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United Airlines has perhaps not had the best year so far, public relations-wise. Just two weeks ago they wouldn't let some little girls fly on a plane because their leggings were just too sexxxy. Then, the entire internet was grossed out on Monday following the release of video footage of aviation officers brutally hauling a 69-year-old doctor off of an overbooked United Airlines flight that he had paid good money to be on.


UPDATE: Although the Chicago PD for some reason put out a statement on this whole mishegas, the officers in question were actually from the Chicago Aviation Department, and not the CPD.

Chicago PD, of course, had a very different interpretation of events! At first, anyway.

At approximately 6:00 p.m., a 69-year-old male Asian airline passenger became irate after he was asked to disembark from a flight that was oversold. The passenger in question began yelling to voice his displeasure, at which point Aviation Police were summoned. Aviation Officers arrived on the scene attempted to carry the individual off the flight when he fell. His head subsequently struck an armrest causing injuries to his face. The man was taken to Lutheran General Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. Ongoing investigation.

OH. See! Totally not their fault! He only hit his head and got all bloody because he was being irate and fell and hit his head. And then, because he fell, he had to be gently carried off the plane by the delicate, angel-like hands of the Aviation Officers, who definitely had nothing at all to do with the fact that he hit his head in the first place. And then they were even nice enough to take him to the hospital! What? You say you saw some "video" in which you definitely saw some police officers aggressively manhandling a senior citizen for basically no reason and very much causing him to hit his head on the arm rest? Pssht. Who are you going to believe, the Chicago Police or your lying eyes?

Besides, it's not like they took him to a black site or anything. They didn't disappear him! They were just carrying him off the plane, gently, because he had already fallen and they were clearly concerned that he might fall and hurt himself again.

Later -- perhaps after actually bothering to watch the video -- they realized that maybe something did go wrong there, and put the officer involved in the incident on suspension.

The aviation department gave a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times:

“The incident on United flight 3411 was not in accordance with our standard operating procedure and the actions of the aviation security officer are obviously not condoned,” aviation department spokeswoman Karen Pride said. “That officer has been placed on leave effective today pending a thorough review of the situation.”

Perhaps there are still some lessons to be learned here, for everyone involved. Like, hey! Maybe United learned not to overbook a flight when you know for a fact that you need to get four of your workers on that flight, because probably other people have booked that flight because they need to get to the place they are going as well. Like for instance, if they are a doctor and have patients to see in the morning. Maybe the Chicago Police will even learn -- if we are lucky! -- that people have camera phones now and if they manhandle a 69-year-old man and haul him off a plane, some people will record that and everyone will think they are terrible human beings who should not, in fact, be doing that.

Oh, we are just kidding, it is the Chicago PD. [Actually, it is the Chicago aviation police, but we hope the CPD learns something too.]

[Attn | Chicago Sun-Times]

Robyn Pennacchia

Robyn Pennacchia is a brilliant, fabulously talented and visually stunning angel of a human being, who shrugged off what she is pretty sure would have been a Tony Award-winning career in musical theater in order to write about stuff on the internet. Previously, she was a Senior Staff Writer at Death & Taxes, and Assistant Editor at The Frisky (RIP). Currently, she writes for Wonkette, Friendly Atheist, Quartz and other sites. Follow her on Twitter at @RobynElyse

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The Church of Scientology had some thoughts about Our Robyn's piece, Who Wants To Watch A Creepy White Guy Rap About Scientology? We had some thoughts about their thoughts.

Thanks for writing in, Scientology! As you doubtless realized when you didn't demand we take down our story, but requested it instead, our opinions of your weird cult and that poor young man's rap skills are protected by the First Amendment. (I learned about libel law in college and grad school but also on the job: I was in newspapers so long that I was actually colleagues with Tony Ortega -- about whom you sound quite "venomous" and "biased" -- at the very same newspaper chain you can't believe he defended! Next up, please show your due diligence by talking trash about a woman you didn't know was my mom.)

Also, a lot of your former members say on the record that you kidnap people, and stalk them, and harass them, and sometimes beat them up good, and I request that if so, fucking stop it.

The rest of you click the headline, if you want your OPEN THREAD.

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Monday's Trump-Putin press conference landed on the entire free world like a hot treason-shaped turd, didn't it? Congressional Republicans have been saying mean things about it on Twitter, and even Fox News has been less than 100% supportive! The White House communications department obviously knew it had a crisis on its hands, what with how it's generally considered inappropriate for the leader of the free world to get on all fours in front of the Russian president and wag his tail and slobber with anticipation while he awaits his next marching orders. WOMP WOMP, etc.

So the comms department typed up a thing for the president to read aloud today at the beginning of his meeting with members of Congress, about how he was VERY SORRY he said one word incorrectly during the Putin presser. That's right, only one word of that whole fucking shitshow was wrong. All the rest of his traitor words were exactly what he meant to say.

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