The only thing that could make this any worse would be if Kendall Jenner handed United’s CEO a Pepsi. The United Airlines forced-deplaning incident has quickly become the most talked about story in America (and it’s gaining steam across the globe). By my count, this is one of three stories that have wrested a full news cycle from the tsunami of nonstop Trump coverage since the election: The greatest comeback in Super Bowl history, the Oscar best-picture envelope snafu, and this — a perfect storm of viral videos, an airline that has long been social media’s favorite foil, and a paradoxical corporate response that only inflamed the ire of meme-making masses. What’s especially interesting here is the way the story traveled from social to mainstream media and back again, to create a swirling information vortex (or a drain, if you own United stock). With a story that inspired rage and (let’s admit it) humor delivered with unbridled enthusiasm, United didn’t just re-accommodate a passenger, they re-accommodated the entire Internet.
+ The Atlantic: “Sometimes, a shocking controversy like this one is both freakish and representative.” The footage is shocking. So is the law.
+ Which large American airline bumps the most passengers? Sorry, no plot twist here. It’s United.
+ And, as if you needed further evidence that this is a story that just keeps on giving, United’s chief executive was recently awarded communicator of the year.