Christopher Elliott’s Interview with the TSA’s Blogger Bob

Christopher Elliott interview’s the TSA’s Blogger Bob though unfortunately he tosses mostly softballs like,

  • [What are the] qualifications for working at TSA. Also, how much training do agents get?

  • [H]ow do you like working for the TSA.

  • What are the most unusual items TSA officials have discovered in a pat-down?

  • How do you feel about alliteration?

  • If you were a tree, what kind of tree would you be? (Ok, just kidding about that one)

When he does let a ‘tough question’ get through, he doesn’t ask any follow-ups. So he passes along a reader question, “Does the TSA believe it is making America safer? Can you name any specific, recent threats that TSA has stopped?” and lets Blogger Bob get away with “[Federal Air Marshals] have interceded on many flights to stop aggressive actions by passengers” and offers no follow-ups on how many of these ‘aggressive actions’ were by, you know, [i]terrorists[/i] and how many were drunk passengers? And why let Blogger Bob take credit for air marshalls even, instead of pressing for the number of terrorists they’ve actually every caught (zero)?

And when Blogger Bob argues that the “335 Transportation Security Officers [who] have been terminated for theft” represent just a few bad apples, he gets away with it.

Christopher Elliott, meet Larry King.

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

More articles by Gary Leff »



  1. This is the same guy who rails against resort fees yet writes a glowing review of the Grand Wailea without any mention of the ~$50/day mandatory resort/parking fees (nor any disclosure about the rate he was staying on). He does some occasional interesting analysis, but mostly panders to the populist infrequent/uninformed travelers. The Sarah Palin of travel writing.

  2. Mr. King, nice to meet you.

    I must have missed your hard-hitting interview with the TSA on this blog. Maybe you could provide a link?

    @Tim, I’m a big fan of Sarah Palin. So thank you for the compliment!

  3. Before I saw your last statement re: Larry King, that was what was running thru my head also! I don’t know how that guy stayed on the air for so long…

  4. I’ve enjoyed Elliott in the past but lately his blog has been slipping and provides little benefit to me any longer.

  5. I used to read Chris’s blog. It used to be decent but has been slipping. He really does pander to the infrequent traveler, and really shows evidence of reading incomprehension in his comments. (Reference the discussion a couple of months ago about whether or not he should keep his polls. He gets confused when people tell him to have fewer more meaningful polls.)

    And, IIRC, he has said before that if he really presses the hard ball questions with his interview guests, that they won’t interview. He says it has to be beneficial for both parties.

Comments are closed.