Thom Hartmann Groped Over Christmas Holiday

While Louise and I said "No" to the Chertoff Porno X-Ray Scanners this past weekend - and so were punished by waiting and getting groped - the TSA’s "security theater" has hit the road. TSA Security teams are now roaming the country setting up shop at other transportation depots besides airports. Over 9,300 unannounced checkpoints were set up this year at places like train stations, subways, ferries, and other mass transit hubs – costing taxpayers 110 million bucks. While they left the Chertoff x-ray porno scanners back at the airports – the TSA teams do arm themselves with radiation detectors and dogs. There’s no proof that the random checkpoints are working to prevent any sort of terrorist attack – but they are doing one heckuva job trampling on the rights of Americans to be presumed innocent for just wanting to get on a bus, train, or plane.


Peggy Jarrett's picture
Peggy Jarrett 12 years 25 weeks ago

When I had the option, I chose the lines without the invasive machines. Unfortunately I had to opt out from the evil machines twice during the holidays (Honolulu and Indianapolis) and get the "grope". The women both times were nice but it was still an intrusion. I told them I refuse to go through those machines as I do not trust that they are safe.

bellaluna8's picture
bellaluna8 12 years 25 weeks ago


I, too, avoid the scanners completely and have been patted down numerous times over the past year of frequent travel. One time, the fellow was obviously tired of the nonsense and just let me go through the metal detector. Another time, this well-meaning but overly soliticious attendant let me know I could 'read the information' about the scanner, thinking that would change my mind and I would be a good girl and go along. I didn't need the information to know that I do not need a heaping helping of radiation -- my dentist has kept me well-supplied. It amazes me that people follow along like sheep. And, when I travel with my young daughter, she will also be skipping the radiation gift that the TSA has so graciously provided.

THanks for your great show,


AllenaG's picture
AllenaG 12 years 25 weeks ago

I had breast cancer this year so going through one of those machines was not ever going to happen. I was made to feel like I was an inconvienence and it took forever for them to get the woman tsa agent to me. During the grope she was very nice and I didn't make a scene, however it was not a pleasant experience (and I like women :) ). I used to love to fly. Not so much anymore.

smilla's picture
smilla 12 years 25 weeks ago

I opted out of the CPXray last year in southern California. When I told them I would not go through it, the man then put alot of energy into announcing to the rest of the people in line that the machine is perfectly safe. I presume he was trying to discourage others from following in my footsteps.

RavenRaving 12 years 25 weeks ago

My husband and I fly in and out of the USA a few times a year. He has a big moustach that apparently makes him look unacceptably Middle Eastern. In the past couple years, he has been pulled out of line on every single American flight and given the opportunity to experience the porno-scanner. He has refused, and gone for the grope instead.

We have discovered that if he wears his yamulka (Jewish skull cap) he is NEVER chosen for the porno scanner. It must make him look the 'right kind' of Semetic. On 2 occasions, he has been chosen for the explosive residue check on his computer bag, but never for the porno scanner.

Interesting, eh?

yrral 12 years 25 weeks ago

The only way that the TSA procedures could be more fouled up would be if they had been designed in Albany!

emberAZ's picture
emberAZ 12 years 25 weeks ago

It's my idea that it's "security theater" providing NO security what so ever! I am scheduled to take a plane on 1/12 and I'm dreading it. At 68 I believe the machines are dangerous and will refuse to go that route. Someone groping me is atrocious and I am furious that this country allows it. I've been driving to see kids and a grandkid in California because of it. My son, who is a pilot, says "They should put big signs outside airports saying 'Don't Fly'". I don't want to but have no choice.

Berry's picture
Berry 12 years 25 weeks ago

Wondering, Does the team of TSA gropers wear protective gloves ? And if so, do they change their gloves for each next victim? Does one get to watch the TAS groper put on new protective gloves before they search you? If not , This could pose as a health risk.? Yes No ?

mike 9669 12 years 25 weeks ago

this absolutely does nothing to prevent terrorism. all this is, is an illegal attempt to take more and more of our right's away and make people live in fear. when people live in fear you can take away their right's little by little ( in the name of freedom of course), this is the right wing's master plan for the last 30 year's, starting in 1980 when that idiot beat jimmy carter. of course the last 10 year's they have really stepped it up. it is very disgusting when they do this to 80 year old BORN IN AMERICA SENIOR CITIZEN'S !!!!

cuppajoe 12 years 25 weeks ago

As a scientific type, my question would be re the efficacy of either the pat down or the porno screener. What is the incidence of TSA identifying a 'hazard', or whatever they call it. My best guess is that a. they would refuse to release the information (probably because the result would show how miniscule the 'return is'), So, when will we take back a bit of our freedom? It certainly won't happen any time soon, unless we return the entire congress, both houses, and the presidency to progressives. And, maybe as a result of that, maybe we can ultimately clean up the SCOTUS, as welll.

caccki's picture
caccki 12 years 25 weeks ago

I am an 85 year old great grandmother and disabled enough so that I have to take a wheelchair through airports and also walk with a cane. I hardly fit the profile of a terrorist. My carryon bag contains so much medication that I would hardly have room for explosives. I carry cards that testify that I have two knee replacements. Just the same I have to go through the body scanner or get patted down and sometimes both. I am not the only such person going through airports. I see the wheelchairs all over the airports. This is a waste of the taxpayers money and an obstacle to easy passage through airports. We should take lessons from the Israelis. I am not sure exactly what their airport security procedures are but I know they have a great safety record and they don't grope white haired disabled old ladies.

charafsekkat's picture
charafsekkat 12 years 25 weeks ago

I think we live in a world based on a system of values and principles which made "security" and "counter-terrorism" measures such as TSA and other variants unfortunately "normal" and tolerated, which implies we unfortunately "need" those measures in place to make us feel safe. Do they actually make us safe? I don't think so, but this is what a world with our values brings. No wonder and no surprise about.

A debate on security measures like TSA leads straight back and deep down to why we need security in the first place, to what happened, to what we all created, consciously or unconsciously, which led to security measures such as TSA, and that includes installing a fence around your house, an alarm system, a video surveillance system, and so on, which leads back to the fear we all created.

In a world like ours, with its "civilized" values and principles, on which we built pretty much every society around, it is thus no surprise if we have that lingering fear around, dictating a lot of our behaviors and inventions. A world like ours requires and needs TSA. Unfortunately.

I believe then that once we will change our idea about this world, basically change the idea about ourselves, and derivatively our values and principles, and derivatively our behaviors, we will laugh at how we used to have fences, alarms, and TSA checkpoints.

JohnLemessurier's picture
JohnLemessurier 12 years 25 weeks ago

Do I feel safer with these so-called "safeguards?" Yes, BUT my wife and I do not fly, travel by rail, nor even much by auto. So it is not our problem... HOWEVER, that is not to say that we are also at risk of losing our rights to privacy. Consider this...

We are retired. We have a good pension, Social Security income, Medicare, and a generous Equity Line of Credit against our lakefront home. We have been making major home improvements over the last few years to shore up our retirement home and my wife, instead of going out shopping, orders stuff over the web that we (and our four canine dependents) need. Thus, we receive quite a few packages on a weekly basis delivered by UPS, FedEx, and of course the United States Postal Service.

What does this look like? Well, to the casual observer there is no obvious source of income but there is evidence of major expenditures. Does this put us in an "at risk" profile? I should think not, but...

Several months ago two local town Police Officers showed up at our home claiming that they were responding to a "911 call" that originated from our phone. I said that we did not place such a call. They asked if everything was all right and I said yes. They accepted that but then asked if they could enter the premises to "check out our phone." I said yes. They entered the premises, checked the phone, and said "OK, we will get out of your hair." Our local paper reports all police business each week but this incident did not appear there.

I think that our Rights to Privacy were violated. WHAT DO YOU THINK?

Victhpooh's picture
Victhpooh 12 years 25 weeks ago

My husband and I had a disturbing/interesting experience in Arizona. We went to a National Park just south of Ajo, about 22 miles from the Mexican border.
There were signs that we would be going thru a 'check point' up ahead. We have never experienced going thru a border check point that was not at a border. All cars had to stop and if asked, provide papers. We were asked if we had been in the park (yes) if we were approached by anyone who wanted to be driven north (no) and if anyone/thing was in our trunk (no). I don't know what would have happened if we looked hispanic or had been asked to show our papers and refused. In fact, what papers? I didnt know that American's had to carry papers. It was all very creepy and disturbing to us. Ironically, the sheriff of Aho is hispanic. Wonder if his family gets harrassed.

Does anyone know if a 'border' stop so far from the border is legal? It was Customs agents with guns and clipboards and everything. Weird

historywriter's picture
historywriter 12 years 25 weeks ago

I think our biggest danger in this country is from government authorities interjecting themselves, illegally, into our private lives. I think the flight screening is humiliating and unnecessary and probably would not stop a determined and innovative terrorist. How many possible terrorists has TSA stopped in the last few years?

Every now and then a professional tests the system and find they can game it quite easily.

bam1021's picture
bam1021 12 years 25 weeks ago

TSA security theater does not actually prevent attacks or reduce threats. As a security professional, I can assure you that what TSA engages in is designed to make passengers feel better, not to stop threats. The types of box cutters used to take down the 9/11 flights are easily run past xray machines or placed on board by ground crew accomplices. Liquids of the types used to create an explosion can be easily snuck on board with just a modicum of creativity. A broken CD or DVD can make an effective weapon. Even overt weapons like handguns get snuck by TSA agents as part of testing all the time. The list goes on and on.

The fact that there have been no further attacks testifies to the incompetence and utter disarray of terrorist networks in general, good intel being gathered by Federal and international agencies, and lots of dumb luck. But it is not due to any sort of TSA theatrics at the airport terminal.

Every time you are forced to take off your shoes at an airport, the terrorists win a little. You are reminded that someone who hates us tried to take down a plane with a shoe bomb. And regardless of how incompetent that attempt was, our thinking of it by being forced to take off our shoes means that it worked. And in that, TSA is an accomplice.

Palindromedary's picture
Palindromedary 12 years 25 weeks ago

JohnL...did the "police" plant a "bug" in your phone...or in the location of your phone...or where ever they went? Did you ask the "police" what were the times of the 911 calls they got? Maybe you were out of the house and someone broke in and is playing a prank on you.

Raven R....great idea...maybe everyone should start wearing the yamulka (jewish skull cap). There's no law against it and it would help to neutralized the apparent "hands off" certain groups policy.

Even Gov. Jesse Ventura, who has a metal implant which sets off alarms when he goes through the TSA scanners, has lost his law suit against them...I understand.

I realized, a long time ago..after 911, that is, that TSA was nothing but a way to give a false sense of security and to keep us afraid...very that they can keep us controlled. One tip off was that on all of the international flights I was ever on coming and going from Europe...with our meals they served in flight, they handed out stainless steel serrated edged knives that could easily be more affective than "box cutters".

I am so happy that I never have to fly again...never have to go through those porno scanners or be "groped" by someone wearing rubber gloves (that they don't change from one person to another). Those gloves are there to protect the TSA "groper" from the potential infectious diseases that you, the passenger, may be carrying.

One thing that they cannot detect when you go through the grope search is whether or not you have swallowed little condoms or balloons filled with explosives. The drug mules do this, swallow condoms filled with drugs, all the time. I don't know if the porno scanners would pick this up...maybe. Once a "terrorist" with a stomach full of explosives gets on the is all over. What are they going to do then? Do cavity searches? Spread 'em!! Stick their fingers down your throat until you throw up your evening meal? No explosives here!!! Next!!

rdelaplaza's picture
rdelaplaza 12 years 25 weeks ago

All this TSA matter is just a way to accomplish an hidden agenda by the master puppeteers, the REAL power behind the power, on top of Democrats and Republicans stupid political and partisan games, and on top of the power of the "presidential puppet ".

Follow the money is the name of the game, all the money that is going to those guys in the name of the so called "security",

If you try to travel with any sizeable amount of YOUR money (anything over $ 10.000), just because you need it and don't trust the banks, or their speed (very convenient delays on money transfers), and this guys FIND OUT,: YOU ARE IN for a "security ride", you WILL BE pulled apart and questioned; probably referred to the FBI:... is that drug money laundering? where did you get that money? what are you going to do with it? they may as well seize it and put you in jail, while they do their "investigation"; They have absolute power when you are in their hands. yeah constitutional rights, or human rights.. ask the guys in Guantanamo !

Imagine what will happen if you are traveling with some silver or GOLD ounces, SAME PROCEDURE... and they have the power of seizing them at any moment with any excuse, or even make them dissapear, and... sorry we dont have anything... gold ? are you saying gold? nope we don't have it.... then what can you do? shut up and ...

Thay have assembled a GESTAPO type control over the american society, the LAND OF THE FREE...Yeah right ! ! ! also good to control the movement of VALUABLES and or anything else they want; in the name of "security" TERROR... the TERRORISTS....

How MANY terrorists have they catched in their whole operation over the years, except for those cases STAGED to JUSTIFY their existence and some obvious public stupidity cases.

Otherwise there will be no reason for them to exist and suck their wages from the american taxpayers.

George Reiter's picture
George Reiter 12 years 25 weeks ago

The "Chernoff X-Ray Porno Body Scanners"at the Air Ports are dangerous! I remember the X-ray shoe machines at most shoe stores when I was 10 years old back in the mid 1950's, since me and my sisters thought that it was neat to see the bones of your feet through the visual eye scope at the top of the box as you inserted your feet at the bottom. These machines were on all day long as the store clerks measured your feet, went to the back of the store to bring out a selection of shoes to fit you with the shoes of your choice. Not only were we customers radiated, but the shoe store employees were radiated all day long. This procedure is crazy!

DrRichard 12 years 25 weeks ago

Follow the money. Rapiscan, which makes most of these chambers of horrors, is actually an American subsidiary of an Indian conglomerate. (Although the machines are made in Malaysia it also received federal stimulus money, something else worth investigating.) It's probably no accident that just when these damn things started proliferating the president of Rapiscan went to Delhi with Obama. I suspect that's when the fix was in: the federal government buys them, the company gives campaign contributions. That might be easy to check. And if it's true, where is the sense of outrage?

Regarding radiation, there is also a non-X-Ray machine in use that sends out millimeter wave radio frequencies. But it has so many false positives that the Germans and French just rejected it. Personally I ignore all the machines and allow time for a nice federally funded massage. And if it slows things up and humiliates the TSA person--good!

paulhartson's picture
paulhartson 12 years 25 weeks ago

geez thom, look at the bright side? maybe convicted felon molesters can finally get full employment as Gropers at TSA!! LOL

paulhartson's picture
paulhartson 12 years 25 weeks ago

demand to see a search warrant signed by a judge or DA prosecutor and any other legal paperwork you can think of!

lindsze's picture
lindsze 12 years 25 weeks ago

The whole x-ray and groping idea is to scare the American people. There is no more terrorist in this country then in other countries. This govt. is here to keep the people suppress and afraid. The only people we should be afraid of it the American govt. they are the terrorist.

The TSA are bullies. They can't find something better to do with their lives than to bullies the public, like the polices.

Of course when Bush and cronies invaded Iraq and the middle east, what did they expect those people to do but fight back. They are the cause of the terrorist not the Iraqis.

MaryMary's picture
MaryMary 12 years 25 weeks ago

Stops like you describe are found south of the Canadian border as well. The folks who stopped me were not Custom agents, they appeared to be NY state police, but I'm not sure. Every car was required to parade past the check point, where random cars are selected for a more "in depth" inspection. When you cross into another country, the "check in" is performed by agents of the host country. I'm not sure what you experienced, but I doubt they were custom agents.

arky12's picture
arky12 12 years 25 weeks ago

From Seems thom's radio show will not be aired live in San Francisco, but late at night, which will prevent anyone calling in, and most from hearing it. Read on.

The latest move in the strange back-and-forth saga follows on radio giantClear Channel's announcement just over two weeks ago, that Green960 --- the only AM Progressive Talk Radio station on the dial in San Francisco, one of the nation's most progressive cities --- would be banished from the popular public airwaves and sent to the radio-ghetto of the little-known and even lesser-received HD2 band. Its progressive programming --- featuring the likes of popular lefty-ish talkers such as Stephanie Miller, Thom Hartmann, Randi Rhodes, Norman Goldman and Mike Malloy --- would be replaced (with the exception of Rhodes, who is syndicated by Clear Channel's Premiere Radio) by yet another so-called "conservative" talk station, featuring extremists such as Beck and other Fox "News" regulars.

The move by the media conglomerate, now owned by leading GOP Presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Bain Capital, LLC, was to occur on January 3. The move would have left Rhodes as the only progressive voice on the entire AM dial in San Francisco, as of the first business day of the new Presidential Election year.

But a funny thing happened on the way to 2012 on Bay Area talk radio...


As The BRAD BLOG reported in our follow-up last week, plans to move programming from Clear Channel's "Fox News Radio" KNEW 910 in San Francisco over to the 960 spot, where Green960 currently is, and to shuffle off the progressive 960 talkers into Radio Nowhere Land came to a quiet, if sudden pause last week.

CC, we were able to confirm, had decided to rethink its plans in the wake of the sudden sea change of programming at KGO, a long-time staple talk station in the San Fran market, featuring a well-loved mix of conservative, libertarians and moderate talkers. That change was announced just days after CC's original announcement.

Overnight, Cumulus-owned KGO released virtually all of its talk show hosts --- several of whom had been on the station for decades --- to flip the station to a more inexpensive all-news format. The move resulted in a lot of angry KGO listeners (to add to the already-angry Green960 listeners) and put a whole bunch of Bay Area talk radio ratings and talk show hosts up for grabs in the major broadcast market.

The result led to reporting at industry outlet All Access that "several sources" had informed them that "several of the shows scheduled to be dropped" from 960 had suddenly been "uncanceled."

Through our own reporting and information from insiders very familiar with Clear Channel's plans, we were able to confirm that their previously previous intentions had come to a full stop as the move was being reconsidered.

Yesterday, CC finally announced its newest plan in a press release published by All Access.

According to the statement, virtually all of Green960's current line-up will now be allowed to stay on the air in San Francisco, though the brand-name will still be changed and both Beck and Right-leaning financial talker Dave Ramsey will be added to the schedule in place of the current morning drive-time shows on Green960.

Beck is also syndicated by Clear Channel's syndication arm Premiere, and Ramsey is, according to one insider (though we've not been able to confirm it with Clear Channel) is now paying to be on the air in that time slot.

The new "KNEW 960" will use the tag line "Opinions. Finance. Advice."

Beck is scheduled to replace Stephanie Miller's very popular morning program from 6a-9a PT, with her live show scheduled to be delayed for evening broadcast instead, from 7p-10p PT. Thom Hartmann, who currently airs live from 9a-Noon in San Francisco, will also be delayed, running late-night from 10p-1a, though he is not mentioned in the release at All Access. His live slot will be replaced with Ramsey.

Similarly not mentioned in their release is the fate of Mike Malloy, whose show is currently broadcast live from 6p-9p on Green960. We're told that he will now be shuffled into the early morning hours of 1a-3a, with one hour of his three-hour broadcast lost to San Francisco entirely in the bargain. [FULL DISCLOSURE: I have been Malloy's regular fill-in guest host for several years, and am currently scheduled to once again be on board for him this Friday night before Christmas, and the following Thursday and Friday as well.]

The Malloy move is a strange one for Clear Channel as well. In 2010, Green960's then Program Director had told us that Malloy was his "best performer" on the station, presumably referencing the show's standing against other stations during the 6p to 9p hours.

Most of the other progressive talkers on the current line-up, including Randi Rhodes from Noon-3p and Norman Goldman from 3p-6p, will be allowed to stay where they are now, in their live time slot.

PLSzymeczek's picture
PLSzymeczek 12 years 25 weeks ago

There are border checkpoints at that distance from the actual border at numerous places in New Mexico and Arizona. I am not sure about Texas, but would guess that they have them there, too.

greg.logsdon's picture
greg.logsdon 12 years 25 weeks ago

well were coming to a closer resolution of being a police state big bother is taking over and right is pushing it

Babett's picture
Babett 12 years 25 weeks ago

We women are born with our ovary's full of eggs, we don't produce them (as men do, w/sperm) on an egg by egg, day by day basis. We are born with every egg we will ever have, already in our bodies. X-ray, reguardless of it's orgin, builds up in the human body. Please explain to me....why would any woman allow X-ray her body, where she stores her entire life's worth of eggs, when we are seeing birth-defects, and our beloved children struggle and deal with learning disibilities, that we are told is either from unknown orgin, or genetic.

HenryS's picture
HenryS 12 years 25 weeks ago

The last time I flew, I was not given the choice. Both on the outbound and inbound flights I had to go through the machine and the men would not even listen to my questions. This whole thing is a total invasion of rights.

darylshute's picture
darylshute 12 years 25 weeks ago

I have chosen to opt out after inadvertently going through a porno scanner early on. A wait of 5-10 minutes is not unusual. However, the last time I flew out of Denver the wait was especially long. Subsequently, I encountered, what I believe was, a “patter trainee” with his supervisor in tow.

After the professionally performed grope, the trainee opened my wallet and went through its contents. When I asked the supervisor if that was now standard practice and he informed that they could look at anything they wanted. The supervisor then repeated the wallet search and made a big deal about running it through the x-ray machine to be triply sure none of the cards were sharpened, I guess.

selliott_zeus's picture
selliott_zeus 12 years 24 weeks ago

I also refused to go thru the scanners. They just looked at me and did make sure everyone knew. I didn't care. And while I was standing there waiting, I asked them why I couldn't go thru the regular metal detector. They had no answer. I got groped and the 2 women asked why I wouldn't go thru the scanner. I told them they were banned in Europe and that it was not the Nude part that bothered me, it was the X-ray and that it was a money scam operation. I almost laughed when their mouths dropped open. They had never heard anything about the dangers of X-ray. Of course, while I was awaiting the results of the groping, they allowed people to go thru the metal detectors. I laughed aloud and said. " Oh look, why are people allowed to go thru the detectors now?" I got the blank look again. I certainly made it a point to educate all the TSA workers around me (and there were many) as to why I refused the X-ray and how this country's policy was stupid and punitive.


Badams's picture
Badams 12 years 24 weeks ago

Thought you libs loved big government. I guess not when it is not in your favor. Here is your big government in action. This agency was shut down, you would blame the tea party for cutting them, or blame Bush. Can't have it both way folks.

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