At least, that was, until Ron Fournier took over as Washington Bureau Chief in 2008. Fournier, who was outed as a Bush supporter in 2004 didn't last long at this particular job. A particularly racist push poll he authorized and "analyzed" in September 2008 earned him a reprimand and left him neutered. Ultimately, he left for a job at the National Journal in July of this year.
If you're like me and have some degree of interest in how your media sausage is made, what Ron Fournier has done is interesting reading, and Al Giordano's work on Fornier on his website The Field is quality web advocacy reading as well, that links you onward to better detail than I'm providing here.
But I digress, as I've come not to bury the AP, but to praise it.
The hot topic of the news cycle is the intrusive TSA body scanners and pat downs one must face to fly over the forthcoming holiday weekend. Not everyone is happy about the procedure. I must admit, I tend to fly out of airports that are smaller and don't have the full on invasive photographic machinery and, frankly, if you feel the need to see a clothes free image of me more than once you have a fetish a shrink may need to address anyway. I stand by George Carlin's opinion on the issue, which is that the whole process is nothing but theater and doesn't really do much good.
But I digress, because this isn't really about the TSA either.
Instead, it's about the bleating of Congressman John Mica (R) of Florida who is an advocate of riding us of the TSA altogether, and allowing private security guards do the work instead, and why he's an advocate of said position.
Because of the AP, we know that Mica is essentially on the take and, for a change, the former gatekeeper of our media, AP, takes pains to tell us so by working into the story which companies would benefit from privatization, and how much they donated to Mica's campaigns.
Would private security guards not be as invasive? Nope. They'd have to use the same equipment and procedures as TSA. So really, all you're doing in Mica's world is trading surly public employees for surly private employees from whom he profits personally. So Mica has no point, really, he's just acting in the self interests of those corporations who donated to his campaign by attempting to obfuscate TSA people with TSA policy. The payoff: