Shots Across the Bow

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PolitiHack Sullivan Once Again Misses the Facts

And here it comes right on schedule. The Democratic Party in Tennessee wants to reject the candidate selected by the voters in the primary, so here comes PolitiFact with a hit piece disguised as fact checking.

The target is Mark Clayton, who won the Democratic primary to run against Bob Corker for his US Senate seat, and the axeman is once again PolitiHack Bartholomew Sullivan, PolitiFact Tennessee's go to guy for sleaze, slime, and hatchet jobs. The only thing new in his latest adventure into fiction is that the target is a Democrat. Clayton is an outspoken supporter of traditional marriage and for that, he has been viciously attacked by party Democrats, who have gone so far as to try and override the election results, a fact Sullivan gleefully includes in his column.

According to Sullivan Clayton wrote on his campaign's Facebook page that "the federal government 'mandates transexuals (sic) and homosexuals grabbing children in their stranger-danger zones in the name of airport security.' " I say according to Sullivan because he has no link to the Facebook page itself. I went to Clayton's Facebook page and found no trace of the alleged statement. I went to his campaign's Facebook page, and again, no such statement. Obviously Sullivan couldn't find it either, explaining why there was no link.

However, since I am not a dirtbag sleazeball lacking the initiative God gave a gerbil, I did a Google search, and was able to find the statement on Clayton's regular campaign page..

Mr Sullivan, if you will drop me a line, I'll be happy to explain just how a Google search is performed, and how to append the results to your on-line work. You know, in the spirit of amity and all.

So, having verified the statement, always a necessity when dealing with PolitFact Tennessee, I read the 'analysis.' Clayton backed up his statement using the case of Ashley Yang, a pre-op transsexual who worked as a TSA screener at LAX. According to Time Newsfeed , Yang was told that since he hadn't gone through surgery, and was still identified as male on all documentation, that under TSA policy, he would have to pat down men. When he objected, he was offered another position in the baggage handling department, but he claimed that he wanted the job because he wanted to work with people.

Some readers may object to my using the masculine when referring to Yang. Yet in accordance with California State law, while he may be recognized as a transsexual, he cannot be documented as such until undergoing reassignment surgery. And you might also note that good old Bart Sullivan also refers to Yang as "He." At last, we agree on something.

Back to the case at hand, the first part of the Clayton's statement, that the TSA does in fact hire transsexuals to work as screeners, Clayton is correct. In fact, Yang said he wanted the job in order to interact with people, and given that everybody today knows exactly how screeners 'interact' with people, the fact that he would be required to pat down others could not have been a shock. But he didn't want to pat down other men; he wanted to pat down women.

Now I understand that this is a delicate area. I do not doubt that Yang sees himself as female, but the question is how do the passengers being patted down by him feel? Do they see him as female as well? Or male? And should it matter? Who would be more uncomfortable during the pat down process? The men, the women, or Yang? These are all valid issues surrounding the case, but in his 'analysis' of the story, Sullivan does not mention any of it. To him, gender and the pat downs are irrelevant. He passes off the case as "employment law regarding the on-the-job treatment of transsexuals." He completely ignores the legitimate issues faced by the airport with Yang's employment as a screener. The reason for his myopia is clear; if the issue is solely about unnamed 'employment law' then it doesn't apply at all to Clayton's statement. But since pat downs and gender issues figure prominently in the case, including the assigned sex for pat downs, it applies directly to what Clayton said.

Leaving this information out isn't just disingenuous; it is dishonest.

The next issue is whether or not Yang, in his role as screener, would be required to do an invasive pat down of children, as claimed by Clayton. Bartholomew laughs off the idea as if it were totally ridiculous, and he trots out TSA statements on their policy of child pat downs and how sensitive they will be to the children.

Yeah, right.

This incident, in March of 2009, saw a four year old boy forced to remove his leg braces to get through a scanner. The TSA agents were completely unsympathetic to the boy's disabilities.

In Nov of 2010, a young boy is partially undressed by the TSA agent doing the patdown.

In May, 2011, a baby got a full pat down from the TSA, including removal of his diaper.

In April of 2011, a young girl was patted down by a TSA agent, despite her protests and her obvious distress.

In June of 2011, the TSA changed their guidelines for the pat downs of children, but they did not cease the practice entirely.

Just one month after the new policy was enacted, a Nashville woman was arrested for protesting as TSA agents patted down her daughter.

In March of 2012, a three year old boy in a cast and wheelchair went through a patdown, and was visibly distressed by the experience.

In April of 2012, a 4 year old girl was given a pat down after hugging her grandmother, who was waiting for screening. The girl was terrified and and the TSA were on the verge of forcing the family to leave the airport. Notice that the TSA said that their agents handled the incident appropriately, and followed the revised guidelines

Obviously, TSA screeners continue to do pat downs on children, including areas that are sensitive, and these pat downs make children extremely uncomfortable. The undeniable truth is that any TSA screener may be called upon to do a pat down of a small child. Sullivan completely dismisses this as a possibility in order to debunk Clayton's claim but again, the facts tell a different story.

So let's look at the facts. We have a court decision that airports must allow transsexuals to work as screeners, and allow them to pat down the sex they identify with, regardless of their actual status regarding their sex change. In other words, a transvestite may qualify as a female if he identifies himself as such and then he must be assigned to pat down females. In order to travel on an airplane, passengers must submit to either the scanner, or a pat down, and possibly both depending on the scan results. Despite the revision to TSA procedures, young children are still subjected to pat downs as they travel, and those pat downs do include areas that children would normally not allow a stranger to go near.

It doesn't take a logical genius to conclude that a parent could be required to allow a transsexual screener to pat down their child.

While the number of transsexuals working in the TSA has got to be miniscule, meaning the chances of this occurring are fairly slim, the number of gays/lesbians working as screeners is certainly higher, presenting an increased chance for a gay/lesbian screener to be assigned to pat down members of the same sex. And this raises a completely separate issue, one that is easy to state but nearly impossible to resolve. If we don't want TSA agents patting down passengers of the opposite sex, then why would we want homosexual TSA agents patting down same sex passengers?

Or are we being hypersensitive to the whole thing? Should we let TSA agents pat down passengers without regard to gender?

While Clayton's language is overly inflammatory, and his prejudice against transsexuals and homosexuals is evident, his statement is not a lie, but an accurate, albeit unlikely depiction of the reality of air travel. At worst, it is half true.

But that doesn't fit the narrative; it doesn't paint Clayton as extreme enough, so Sullivan doesn't provide the readers with the facts. Instead of presenting the evidence and analyzing it, he offered up a tissue thin layer of support for his own prejudices and sold it as the truth.

Sullivan and 'truth' are two words that do not belong in the same sentence. As long as PolitiFact Tennessee continues to publish his garbage, they will continue to be seen as the biased, agenda-driven, lapdogs of the left that they are, and journalists will continue to rival congressmen for the public's scorn.
Posted by Rich
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Your information is incorrect to get your gender marker on your birth certificate changed in California. Your information is further incorrect about her papers, she has an F on her passport, and an F on her drivers license. The Rules are U.S. Passport gender need only be determined by "a doctor's letter stating they have undergone a gender transition, which may have included psychological counseling and hormones," according to the AP.

To continue while screening men she was verbally harassed with statements like "I haven't had a girl touch me for a long time," or, "Does this mean you are going to buy me dinner?" That is because she looks like this http://blogs.laweekly.com/informer/ashley yang tsa lax.jpeg I'd wager to say you'd be uncomfortable with her feeling you up. With no information about this case you'd most likely assume, and correctly so, that she is a woman. Also she was fired from her job for this whole thing any way.

---

Now that we have that out of the way I'm going to get personal. I know you picked he because you wanted to be offensive. Is it so difficult to just do some thing because some one clearly wants that? I'm going to cry now cause this is deeply hurtful and reminds me the sort of life I have ahead of me at the hands people like you. Why are you such an insensitive prick? Thanks for ruining my night.
Posted by ct  on  09/10  at  04:29 AM

No, THIS is why Rich referred to Yang as "He" ....

<blockquote> According to Time Newsfeed , Yang was told that since he hadn't gone through surgery, and was still identified as male on all documentation, that under TSA policy, he would have to pat down men. When he objected, he was offered another position in the baggage handling department, but he claimed that he wanted the job because he wanted to work with people.

Some readers may object to my using the masculine when referring to Yang. Yet in accordance with California State law, while he may be recognized as a transsexual, he cannot be documented as such until undergoing reassignment surgery. And you might also note that good old Bart Sullivan also refers to Yang as "He." At last, we agree on something.</blockquote>

I am sorry you became offended but Rich clearly explains why he uses the male pronoun for Yang here. If you have a source that shows Yang's documentation has been changed to show female gender, please share so we can set the record straight. At the time this was posted, all available documentation said male.

If someone referring to a transsexual by what you consider is the incorrect gender pronoun is so upsetting that it makes you cry, perhaps you should rethink your decisions for the future. It will get a whole lot worse than this. Good luck, you will be in our prayers.
Posted by LissaKay  on  09/10  at  09:42 AM

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