Maybe it's just the backlash to the incessant, bullheaded backlash, but it turns out a majority of Americans - 54% according to a new Gallup poll - think the Transportation Safety Administration is doing a good (or better!) job handling airport security screenings.
"TSA employees work hard every day to protect the traveling public," much trod-upon TSA executive administrator John Pistole said in a statement. "This positive report reaffirms TSA's commitment to carrying out these responsibilities with efficiency, integrity and in a customer friendly manner."
The numbers might come as a bit of a surprise to members of Congress, who routinely target the agency for ridicule. Just this spring, Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., released a report called, "Not on my Watch": 50 Failures of TSA's Transportation Security Officers, which alleged that "pedophiles and child pornographers" were flooding the ranks, issuing gratuitous pat-downs, and stealing from travelers.
Despite all this blustering, the TSA appears to be considerably more popular than Congress, which most recently clocked in at a 16 percent approval rating. On the flip side, only 12 percent of respondents to Gallup's poll said TSA agents were doing a "poor" job.
Dig deeper into the numbers and, yup, you'll find more good news for the TSA.
Young fliers, many of whom can't remember a world without heavy security at airport gates, had the most positive view of the agency, with 67 percent offering a positive opinion of its work.
Still, not everyone is convinced. The TSA watchdog website TSANewsBlog.com disputed the results, writing that "pollsters can get any result they want by controlling the way questions are asked and the group that is polled. The fact remains that no matter how many fluff pieces or favorable polls get published on behalf of the TSA, many Americans are sick and tired of this agency and its corrupt workers."
For its part, Gallup has denied all charges of undue influence in their work.
"No one sponsored it. Gallup paid for it," managing editor Jeff Jones told the Huffington Post. "This was completely done by Gallup poll editors. We had no contact with TSA at all."