By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – One of Mark Twain’s most famous observations, that “common sense is very uncommon,” has never been more relevant.

There are plenty of examples of the near-total absence of common sense to choose from, but you can’t do any better than the ridiculous episode on a United Airlines flight Sunday night, where police officers inexplicably roughed up a passenger who had randomly been chosen to give up his seat because of overbooking.

If you haven’t already seen the video, it depicts this older gentleman, apparently a doctor, politely but firmly refusing to give up his seat, as had every other passenger.

Instead of maybe sweetening their offer to try to coax him or someone else, airline and police officials decided to drag him out of his seat, then proceeded to drop him so his head struck an armrest, drawing blood and knocking the guy groggy.

Then, as onlookers berated the cops for this idiotic display of arrogance and overkill, they dragged the poor man down the aisle by his legs.

I am pretty sure that every decent cop in America looked at the video and just shook their head. These guys took a touchy but peaceful situation and turned it into something violent, an utter failure of common sense, let alone decency.

Related: Keller @ Large – Pepsi Should Thank United

And then, of course, it was the United CEO’s turn to make a huge unforced error, apologizing in a statement only for having to “reaccomodate” the victim.


That’s what they call a mugging these days in some quarters.

Related: United CEO Defends Employees ‘I Want To Commend You’

You know – the quarters where common sense has long since moved out.

Listen to Jon’s commentary:

Comments (2)
  1. You are forgetting, Jon, that the airlines have every legal right to remove an over-booked passenger from their airplane.

    A polite, but firm “no” to a police officer doing his legal duty is an invitation to the police to use whatever force is necessary to accomplish the assignment.

    In this incident, this passenger was hardly an innocent, passive player. He was also being an absolute jerk.

    Note that the passenger’s “jerkness” — he is/was a doctor by the way–is confirmed by his criminal record of passing prescription drugs to one of his patients in exchange for sex.

    Here’s my recommendation…volunteer to give up your seat. The perks are great and you get to your destination without too much hassle.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s