While the viral videos of United Airlines and Dr. Dao do not tell the whole story, United definitely handled the matter badly from beginning to end.
I never comment on internet hysteria within the first 24 hours. Subsequent facts always reveal that the initial take was wrong in one way or another. Sometimes the whole story is better, sometimes it’s worse. In the case of David Dao, the doctor hauled off of a United Airlines flight when he refused to vacate his seat, the whole story is both better and worse than it seemed at first.
The video definitely looks bad, what with the woman saying loudly, “Oh, my God. Look what you did to him.” And certainly Dao’s screams are blood curdling:
— Jayse D. Anspach (@JayseDavid) April 10, 2017
Nevertheless, as is invariably the case with these out-of-context videos, there’s more to the story. United and its (or the airport’s) security personnel handled matters badly, but there’s was obviously something deeply off about Dr. Dao. Here’s my breakdown of what happened and what could have happened if United had handled the matter more intelligently: