David Dao was “voluntold” to get off a United Airlines plane in order to make room for airline employees.
He said no.
The airline said yes, and used the police to get him off the plane, in a very bad way “optics-wise.”
It became a national story and United Airlines is getting crucified.
Now the Courier-Journal in Kentucky is getting crucified.
They did what many journalists do when a story has legs. They asked, “who is this guy that was dragged off the plane?”
The motivation is not necessarily agenda driven in either direction. It’s just part of human interest. We are, for the most part, inquisitive creatures.
What happens when the information they gather is “not flattering”? Should they bury it?
Based on the Twitter outrage one might say they should have whistled while looking the other way.
The Twitterati are saying that the Courier-Journal is participating in victim blaming, a smear campaign and doxxing, and that past indiscretions have nothing at all to do with what United Airlines did.
“They had no idea who Dao was when they dragged him off the plane, you bastards, nor does it matter at all! This could have been you!!!!” is a typical tweet.
“Delete your account” (such a played out and lemming response) is another typical offering.
But, in this day and age, when GoFundMe drives spring up around people like David Dao, maybe people should know who he is before they push the Paypal button.
Is that a valid reason to report on the guy who is at the center of the United Airlines controversy?
Maybe it is.
Maybe it isn’t.
Is the story more about going after the corporation, irrespective of the players involved?
Or is about the player, David Dao?
It’s both, and if the public is about to do what they normally do, make Dao a folk hero because he’s a victim of heartless big business, maybe they should know who that pawn is.
In the spirit of remaining neutral, and to not get crucified (lol), if you’re interested in the Dao story, search David Dao/Courier Journal in your favorite search engine.