United Airlines is in an economic and pulic relations tailspin after they were caught on tape brutally dragging a passenger from a plane after he refused to leave. The man, David Dao, is a doctor, and he was left bloody when he was physically forced to disembark because the plane was overbooked. Now, United is taking a page straight from the GOP playbook and using the media to trash Dr. Dao’s past.
This article appeared today in Kentucky’s Courier-Journal and is making its rounds throughout the media. Apparently, according to the paper, the doctor has a “troubled past,” as if that has anything at all to do with Monday’s horrific incident.
Dao, who went to medical school in Vietnam in the 1970s before moving to the U.S., was working as a pulmonologist in Elizabethtown when he was arrested in 2003 and eventually convicted of drug-related offenses after an undercover investigation, according to documents filed with the Kentucky Board of Medical Licensure last June. The documents allege that he was involved in fraudulent prescriptions for controlled substances and was sexually involved with a patient who used to work for his practice and assisted police in building a case against him.
Dao was convicted of multiple felony counts of obtaining drugs by fraud or deceit in November 2004 and was placed on five years of supervised probation in January 2005. He surrendered his medical license the next month.
Victim blaming is nothing new. Every woman who has ever been assaulted knows all about it. Republicans and Fox News have turned it into an art form.
We’ve seen it before. They blamed Trayvon Martin for his death. Hell, they blame every African-American who dies the hands of cops (and wannabe cops).
Fox even (of course they do) blames the victims of their own predators. They victim blamed a woman who dared speak out on behalf of all women. The right even blames victims of gun violence for not being armed.
Now, we don’t know for sure that United (or the Chicago Police Department, who actually did the dragging) planted the story in the media, but it’s a pretty reasonable guess, especially after United’s CEO, Oscar Munoz, trashed the victim in a letter to his staff.
The bottom line is that it shouldn’t and doesn’t matter what the doctor did 10 years ago. Unless he is an escaped convict, he has the same rights as anyone else on that plane.
Featured image via video screen capture.