United Airlines, Rolling Stone Settlement, and Child Endangerment with Ashe Schow [podcast]

This week on the big show, Fingers and Tracy discuss the United Airlines incident, and a crazy story out of California in which a father’s unique disciplinary style landed him in jail for the night. Ashe Schow stopped by with an update on the lawsuit against Rolling Stone, and a tragic story about a young University of Texas student who chose to end his own life after being accused of sexual harassment.

After a brief discussion of bathroom cellphone etiquette we got down to some serious news business. The non-political story dominating the news cycle this week was United Airlines vs Dr. Dao. Short version: United Airlines needed to get four of their crew members from Chicago to Louisville and in order to do so needed to have four seats vacated. In order to free up four seats for the crew members perks were offered but there were no takers. At point things were turned over to a computer algorithm which determined which passengers should be given the boot, no doubt based upon the price they paid for their ticket, the amount they’ve spent with United Airlines over the years, connecting flights, etc. Three of the four computer chosen passengers left the plane without incident. The fourth, Dr. Dao did not comply. The fuzz was called and this happened:

Terrible optics.

Before a single politician could get in front of a microphone to demand hearings on the incident or suggest the need for a legislative fix, the public punished United Airlines. The internet flipped out. The memes, unlike Dr. Dao, began to fly.

And Dr. Dao is going to sue the shit out United. My guess, this is the first and last night we’ll see something like this go down on an airplane.

Ashe Schow has a couple of big stories this week at Watchdog.org. The first is that Rolling Stone is going to be coughing up several million dollars to UVA Dean Nicole Eramo. Via Watchdog.org

Eramo sued Rolling Stone in May 2015 for the way she was portrayed. She claimed she never said anything about U.Va. potentially being labeled a rape school, and was able to demonstrate that Rolling Stonealtered a photo of her to make her look callous. The original photo was of Eramo in a classroom, holding a pen. The doctored photo made her skin blue, altered her eyes and mouth and removed the pen to make it look like she was smiling and giving a “thumbs up” as a girl cried in her office.

The defamation suit eventually went to trial, where it was revealed that Rolling Stone edited out information favorable to Eramo and that the author of the article – Sabrina Rubin Erdely – had an extreme bias against fraternities before she started writing. When publisher Jann Wenner took the stand, he said he regretted fully retracting the article and claimed he had “suffered as much as” Eramo had. Wenner, whose net worth is $700 million and who is still the publisher of Rolling Stone, claimed he suffered as much as a college dean who tried to help rape victims and lost her job while being maligned in the press, through no fault of her own.

A jury found Wenner, the magazine and Erdely liable on three counts of defamation, and were ordered to pay Eramo more than $3 million. The details of the settlement were not revealed, but Rolling Stonecalled it an “amicable resolution” in a statement provided to the Washington Post.

Libby Locke, an attorney for Eramo, released a statement saying she and her client were “delighted that this dispute is now behind us, as it allows Nicole to move on and focus on doing what she does best, which is supporting victims of sexual assault.”

Rolling Stone isn’t quite done paying for publishing the UVA rape hoax story just yet. They face more legal challenges from those who feel their reputations were damaged by the story. Ashe will be sure to keep us all up to date.

There’s also this horrific story from the University of Texas that Ashe covered for Watchdog.org:

A male student who was accused of sexual harassment committed suicide just days after the University of Texas at Arlington ignored its own policies in order to punish him. The accused student’s father, a lawyer acting as the administrator of his son’s estate, is now suing the school for violating his son’s Title IX rights.

You can read the whole sad sorted story here.

Young people’s lives are being ruined. They are being denied their due process rights. They are seeing their futures destroyed and feel absolutely helpless. This madness needs to come to an end or were going to see this tragic outcome played out again and again.

Our final story of the week comes from Reason.com

Mike Tang was charged with child endangerment for leaving his 8-year-old son in a grocery store parking lot a mile from home. It was supposed to be a life lesson.

“I just wanted to reinforce that money is hard to earn and that, if he doesn’t do a good job at school, he could end up sleeping…[with] the homeless,” says Tang, who lives in the Southern California suburb of Corona.

The incident took place after Mike caught Isaac cutting corners on his homework. At about 7:45 p.m., he drove him to the parking lot and drove away. About 10 minutes later, Tang’s father came to pick him up.

Mike is refusing to serve the sentence, and there’s an outstanding arrest warrant for his failure to comply. He scrawled a response on top of the warrant and mailed it back.

“Fuck you all!” Mike’s written response begins. “Walking on a public sidewalk at 7:45 p.m. is not child endangerment.”

Haha! You tell ’em Mike!

Anecdotal evidence that suggests that children as young as Mike’s might be able to handle much more than a mile walk in the evening hours. First here’s what billionaire Richard Branson’s mother did in order to force him out of his shyness. Via Time:

When Richard Branson was a young boy, he refused to talk to adults and would cling to the back of Eve’s skirt. When he turned 7 or so, Eve decided that his behavior was no longer tolerable. “Shyness is being introverted and thinking only of yourself,” she said. On the way home from a shopping trip to a nearby village, Eve stopped the car about 3 miles from home and let Richard out. “You will now walk home. You will have to talk to people to find your way home,” she told him. By the time Richard arrived some 10 hours later, Eve was apoplectic. (She had not accounted for the time he might stop to look at bugs and inspect rocks.) But it worked. Richard started to become more comfortable interacting with adults.

Then there’s David Farragut who was the first person to achieve the rank of Admiral in the United States Navy. Farragut’s seafaring career began at the tender age of 9. The war of 1812 broke out when Farragut was 12 years old and he served during the war aboard is USS Essex.

Children are capable of fending for themselves. If we recognize and respect this, perhaps we won’t have to contend with a second generation of easily triggered snowflakes.


A lot has happened since we recorded, there was #TaxMarch, PETA going after Red Wings fans, Cernovich getting sucker punched, a pro-Trump vs AntiFa brawl in Berkeley, and the North Koreans regime has been threatening to release their nukes.

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