The folks who get paid to ramp up public outrage and, thereby, ratings for their cable TV shows have been all over what is seen as either the latest affront to the public’s right to privacy or an ill-advised objection to necessary national security measures at airports.

The folks who get paid to ramp up public outrage and, thereby, ratings for their cable TV shows have been all over what is seen as either the latest affront to the public’s right to privacy or an ill-advised objection to necessary national security measures at airports.

The Transportation Security Authority’s new full-body scan/enhanced patdown procedures were the star of the cable news network shows this week, leading up to the heavy Thanksgiving travel days.

Many of the normally gung-ho, anything-for-national-security conservatives were siding with, get this, the ACLU in condemning the scans as unacceptable and the patdowns as downright sexual assault.

Many liberals, who were quick to criticize President George W. Bush’s every encroachment on privacy in the name of national security, are now saying, what’s the big deal? It’s not like the TSA is posting nude photos of you online.

In fact, if anyone recognized you from a TSA scan, there’s something peculiarly distinctive about you. The X-ray images that show enough to reveal whether you have a bomb in your undies isn’t going to reveal much else about you personally. And it’s not exactly on the big screen at Gate 44B. And the images not – despite an early mistake or two –  aren’t saved.

Probably more understandable are concerns about the level of radiation. You hear “full-body scan” and you might conjur up thoughts of cancer treatment levels of radiation. But it appears, according to the American College of Radiology, that the technology involved uses “extremely weak X-rays.” Far less than an standard X-ray.

Opt out of the scans and you will step into line for a pat-down. It’s America. It’s your choice.

All this fuss culminated in a call for a nationwide protest this week of the new screenings. It was a massive dud.

Thumbs up to Americans for showing some common sense.