Shocking video of a doctor being violently dragged off an overbooked United Airlines flight has dominated news coverage for more than 24 hours -- but readers recoiled from reporting on the passenger's past.
David Dao was removed from a flight late Sunday from Chicago to Louisville, and his hometown Courier-Journal newspaper followed up by reporting on his previous legal troubles.
The Elizabethtown pulmonologist was convicted on drug-related offenses in 2004 related to fraudulent prescriptions and an alleged sexual relationship with a patient, and he regained his medical license in 2015 under certain conditions.
Social media users quickly and strongly criticized the newspaper for reporting details of Dao's past, which many readers found irrelevant to his treatment by the airline and Chicago police.
@courierjournal Your newspaper sucks.— March Sadness (@March Sadness)1491919634.0
So glad we're now in the point of a viral news cycle where we tar and feather a guy who never in any way asked for publicity.— Alex Koppelman (@Alex Koppelman)1491919836.0
@courierjournal Rationalize your state violence for me!— unforgetable luncheon sweetie (@unforgetable luncheon sweetie)1491919634.0
Hmmm. Sounds like Kentucky took care of this legally and fairly and then years later he was assaulted for no reason. https://t.co/gJsGNXdLMz— Dan Wilbur (@Dan Wilbur)1491919455.0
@courierjournal Oh look victim blaming 101. Garbage— The Four Seasons Crematorium (@The Four Seasons Crematorium)1491919631.0
Soon we'll hear he was no angel and did Purple Drank. https://t.co/CaPLKKEzH2— Roy Edroso (@Roy Edroso)1491919907.0
@courierjournal And now his history is being dragged through the news. Shameful. @united— Janet (@Janet)1491919606.0
Did United pay someone to dig up dirt on Dao? Or did some public-spirited journo do it for free, for 'balance'? Not sure which is worse.— Leonard Pierce (@Leonard Pierce)1491921347.0
Maybe the Courier-Journal can next do an expose on the troubled past of local politician Mitch McConnell.— Maria Schneider (@Maria Schneider)1491921136.0
@courierjournal How much ad space did @united just buy from you?— Susan (@Susan)1491920710.0
@courierjournal I hope if I ever get mauled by #UnitedAirlines, someone doesn't dredge up something faulty about me… https://t.co/g4ReaXGANP— SVSalon -🎉President-Elect Biden win!!!! 🦕 (@SVSalon -🎉President-Elect Biden win!!!! 🦕)1491920563.0
@courierjournal This is so irrelevant. That doesn't change the fact the he was dragged out of a seat that he paid for.— ً (@ً)1491920555.0