Agency spokesperson “strongly cautioned” journalists to back off
March 9, 2012
Two mainstream media reporters have revealed that the TSA has “strongly cautioned” them not to cover the story of an engineer revealing major flaws in the agency’s $1 billion dollar body scanner program.
As we reported earlier this week, Engineer Jon Corbett of the popular blog TSA Out of Our Pants! posted a video that demonstrates how the TSA’s radiation firing scanners can easily be bypassed, when carrying metal objects.
Despite YouTube initially restricting the video for no discernable reason, the story went viral and the TSA was forced to respond, albeit in a way that only made the subject more pressing.
Now Corbett, who was the first person in the country to sue the TSA over the body scanners, says that two mainstream media journalists have contacted him to make it known that the TSA warned them off the story.
“I’ve been on the phone all day for the last 2 days with reporters and journalists of all kinds,” writes Corbett.
“One South Florida reporter told me that he had been “strongly cautioned” by the TSA not to cover this story. Absolutely unbelievable”
Corbett later updated his post to say that another reporter had also been “strongly cautioned” not to cover the story.
The reporters cite a TSA spokeswoman called Sari Koshetz as the person attempting to intimidate them out of covering the issue. They say that Koshetz described Corbett as someone who “clearly has an agenda” that “should not be aided by the mainstream media”.
“The TSA is clearly no fan of the 4th Amendment, nor of 5th Amendment due process rights, and now this blatant attempt to manipulate the free press with “strong caution” hits at Amendment the First.” writes Corbett on his blog.
“Why strong caution? Are there repercussions for journalists that fail to heed this “advice?” he asks.
“If you’re a journalist who has received any kind of similar warning, please contact me.” Corbett continues. “Everyone else, please take a moment to contact your local mainstream media outlets (Fox, ABC, NBC, CNN, etc.) to request that they cover the original story.”
Corbett praised the alternative media for diligently covering the story:
“The Internet has been absolutely amazing as have large alternative programs (Alex Jones, for example) and I do believe that we have successfully spread the word. But, if the TSA doesn’t want the MSM to cover it, there’s probably a reason, so let’s take the battle there!”
Jon Corbett can be reached via Twitter – @tsaoutourpants
Steve Watson is the London based writer and editor for Alex Jones’ Infowars.net, and Prisonplanet.com. He has a Masters Degree in International Relations from the School of Politics at The University of Nottingham in England.