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Slate Liberals: “Let’s see your scrotum if you want to get on an airplane”, ha ha

On today’s Slate Political Gabfest, the liberal hosts Emily Bazelon and David Plotz are explicitly in favor of privacy-invading body-scanner technology. Consider this appalling interchange:

Emily Bazelon:

I’m all for these body scanners. I don’t care at all about the privacy violations associated with them. … Will Saletan <laugh> wrote a great piece that had the headline or the sub-headline, you know, “Let’s see your scrotum if you want to get on an airplane” [William Saletan, “Show Some Balls” (subtitle: “Want to get on an airplane? Let’s see your scrotum.”), Slate (Dec. 30, 2009)], which seemed completely fine to me … but maybe that’s just my own sense of … that it doesn’t feel like it’s something real that’s at stake here.

David Plotz responds:

“Right. Totally. You know, I’m for a body scanner if it doesn’t add five minutes to my journey, and, when you add five minutes to your journey, when you add five minutes to everyone’s journey, it costs us, as a society. And [I’m in favor of body scanners], if these machines are not hideously expensive.

Emily: “Right. I’m with you. … I think that we do, perhaps, agree about this.”

Just to be clear: as noted in If you know this woman, tell her that she’s naked on the Internet, this (image below) is what the “pro-civil liberties” modern liberals are in favor of. [Note: the images are not genuine TSA scanner images, but based on stock photos of a model [NSFW], simulating what we can expect result from the new body imagers.]

See also: Electronic Privacy Information Center, Whole Body Imaging Technology (“Backscatter” X-Ray and Millimeter Wave Screening); Airports set to become primary peddlers of child porn; and Admitted: Airport Body Scanners Provide Crisp Image Of Your Genitals.


{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Richard Moss January 9, 2010, 10:28 am


    You might want to remove those pictures. They appear to be frauds (note that the woman’s pose on the left does not match the X-ray version on the right).

    See this post for more detail; http://911debunkers.blogspot.com/2010/01/god-dammit-i-hate-being-duped-by.html
    (Apparantly the naked woman does know she is naked on the internet..she ist a German model).

    While I agree completely with your comments on the ‘Slate liberals’ defending these scanners, I think using these pictures undermines your crticisms.

    Richard Moss

    • Richard Moss January 9, 2010, 10:31 am

      Whoops – I see you already qualified those photos as not actual scans. My mistake.

      Still my first reaction was that they were.

      Anyway, sorry about that….

  • Slim934 January 9, 2010, 11:46 am

    Here is a guardian story with much more accurate imaging.


    Still, it is definitely obscene but not as bad as what was shown above.

  • Tim April 8, 2014, 5:09 am

    That’s not even a good example of images that are taken and then overexposed. The picture was taken as shown on the bottom, and the top is a simple inversion, or negative of the original. Seems a bit histrionic to me.

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