Video: Airport scanners rescue shoppers from fitting rooms?

posted at 12:15 pm on April 25, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Look, I’m willing to at least consider the possibility that airport scanners will increase safety and security in airline flight, but it’s still a radiographic system from which one should avoid unnecessary exposures. CNN’s cheery report on the commercial uses of such systems entirely avoids that question, as well as several others about its use and utility:

This reminds me a little of the fluoroscopes that were in use in the early 20th century, handled by those well-reknowned scientists who, er, sold shoes.  For two decades, the children of America got exposed to significant doses of X-rays simply as a marketing gimmick for giving them the “right fit,” a process so otherwise difficult that it would require trying on the shoes … which customers had to do anyway.

Similarly, despite getting a magic printout, customers will still have to try on their clothes.  Why?  Because manufacturers hide behind symbolic sizing to adjust to any particular market, especially in women’s clothes, but also in men’s shoes and sportswear.  The issue isn’t the stores, it’s the producers.  A backscatter device might give a customer accurate measurements, but since clothing is rarely sold by measurement but by categories, it’s not going to have much impact.  Even a serious attempt to connect measurements to sizing for all major clothing manufacturers today may be obsolete by the very next season.  And anyone who worries this much about fit will still need to pass through a fitting room before buying anyway.

Why is this use for the backscatter devices being promoted now?  Could it be that the manufacturers (or the government) want to make them seem more cute and cuddly for reasons having nothing to do with retail sales?  It would be interesting to see whether the sale of such devices to retailers is in any way subsidized through Homeland Security programs.

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You know what I want when I go shopping? Radiation pumped into me.

lorien1973 on April 25, 2011 at 12:19 PM

I’m willing to at least consider the possibility that airport scanners will increase safety and security in airline flight

Can anyone show me one example where TSA or scanners stopped one terrorist from boarding a plane?

Vashta.Nerada on April 25, 2011 at 12:20 PM

But will it tell you those jeans do, in fact, make your ass look big?

CurtZHP on April 25, 2011 at 12:22 PM

CNN has really gone downhill.

Eren on April 25, 2011 at 12:23 PM

manufacturers hide behind symbolic sizing to adjust to any particular market, especially in women’s clothes, but also in men’s shoes and sportswear.

That’s not all, Ed. Most people know their size. The point of fitting rooms isn’t to tell whether something fits you size-wise. It’s to tell whether it looks good on you, and that has more to do with design, cut, and draping than it does with how big a person it was made to fit. This does absolutely nothing to address that, so this is an entirely worthless gesture.

Caiwyn on April 25, 2011 at 12:23 PM

Being one of the many Americans who don’t fit into the clothes selected by the two gay fellows who buy all the same clothes for department stores, I think this is a good idea.

And as far as your radiation worries go, you’d only have to have this scan done occasionally, as your body changes, instead of every time you’d like to travel.

I think that in this age of computer-aided manufacturing, the idea of having clothes that actually fit, would be wonderful.

And no, I don’t care if the MTV crowd pays any attention, they can pursue their “ghetto” style all they want.

CrazyGene on April 25, 2011 at 12:24 PM

I could do a low tech sizing with my hands. If only every customer looked like the one in the story.

Rich on April 25, 2011 at 12:25 PM

So, liberals went nuts when there were discussions on irradiating vegetables. No reputable institution opposed that. This thing actually has a letter from the radiation oncology group at UCSF saying the gov’t has done their radiation absorption math wrong, and that they advise anyone with past histories of breast or skin cancer to avoid these things absolutely. Liberals are insane…

DrEvilDoer on April 25, 2011 at 12:26 PM

When x-rays first came out, people used to use those machines at shoe stores to see their shoes size.

angryed on April 25, 2011 at 12:27 PM

Video: Airport scanners rescue shoppers from fitting rooms?

The TSA and the people pushing the scanner business are getting increasingly desperate in their search for believable excuses for the outrageous intrusion!!

landlines on April 25, 2011 at 12:32 PM

OR… you could ask the sales staff. They usually know if the clothes tend to run small or big…

This is an example of robots replacing people.

What is the connection with the airport? Does TSA get a printout of my size at different stores? Are they going to buy me a gift? Because I like gifts.

petunia on April 25, 2011 at 12:33 PM

With Obamalinsky destroying the economy for his Puppet Master Gorgeous George Soros, no one will be able to shop for clothes anyway. That money will be used to buy SPAM and other high quality foods…God, we’re so screwed…….

adamsmith on April 25, 2011 at 12:35 PM

I could do a low tech sizing with my hands. If only every customer looked like the one in the story.

Rich on April 25, 2011 at 12:25 PM

You could have stayed classy and just said you’d be happy to wand her anytime.

Paul-Cincy on April 25, 2011 at 12:38 PM

The first time I heard about it, I didn’t think it was a horrible idea. Maybe in Men’s clothing, people already know their size, but it doesn’t work that way with Women’s clothes. “Sizes” are not standardized and are all over the map.

I can see it being useful when ordering online. Are the sleeves going to be long enough? Tight in the shoulders? Baggy in the butt? Big enough in the waist?

This isn’t aimed at Menswear. What does your wife think about this?

Allahs vulva on April 25, 2011 at 12:38 PM

It’s not foolproof, anyway, since sizes don’t all run the same. Some are a little small, some are a little large, so if you want to make sure something fits, you try it on.

Ward Cleaver on April 25, 2011 at 12:40 PM

CNN has really gone downhill.

Eren on April 25, 2011 at 12:23 PM

The fact that had that one goofball anchor on last week confessing his eco-sins should be a clear indication exactly how downhill they have gone!

pilamaye on April 25, 2011 at 12:42 PM

All they need is a data sheet for that.

What is the scanner doing there?

Women do not go into stores without any idea what size they are and those who don’t aren’t stepping into some booth to find out.

sharrukin on April 25, 2011 at 12:47 PM

Can anyone show me one example where TSA or scanners stopped one terrorist from boarding a plane?

Vashta.Nerada on April 25, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Why, yes,..yes, I can.

http://hotair.com/archives/2011/04/11/its-come-to-this-six-year-old-gets-the-full-tsa-patdown/

a capella on April 25, 2011 at 12:47 PM

I use a little older technology. My opic nerves.

DrAllecon on April 25, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Seriously, if you have any genetic mutation that leaves you extra susceptible to double stranded DNA breaks, going through these things will give you cancer.

ernesto on April 25, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Can anyone show me one example where TSA or scanners stopped one terrorist from boarding a plane?

Vashta.Nerada on April 25, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Of course not. The terrorists figured out ages ago how to beat those scanners. They’re most likely waiting for the right time to really demonstrate that fact to the masses.

pilamaye on April 25, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Who has money left over to buy new clothes?

karenhasfreedom on April 25, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Other applications:

1) Seeing what prize is in your Crackerjack box before opening it.

2) Differentiating between the different flavors of creams in a box of Valentine’s Day chocolate without biting each one first.

3) Determining just how many licks it will take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop.

DrAllecon on April 25, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Video: Airport scanners rescue shoppers from fitting rooms?

But then where would shoplifters go to put on 5 pairs of pants at once?

Why is this use for the backscatter devices being promoted now? Could it be that the manufacturers (or the government) want to make them seem more cute and cuddly for reasons having nothing to do with retail sales? It would be interesting to see whether the sale of such devices to retailers is in any way subsidized through Homeland Security programs.

Maybe to protect their revenue stream in the event a Republican president and Congress drop them and/or TSA in the future?

The comparison to the old Xray machines for selling shoes is very apt. It’s exactly the sort of silliness we went through with x-rays when they were new and presumed harmless.

tom on April 25, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Seriously, if you have any genetic mutation that leaves you extra susceptible to double stranded DNA breaks, going through these things will give you cancer.

ernesto on April 25, 2011 at 12:57 PM

Along those lines, I’m still waiting for the SyFy Channel to introduce that idea into one of their cheapo-deluxe Grade B Saturday Night monster flicks.

TSA SCANNER HORROR!, or something.

pilamaye on April 25, 2011 at 1:02 PM

I was fully expecting this to be from the Onion…

gwelf on April 25, 2011 at 1:02 PM

ernesto on April 25, 2011 at 12:57 PM

The individual isn’t important any more. The collective welfare is where the value lies. Part of that new interpetation of the Constitution as a living, breathing document. Takes a village and all that.

a capella on April 25, 2011 at 1:03 PM

Other applications:

1) Seeing what prize is in your Crackerjack box before opening it.

DrAllecon on April 25, 2011 at 1:00 PM

Unfortunately, Crackerjack stopped putting prizes in their boxes years ago, apparently due to lawsuits. Now, all you get is some sticker or paper tattoo in a package similar to the original prize package, and instead of a joke on the wrapper, you get safety warnings. Ahh, the joys of childhood.

Vashta.Nerada on April 25, 2011 at 1:04 PM

a capella on April 25, 2011 at 1:03 PM

It’s not as if the individual’s safety is paramount to the GOP or conservatives either. The same thinking that leads republicans to dismiss pollution related health fears as overblown or “the cost of doing business” is informing the decision to ignore legitimate risks to x-ray exposure.

ernesto on April 25, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Ahh, the joys of childhood.

Vashta.Nerada on April 25, 2011 at 1:04 PM

I guess we should be lucky that Crackerjack hasn’t yet been considered an illegal substance.

And those stickers are really lame…um, not that I’d know or anything.

DrAllecon on April 25, 2011 at 1:07 PM

I feel bad for the poor operator who has to tell the customer that the machine says she’s a 4XL.

John Deaux on April 25, 2011 at 1:08 PM

a capella on April 25, 2011 at 1:03 PM

It’s not as if the individual’s safety is paramount to the GOP or conservatives either. The same thinking that leads republicans to dismiss pollution related health fears as overblown or “the cost of doing business” is informing the decision to ignore legitimate risks to x-ray exposure.

ernesto on April 25, 2011 at 1:06 PM

The actual distinction is based on practical questions. Conservatives simply reject overblown threats, like global warming. X-ray risks are actual and verifiable, rather than something being pushed by the usual agenda-driven leftists.

A great example is environmental issues. Nearly all conservatives are in favor of a good environment, even though they reject a lot of “environmentalist” causes like global warming. It’s just typical of leftist thinking that moderation is considered extreme, and you have to be hysterical to be considered moderate.

Very annoying.

tom on April 25, 2011 at 1:12 PM

“Yes ma’am, this dress does have a looser fit that will accentuate your bustline while minimizing the huge, throbbing tumor growing out of your hip.”

DrAllecon on April 25, 2011 at 1:17 PM

Of course not. The terrorists figured out ages ago how to beat those scanners. They’re most likely waiting for the right time to really demonstrate that fact to the masses.

pilamaye on April 25, 2011 at 12:58 PM

Even more likely: The terrorists have figured out that those scanners will assure that potential terrorist victims are completely unable to fight back.

landlines on April 25, 2011 at 1:18 PM

Heavens no! Extra roomy brands sporting size labels without the ubiquitous X on them have long protected the fragile egos of plus size shoppers. Would you take that away from them? Why do liberals hate chubby people?

Dee2008 on April 25, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Can anyone show me one example where TSA or scanners stopped one terrorist from boarding a plane?

Vashta.Nerada on April 25, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Of course not. The terrorists figured out ages ago how to beat those scanners. They’re most likely waiting for the right time to really demonstrate that fact to the masses.

pilamaye on April 25, 2011 at 12:58 PM

You can trust our TSA to always be ahead of the curve; when the islamists finally turn to six-year old little girls and blue-haired old ladies to carry their bombs, we’ll stop them in their tracks.

slickwillie2001 on April 25, 2011 at 1:27 PM

“Vanity sizing”? To make you “feel better”?

*facepalm* Put down the donut…

JetBoy on April 25, 2011 at 1:28 PM

This is useless and utterly stupid.

I do most of my clothes shopping at one men’s store (Joseph A. Bank). Even within that one store, depending on the style, sizes can vary. For example, one sportcoat in 43 regular might fit perfectly, but a 43 reg might be too big in another style, so I need to go to a 42 reg.

There is just no substitute for actually trying clothes on.

UltimateBob on April 25, 2011 at 2:30 PM

Cable News Network??? That looked like a silly infomercial for a tumor growing machine.

redwhiteblue on April 25, 2011 at 2:33 PM

Yes, it worked out so well for those foot flouroscopes.

reaganaut on April 25, 2011 at 2:45 PM

Sadly, at today’s (and tomorrow’s) gas prices,I’m forced to give up clothing or food. I’m choosing to eat!

Sorry, everyone…

karl9000 on April 25, 2011 at 3:08 PM

1. Perhaps you can get your sizes given to you at the airport scan. I’m sure they will be passed on to Michelle My Belle for scrutinizing the fat Americans.

2. No more arguments over whether you are too fat to fly. One scan determines if its one seat or two.

3. In the interest of being “fair” (something Barry is really into these days), clothing manufacturers will be ordered to adjust clothing sizes so that we all wear a size 2. It’s only fair!

4. Instant reduction in ObamaCare costs as TSA passes on your scan to your local doctor when they are through with it. This will cover any possible need for x-rays, MRI’s or PET scans.

katablog.com on April 25, 2011 at 3:55 PM

So in violating my 4th amendment rights, I can also have my personal dimensions sold to a marketing company to make sure any marketing material I receive is targeted???

Oh yeah, totally worth it. /s

KMC1 on April 25, 2011 at 4:17 PM

On the other hand, this could be good for fitting people with the proper hospital robes going into the oncology department.

jon1979 on April 25, 2011 at 4:32 PM

They just read the writing on the walls and realized that by 2014, airports are going to be stuck with millions of dollars of extra equipment that is no longer going to be used and they are looking for a new application.

Although I do wonder what would happen if you get scanned with a mercury infused curly Q light bulb in your pocket. You would die for wure then…

jeffn21 on April 25, 2011 at 5:06 PM

Yes, it worked out so well for those foot flouroscopes.

reaganaut on April 25, 2011 at 2:45 PM

That’s what I was thinking.

Wonder if Chris Hansen will pop into Wal-Marts and grill the machine operators after documenting their reactions with a hidden cam as young girls go through?

Dr. ZhivBlago on April 25, 2011 at 6:10 PM