Eleanor Clift Equates Airport Scanners to CAT Scans: 'What Are We Concealing Here?'

November 21st, 2010 3:31 PM

Newsweek's Eleanor Clift doesn't understand why Americans are uncomfortable with the new body scanners being used at some of the nation's airports.

Chatting about the subject on PBS's "McLaughlin Group," Clift sarcastically said, "Maybe we ought to worry about C-T x-rays and so forth - you never can tell when somebody might put that out" (video follows with transcript and commentary):

ELEANOR CLIFT, NEWSWEEK: There are some questions about the machines, and maybe the radiation they put out. I think those are genuine concerns. But you're seen like a stick figure somewhere off by someone else, you're not identified. I mean, the privacy concerns I think are totally overblown.

JOHN MCLAUGHLIN, HOST: Eleanor, what about amendment 4, “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

CLIFT: Maybe we ought to worry about C-T x-rays and so forth - you never can tell when somebody might put that out. Look, this has been done in response to specific airline threats. Maybe it's an overreaction, but I think the fact that you're going to be seen, not identifiable, in an office somewhere else by somebody who can't connect it. I mean, what are we concealing here?

No, Eleanor - people aren't concerned that electronic images of their internal organs used to determine serious medical issues will be broadcast over the internet violating their privacy.

More importantly, folks perceive a benefit to a CAT scan or an x-ray as they hope doctors will discover what's ailing them. By contrast, the positive impact of this new Department of Homeland Security edict is under serious question. 

As for what people are concealing, it seems awfully clear the issue is what most folks consider private parts.

Apparently Clift isn't concerned about such modesty, although one must seriously doubt she'd be so brazen if a Republican was in the White House.