the phone? I can’t tell. It’s an interesting question. An entire army in a single instant. That’s all it takes. That’s brilliant. That’s so brilliant. Why didn’t I think of that?

    2. army…instant??? Thanks, I think, but please clarify.

  19. Not if their heartfelt convictions amount to slavemaking. Sorry.

    You must be lonely. Almost everyone believes in the goodness of some taxation and other forms of government partial enslavement.

  20. 2) There are people who consistently refuse to participate in polls. The number is unknowable. I suspect these are the “trust nobody” sort so they’d be equally suspicious of both pollsters and govt agencies.

    This. I get a phone call from a pollster, I hang up. I’ve got a life.

  21. People are facing different challenges in their daily lives. They need to come up with good results to prove themselves or somebody else that they are worthy of doing so. Basically, these tasks are evaluated according to their degree of effectiveness and efficiency. Whether you are in a business owner, an employee, or an ordinary person at home, it is highly essential to management effectiveness well.

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