Myron Blaine: Remembering the actions of United

Myron Blaine is a columnist for the Courier-Post.
MYRON BLAINE, Courier-Post Columnist
Posted: Apr. 18, 2017 10:47 am

A 69-year-old Doctor gets a concussion, a broken nose, and two teeth knocked out, not because he was mugged by thugs, but because he was forced off an airplane at Chicago O'Hare Airport by the men called Security Guards!  The claim they were just "doing their job" falls far short of a reasonable explanation for what happened.

The most disappointing reports of this incident come from Rush Limbaugh.  Rush is usually more in line with conservative views, but this time he is wrong.  He tried to make Doctor David Dao look like a common criminal who deserved the treatment he received being dragged off that United Airlines flight.  Dao was apparently convicted of illegally selling prescription drugs over 10 years ago, stripped of his medical license, but earned it back in 2015. Limbaugh would like us to think Dao is the only doctor ever convicted of that crime.

Which is worse, a doctor that over-prescribes pain killers, or a doctor who kills babies on the abortion table?  Which is more "mentally unstable"?

During the Rush Limbaugh show on which this incident was initially discussed, another pilot from United Airlines (William from Montana) just happened to call in, and he just happened to fly the very same aircraft, and Rush and William then proceeded to explain that this should be expected in "post-9/11 America." William kept repeating "There are rules."  Do those rules include giving a man, who was no threat whatsoever to the other passengers, physical injuries to remove him from the plane solely to accommodate another flight crew needing seats?

All the talk about overbooking and flights being oversold is nothing but defense of greed.  Leave four seats open on every flight.  Problem solved.

Social media, particularly cell phones and their video recording capabilities, are quickly changing the way news is reported. However, when a news agency acquires a cell phone video, it is sometimes edited to show only what they want shown.

In the case of Dr. Dao, one report said the video showed Dr. Dao being physically aggressive — yet that portion of the video was not shown in the newscast.  Eyewitness reports from other passengers said Dao was never physically aggressive, belligerent, or even angry, until they literally jerked him out of his seat and removed him from the plane.

He was 69 years old.  He had escaped Vietnam in 1975 during the fall of Saigon.  He probably thought he was back in a Communist country.  Those actions frighten me, and I'm sure terrified him as well as other passengers who can be heard screaming in the videos that have surfaced.

United may never recover from this; reportedly their stock has taken a 60 percent tumble.  United has now declared it will refund the ticket money to all passengers on the flight.  Many see that as merely an attempt to buy the silence of  eyewitnesses.

William from Montana did get one thing right:  This IS post-9/11 America.

Many airline passengers in America will remember this when they buy a ticket — on another airline.

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