Now Reporters Are Smearing That 69-Year-Old, Bloodied United Passenger


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Journalists are now digging up dirt on the man who was dragged off a United Airlines flight on Sunday, despite the man’s past having no apparent relevancy to the incident.

A Kentucky doctor, David Dao, was dragged from a flight from Chicago to Louisville in order to make room for United employees who had to be at work in Louisville on Monday. The incident, which went viral on Monday, left the man bloodied and disoriented. The airline initially said the flight was overbooked, but later backtracked.



Now, journalists are digging into Dao’s past, for reasons that remain unclear.

TMZ first dug up Dao’s history, posting a splashy headline that said Dao was “convicted of exchanging drugs for sex,” referring to Dao’s 2004 conviction for drug-related offenses.

The Courier-Journal, a Kentucky affiliate of USA Today, also resurfaced Dao’s past conviction, running a story about the “doctor with [a] troubled past” that focused on Dao’s criminal history.

The New York Daily News picked up the Courier-Journal’s “scoop,” running the headline, “Doctor pulled from United Airlines flight previously convicted of drug crimes, stripped of medical license.”

So, too, did The New York Post, which posted a story with the headline, “Doctor dragged off flight was convicted of trading drugs for sex.”

The Washington Times followed suit soon after, running a story titled, “Doctor dragged off United flight was convicted of multiple felony drug charges in 2004.”

The Chicago Sun Times dropped a story Tuesday afternoon that opened, “The doctor who was dragged, bloodied, off a United Airlines flight in Chicago on Sunday evening has a criminal record.” That report also cited the Courier-Journal.

People Magazine, perhaps a little less surprisingly, also jumped into the fray, titling their expose, “Revealed: All About the Doctor Dragged Off Overbooked United Flight — and His Troubled Past.”

Media outside the U.S. piled on as well.

UK newspaper The Daily Mail ran a story about the fact that Dao was a “felon who traded prescription drugs for secret gay sex with [a] patient half his age.”

Another UK paper, The Metro, ran the headline, “United Airlines passenger dragged off plane was convicted of trading drugs for sex.”

In Canada, The Toronto Sun ran a story, “David Dao, the United passenger bloodied and dragged off flight, is a poker-playing doc with a sordid past.”

This story has been updated with additional information. 

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