Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Passenger's Past Generates Social Media Outrage

Dr. David Doa
 A day after Kentucky doctor David Doa was dragged off a United Airlines flight, the story remained the focus of intense national attention, and the doctor's own past became a subject of conversation.

Those personal details added new fuel to the social media debate over the incident, and the treatment of people who find themselves suddenly thrust into a national spotlight.

Since video of the incident became public, news organizations have been trying to identify the man who was forcibly pulled from a Louisville-bound flight at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport on Sunday to free up a seat for an airline employee.

On Tuesday, Dao, 69, told Louisville news station WLKY that he was recovering in a Chicago hospital after “everything" was injured. Dao told the station he was not doing well.

It took virtually no time for his hometown paper, the Courier-Journal, to point out that Dao, a father of five and grandfather who went to medical school in Vietnam, had his medical license suspended for about 10 years for illegally prescribing painkillers, including to a patient in exchange for sex. It's all a matter of public record.

There is no getting around Dao's history now that it is public, but the reports raised the ire of many on social media who argued that Dao's background wasn't known and shouldn't have been relevant to his treatment on the plane, and that it appeared to be another case of blaming the victim.

Post now removed from Twitter
And in Washington, when WJLA investigative reporter Lisa Fletcher took to social media, the very medium which had served to concentrate the collective rage against United Airlines’ actions, to tweet about her own upcoming report on Dr. Dao’s “troubled past,” as she put it in the tweet, it did not go over well.

There was many other.  Fletcher replied on Twitter:

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