Published November 22, 2010
There’s a whole new question at the airport this holiday travel season, and it isn’t “Window or aisle?”
It isn’t “Checked bags or carry-on?”
The latest choice for fliers in the jittery terror age: Would you like to
A) pose for naked pictures or B) submit to a private parts- included full-body pat-down?
From here on out, call ’em the Overly Friendly Skies!
There is a C) option, by the way, although it could be expensive with the airlines’ stubborn no-refund rule: You can turn around and go back home.
All this posing for high-tech full-body scanners and poking for searches may not be so big a deal for vain people who go to the gym all the time, or those who grew up in very large families in which many brothers and sisters shared a single bathroom.
But given the current uproar at the airport, most Americans apparently aren’t part of those two demographics.
Most of us hate the way we look naked. It’s part of living in such a self-critical era. We sure don’t want to be judged by sour-faced federal workers in bright blue shirts.
So fliers are expressing outrage. They’re saying their privacy is being snatched unnecessarily from them. They’d be willing to suffer some inconvenience, they say, if they had any confidence that all this peek-a-boo was actually making the skies safer.
But really, will the next airborne terrorist carry C-4 in his Jockey shorts? And if so, will the scanners even detect it? No one who flies can feel confident about that.
A new CBS poll says most Americans are OK with the new up-close and- personal scanners. But that poll wasn’t limited to frequent fliers.
The plain truth is that these airport body-scan shots are unlikely to show up on YouPorn. And that’s not only because of careful privacy protocols at the Transportation Security Administration.
There is simply nothing very hot about these scanner shots, unless you count the long-term radiation damage, and that’s a topic for another day.
At a time when digital images of great-looking people are never more than two mouse-clicks away, who wants to see X-rated X-rays anyway?
Ellis Henican is a columnist for Newsday and amNewYork and a Fox News contributor. Follow him at twitter.com/henican