Thursday, February 24, 2011

TSA Transportation Security Officers Denied Service At Mystery Seattle Restaurant? Not likely…

A travel blogger wrote a post earlier this week claiming that TSA Transportation Security Officers (TSOs) were being denied service from a restaurant near the Seattle-Tacoma airport. No restaurant name was given. The story has since gone viral and has even popped up on national TV. Being appalled by the story, we naturally looked into it and none of our workforce in the Seattle region had heard of or seen this mystery restaurant. Yesterday, the Seattle Weekly’s “The Daily Weekly” Blog posted a piece titled: “Sea-Tac "Anti-TSA Cafe" Story Sounds Like a Hoax.” The post raised some great questions on the legitimacy of the rumor, so we decided to share it on Twitter last night and now with our blog audience. 

Blogger Bob 
TSA Blog Team

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32 comments:

Anonymous said...

Does this story (true or not) really deserve an official government agency response?!? Methinks Blogger Bob is getting a little "Hot & Bothered"...feelings of self-conscious guilt perhaps?

Anonymous said...

I never knew the job description was to hunt down stories if or not members of your organization are served food or not.

Please supply me with the current mandate of the TSA.
It is to protect planes,from guns,bombs etc etc,is it not??

Your organization is above the law,as your agents required a letter from your command to stop the practice of challenging people if they carry cash...but you were well aware of the right to carry cash of 10k to enter the country,and any amount within this country for decades but the agents decided otherwise.

Dissention is a Patriot,oppression is not.

Anonymous said...

Certainly, it would be wrong to deny service to TSA employees at a restaurant. (Of course, it's also wrong to forcibly subject someone to a warrantless, invasive search of their person, but that's another issue.) But I can hope that when TSA employees order a 12-ounce beverage, the waitress delivers it to them in four 3-ounce bottles, sealed in a baggie.

You know, for safety.

Michael said...

True or not true, is not the real issue here how much TSA is distrusted and even hated by the general public? Seems to me that when people are willing to believe and even endorse a rumor that TSOs have been kicked out of restaurant shows an angry mood towards TSA. TSA should be working to earn the trust of the public, but instead they have lost it, as this rumor, which I agree appears to be false, well tends to show.

Rebecca said...

Really, Bob?

Of all the things you could have posted about, you decided to post about this? Seriously, the mainstream media, and even the original blogger have already commented that this may be a hoax.

Frankly, the TSA is not winning the hearts and minds of many of us, and deciding to comment on this ridiculous piece of tripe AFTER the hoax story has already gone national is just another big waste of our tax dollars.

You have State Rep. Cisna's story to acknowledge. You also have the "let's pat down and search the bags of passengers including children AFTER THEY GET OFF THE TRAIN" story to acknowledge. Heck, even Stacy Armato resumed flying and is finally allowed to NOT have her breastmilk irradiated. THAT is a miracle and worth commenting that the employees have finally read their own policies.

How about you quit wasting your time and OUR money posting garbage and spend some time acknowledging the very issues that actually are of concern to the citizens subjected to the heavy-handed machinations of your organization?

Anonymous said...

''No restaurant name was given. ''

It's SSI

''we naturally looked into it ""

And we all know how well you "look into" things... LOL

Interesting that you chose to comment on this story and not any of the other recent news about the TSA.

Deflection?

Anonymous said...

Bob,

So this hoax is worthy of your time, but not Rep. Cissna's incident,or the Newark news or the JFK news?

That tells us a lot about the priorities of the TSA.

Anonymous said...

You were appalled by the story? Hmm. Now you know how the rest of us feel every time we read another story about TSA.

Anonymous said...

"Being appalled by the story"

"Appalling" evidently goes both ways, Curtis. But while you are investigating a silly bit of hardly "appalling" news in Seattle, please give us your view of the incident with Representative Cissna.
Thoughtless treatment of women with breast cancer is appalling to many people.

Jim Huggins said...

So ... let me get this straight.

There's a rumor out there. You can't confirm the rumor, and you can't refute the rumor, either. So, you conclude that the rumor is "not likely" to be true? On what basis? You don't have any evidence either way.

Concerned Observer said...

In all honesty, there was no need for there to be anything about this on a blog that it set to inform the public. What does it matter if the cafe exists or not? It has everything to do with the public's opinion of the TSA and nothing to do with security, whether true security or the appearance of it.

Let's see a post on Rep. Cissna and the fact that she stated that people are being "accidentally abused by the government"!

avxo said...

Blogger Bob wrote: "Being appalled by the story [...]"

What is the problem with an establishment denying service to TSA employees? And even if it appals you, what would you do, if anything? It is perfectly legal - it's not discrimination based on any ofthe protected categories under federal law.

Anonymous said...

"Certainly, it would be wrong to deny service to TSA employees at a restaurant."

Why?

Phil said...

The blog post to which Bob referred was Christopher Elliott's:

"Business bans TSA agents – will more follow?"

see also:

"Where’s the cafe that refuses to serve the TSA?"

In the second post, Mr. Elliott writes:

Late yesterday, two of the outlets suggested the cafe was not real. They were unable to find a restaurant near the Seattle airport that had refused to serve TSA agents, and the TSA was denying such a business existed. They couldn’t find anyone named KC McLawson in Seattle, and police had no incident reports from a cafe near Seattle that had escorted TSA agents out of the building.

Had McLawson punk’d me?

I put the question directly to her in an email.

Me: Hi KC, sorry to bother you again, but unfortunately, some are calling this story a hoax. Is there anything you can do to assure me that the cafe exists and that it has, indeed, banned TSA agents?

Autoresponder: Kristin Clawson – On mid winter break. Will be back next week.

So her autoresponder is showing her real name as Kristin Clawson. I can’t blame her for using an alias, if she was worried about keeping her job. But is there anyone by that name, fitting her profile (age 40) near the Seattle airport? A quick records search showed there’s a Kristin Clawson in Burien, Wash., only a few miles from SEA-TAC.

The autoresponder wasn’t a good sign. People can go on “break” for any number of reasons, but I wonder if Clawson was running away from all of the media inquiries. I probably would.

So where does that leave us? I don’t think the fact that no one can find the cafe means it doesn’t exist. TSA’s denial that its employees have been barred from any Seattle cafes is meaningless, too. They’re not paid to monitor discrimination practices at restaurants. They’re paid to protect air travelers from terrorists.

Some of you have asked if I believe Clawson.

I believe her words struck a chord with American air travelers that I couldn’t have foreseen. Certainly, a lot of readers weighed in with strong opinions about barring TSA employees from businesses. I think it might be a good idea for the TSA to address that hostility.

I also believe I’d like to have a word with Clawson’s boss, to find out why he told TSA agents they weren’t welcome at the cafe, as she claims.

And what if Clawson made the whole thing up? Well, it wouldn’t be the first time someone lied to a reporter.


--
Phil
Showing ID only affects honest people.
What if the people with the power to secretly put your name on a "no-fly" list didn't like the reason for which you want to fly?

Rock said...

Score another win for the TSA blog.

Anonymous said...

Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

Rather than whine about being wronged, Bob, maybe you and your cohorts at the TSA should be asking yourselves why people think so badly of you.

Anonymous said...

Ha, ha. I think that the restaurant should let them in but only after having them submit to an extremely aggressive and embarrassing pat down before entering.

Anonymous said...

Isn't it odd that the TSA reacts with utter and hysterical indignation when their staff are allegedly treated with disrespect at a restaurant, and yet the TSA continue to treat the general public with total disrespect.
Why do people who have breast prostheses due to cancer also not deserve respect when travelling through airport security?
Will the TSA show respect and bother both to answer this question?
We all know the answer already.

Anonymous said...

Rebecca said...
Really, Bob?

Of all the things you could have posted about, you decided to post about this? Seriously, the mainstream media, and even the original blogger have already commented that this may be a hoax.

Frankly, the TSA is not winning the hearts and minds of many of us, and deciding to comment on this ridiculous piece of tripe AFTER the hoax story has already gone national is just another big waste of our tax dollars.

You have State Rep. Cisna's story to acknowledge. You also have the "let's pat down and search the bags of passengers including children AFTER THEY GET OFF THE TRAIN" story to acknowledge. Heck, even Stacy Armato resumed flying and is finally allowed to NOT have her breastmilk irradiated. THAT is a miracle and worth commenting that the employees have finally read their own policies.

How about you quit wasting your time and OUR money posting garbage and spend some time acknowledging the very issues that actually are of concern to the citizens subjected to the heavy-handed machinations of your organization?

February 25, 2011 7:08 AM

To Bob's bosses . . . this poster's comments should be taken very seriously. Maybe she would be willing toguest host from time to time.

SSSS for some reason said...

I'll join in with what will be countless other voices on this one and ask why is this story here? It does not apply, even tangentially, to the Mission and Purpose of the TSA and even less so to the stated purpose of this blog.

kimm said...

Appalled by the story? Really?? Now you know how airline passengers feel each time we have to face you people.
So you're denied service at 1 place (if true). We're denied our dignity, we're denied respect, we're denied our rights and we're all looked at as guilty before proven innocent by TSA. And heaven help the handicapped person that has to meet you. Somehow I think TSA has nothing to complain about.

Looks like TSA can dish it out, but can't take it themselevs.

As others have said, why hasn't the AK rep's story been mentioned?

Anonymous said...

Blogger Bob said:
"Being appalled by the story, we naturally looked into it and none of our workforce in the Seattle region had heard of or seen this mystery restaurant."

NONE of your Seattle workforce? You polled your entire Seattle workforce?

This is a colossal waste of taxpayer money. Yet another arrow in Rep Mica's quiver to use in upcoming hearings.

FWIW, I'd happily eat at a restaurant that denied service to TSA employees. I'd likely be surrounded by freedom-loving people who'd do the same.

Honestly, Bob, it pains me to see the huge anti-liberty bureaucracy that is the TSA. You were in the Army once - doesn't your oath mean anything to you anymore?

vpisteve said...

So, it seems to me that the sole purpose of this post is to spread the message that any reports of people not liking the TSA or their officers are likely untrue. "People like us, they really really like us!" Any reports to the contrary are obviously hoaxes!

Rather than respond to real issues and events, you resort to misinformation and propaganda in the truest sense of the word.

And now I'm realizing that I can't even really respond adequately as doing so would break Godwin's Law.

Irony!

Anonymous said...

This blog post is an example of attempted retaliation by the TSA against one of their critics.

How much manpower and thus dollars went into the investigation?

Imagine what else the TSA does to critics

Anonymous said...

"Blogger Bob said:
"Being appalled by the story, we naturally looked into it and none of our workforce in the Seattle region had heard of or seen this mystery restaurant."

YOU were appalled? After what you and your staff are doing to citizens on a daily basis, you are upset that we would tell you to stay out of our lives and out of our places of business?

The level of clueless audacity you display is spectacular!

Bill said...

I thought the story was great! I was a Naval officer with 18 years of active service when I ended up on the TSA watch list.
It's funny how one branch of government gave me access to some very specialized classified programs and another tried to keep me off airplanes.
TSA did teach me to get to an airport hours before my flight so I could ensure that I made it through screening.

Anonymous said...

If this turned out to be true, i know where the first place i'd be going to lunch in Seattle would be.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:
"If this turned out to be true, i know where the first place i'd be going to lunch in Seattle would be."

Maybe we should open one?

Anonymous said...

TSA employees are people with a job to do - just like you have a job you go to every day. Don't say that if I don't like it to get a new job - I'm sure you've noticed that there aren't many jobs to be had right now. It seems that eveyone who posted here has a hatred of TSA for some reason or another - I personally don't care if you hate the agency, but each officer is a human being. It seems that if 1 TSO does soemthing "questionable" that we are all bad??? Do you realize that ALL companies have bad people? Get off of your "I'm better than you" attitude and instead of hating TSA, consider why we are here, consider that the employees have a job to do - wether or not it makes sense to you. You have a job to do and so do I. The "tone" of the posts here implies that each of you hate me - and you don't even know me. I have done nothing to you, I have never even met you - as is the case with 99.9% of TSA - you have no right to judge us all as one. I don't like a major brand of laundry detergent because it breaks me out and gives me a rash - does that mean I should hate all of the employees of that company? I hate the pharmaceutical company that made the medications that killed my infant brother many years ago - does that mean that I should hate all of that company's employees and paost nasty things about how they shouldn't get served in a restaurant??? Well, that just proves that I am a better person than you. The searches we do aren't warrantless... we may have already saved a life or two - and you will NEVER know!!!

detective privado said...

let me get this.
There is a rumor out. You can't confirm the rumor, and you can't refute the rumor, either. So, you conclude that the rumor is "not likely" to be true? On what basis? You don't have any evidence either way.

Aple Calorie said...

Certainly, it would be wrong to deny service to TSA employees at a restaurant. (Of course, it's also wrong to forcibly subject someone to a warrantless, invasive search of their person, but that's another issue.) But I can hope that when TSA employees order a 12-ounce beverage, the waitress delivers it to them in four 3-ounce bottles, sealed in a baggie.

Fajat S said...

there's no idea after reading this article.