Uh, Morrissey Just Said The TSA Agents at SFO Are Worse Than ISIS

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 (JD Lasica / Flickr)

Oh, Moz.

In what's unfortunately just the latest crazy brick in a long, increasingly offensive road paved by your loony uncle Morrissey (everyone has that one relative who's militantly vegan, writes emo poetry, and used to front the Smiths, amirite), the singer said today that TSA agents at the San Francisco International Airport are worse human beings than those who make up ISIS, the terrorist organization responsible for thousands upon thousands of deaths, as well as systemic human trafficking, sexual slavery, and myriad other forms of brutalization and abuse.

Super cool comparison!

The singer was referring to his experience passing through security at SFO this past July, when he alleges a TSA agent sexually assaulted him over the course of a security screening. The TSA has since denied that claim, citing security camera footage as evidence that "the supervised officer followed standard operating procedures." (And yeah, that video has made its way to YouTube, but you can't really tell what's going on.)


"TSA have ignored my official and legal and constitutional complaint. From this we gather that TSA stands for Thorough Sexual Assault," wrote the batsh*t-crazy lyricist Dec. 1 on the fansite True To You. "If you are traveling through San Francisco International Airport you must be ready for a full sexual attack by people who claim to have your interests at heart. It is unlikely that ISIS would stoop so low."

So. This shouldn't need to be spelled out, but let's say, just for argument's sake, that this officer really did grope Moz. Crudely and egregiously. That's terrible. But it's not nearly as terrible as ISIS. And the comparison, which I can only imagine was made purely for shock value, ain't cute. It's disgusting. Not only does it show a stunning lack of sensitivity to the fact that the world is still reeling from the trauma of last month's attacks in Paris, it's also massively disrespectful to the more than 4 million people who have fled their native Syria during ISIS' brutal reign, as well as the thousands who have died at the organization's hands.

Unfortunately, this is far from the first time Morrissey's loon-speak has veered into awful and outright racist territory. He previously said the 2011 attacks in Norway that took 77 lives were nothing compared to the slaughter of animals for fast food, has appeared to fetishize skinhead imagery, and straight-up called Chinese people a subspecies.

So why is this new load of bullsh*t even notable? Well, for one, it's based on events that allegedly took place in San Francisco -- and it also managed to make me feel sorry for TSA agents at large, which is impressive in and of itself.

But more importantly: Morrissey gets away with this BS mostly because he's a renowned, deeply beloved songwriter. His accomplishments in music have sealed him in the type of canon that tends to work like Teflon for these kinds of offenses...up to a point. Where that point lies, precisely, is at the discretion of individual fans. But at a time when the world is (rightfully) turning its back on Bill Cosby, and we're having long-overdue discussions about the ramifications of liking R. Kelly, it seems only fair to think long and hard about what you're supporting if you buy a ticket to Moz's show at the Masonic this Dec. 29.

That is, if he even makes it here: The singer also has a long history of canceling shows and entire tours the same way you might bail on a friend's birthday gathering at a bar all the way across town (It's cold! You're tired!). And, truly, if his SFO experience serves as just one more reason for Morrissey to stay away from the Bay Area altogether, that'd be just fine by me.