Yesterday a fairly well respected mommy blogger began a series of Tweets that went wild with retweets nearly from the second it was posted- TSA allegedly broke it’s own rule about never separating a parent and child, and ripped a baby from the arms of his distraught mother, taking him away from her and out of her sight for a full 10 minutes because of a pacifier clip that went off in the security checkpoint. She posted the very emotional story on her blog, describing in detail all that happened. Mothers were outraged, and everyone sympathized with her fury over this mistreatment as she called for heads to roll. She encouraged people to contact news organizations and TSA on her behalf.

This morning’s light however, showed a different story. A very, VERY different story.

Not to take this sitting down, TSA responded to the firestorm with the security footage of the Atlanta airport that morning. Footage that quite clearly shows that the incident detailed on her Twitter stream and blog never actually occurred.

Yes, she and her son were there. Yes, they were briefly detained and she was searched, but the mysterious phone call she made when the agents weren’t looking, the separation of mother and son..None of it is seen on the camera footage.

Footage which is clearly dated and timestamped, without any more than a second or two’s jump as they show film from the next camera when she moves.

Footage which ends with her clearly walking away with her son after she is searched with no lapse at all in time.

The best explanation she seems capable of offering in her response refers to things that supposedly aren’t shown (bolding for emphasis)-

in the video, it looks as though my son is playing happily in his stroller while i am being searched with a wand. obviously this is the big discrepancy with my story, since he was not in my sight at that time, and one that i too am thoroughly looking into. neither of the two phone calls i placed while seated in security are in the video either. what is shown in the video is incomplete as it leaves out when the security agent took my son to a separate area and out of my sight. this matter is one that is being handled between my family and the TSA.

In short, she seems to be accusing TSA of doctoring the footage. An extremely serious charge.

So what’s the real story? If TSA was covering this up, why? It’s not like they haven’t fucked up and had to apologize for things before. More likely, what motivation would she have for lying?

I have seen it mentioned several times now that some believe that she truly believed this happened, and that her anxiety caused her to hallucinate.

I find it more interesting that this is never the case when other bloggers online have been ousted as frauds. As Paul said in a comment on his post about this today, had this been a man who posted a story like this, he’d have been ripped to shreds by the blogging community, no questions asked. I’ve actually been a bit surprised at the huge number of people who have been quite adamant that this should be swept under the rug and allowed to blow over without comment.

I understand compassion, I understand wanting to protect your own, but I also understand the damage done to the credibility of the blogging community by bullshit publicity stunts like this.

I’m not trying to imply anything, but when you want to be taken seriously, you might not aught to be posting stuff like this on the internet less than 24 hours after the incident…

money2

crazymoney2

You wouldn’t want to look like you were…I dunno, trying to make money off something that caused you, in your own words, to have an anxiety attack and horribly traumatized you…

moneycrazy

It has dawned on me as I write this that it should be simple enough for Nic to prove at least part of her story is true, if she so choses- posting a picture of her call log would prove the calls she claims are missing from the security footage. I’m raising the suggestion, but I doubt it will be taken up.

Insanity indeed.