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Another celebrity Tweet disaster? The case of Kasey Kahne January 5, 2012

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne landed in hot water in December 2011 after using Twitter to express his disgust with a woman breastfeeding in a grocery store. Kahne Tweeted: “Just walking though supermarket. See a mom breast feeding little kid. Took second look because obviously I was seeing things. I wasn’t!” Kahne called the incident “nasty.” Once his followers and many others criticized his comments in addition to his claim that one critic was a “dumb b*tch,” Kahne quickly apologized, stating:

I understand that my comments regarding breastfeeding posted on Twitter were offensive to some people. For that, I apologize. It was in no way my intention to offend any mother who chooses to breastfeed her child, or, for that matter, anyone who supports breastfeeding children. I want to make that clear.

According to one of Kahne’s breastfeeding critics, he may have had little choice but to apologize considering the makeup of NASCAR’s fan base. As Samantha Van Vleet wrote for Yahoo:

“With roughly 50% of NASCAR’s fan base being composed of women, Kahne’s comments may have alienated some fans of the sport. With roughly 75% of new mothers choosing to breastfeed their babies at birth, Kahne is very likely to have hit a nerve with some of these fans.”

For more on Kahne’s Twitter disaster, see the following video:

Discussion Questions:

1.  Why might internet users want to follow celebrities like Kahne on Twitter and other social networking sites? Why is this activity enjoyable?

2.  What are the risks of celebrities using Twitter as an unfiltered site of direct communication with fans?

3.  Was Kahne’s apology sufficient in gaining forgiveness from his disappointed fans? Why, or why not?

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