Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kasey Kahne's Social Media Moment

Tuesday afternoon Kasey Kahne used his cell phone to talk about his trip to the supermarket. He tweeted to his 99 thousand followers his surprise at seeing a woman breastfeeding in the store. Then, things went very wrong.

Social media applications like Twitter work best for celebrities when they are promoting something specific, interacting favorably with fans or sharing something fans can't get elsewhere like news or pictures.

Twitter takes on a very different role when celebrities put emotion ahead of thought and share opinions on topics outside of their normal world. Kahne's tweets came out of the blue, but appeared to be a frank and honest expression of his emotions at the time.

Unfortunately, while his words were honest they perhaps were being sent to precisely the wrong audience. Kahne's female followers were at first confused, asking if he was being serious. Some suggested that a person had taken his phone and was sending these messages to get him in trouble.

In fact, the words were from Kahne and things went off the tracks pretty quickly. Sometimes, these social media issues can be contained and fade away. But when you put a personality like Kahne together with a hot button issue like public breastfeeding, there is little doubt it's going to snowball.

As we have seen before, when certain parts of the media latch onto a story it takes flight. Here are some examples:

NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne goes ballistic on Twitter after seeing woman breastfeeding in supermarket reads the New York Daily News headline.

NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne slams breastfeeding mother in grocery store on Twitter is from The Daily Telegraph in Syndney, Australia.

NASCAR’s Kasey Kahne goes on Twitter rant after seeing woman breastfeeding said

Every good story needs a "hook." That is the part of the story that grabs the attention of the reader. In this case, the angry tweets on Tuesday afternoon, complete with profanity, came at Kahne so fast he lost control and responded to one insult by calling the Twitter user a "dumb bitch."

Deana (KnittingRad) from North Minneapolis had her 15 minutes of fame as the object of Kahne's tweet. In fact, she uses the Twitter snippet above as the avatar (picture) on her Twitter account now. She calls it her badge of honor.

Kanhe followed up on Wednesday with an apology. "I wanted to apologize for saying what I said to you yesterday. It was out of line," he posted on Twitter. Deana said she was over it and we should all move on. That's not really how it works these days.

There is little doubt that some public relations professionals were dispatched to this situation rather quickly. The interesting solution to the uproar was the use of another social media platform, Facebook, to try for a solution.

This was posted on Kahne's Facebook page late Wednesday afternoon:

"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 breast feeding children. I want to make that clear."

"In all honestly, I was surprised by what I saw in a grocery store. I shared that reaction with my fans on Twitter. It obviously wasn’t the correct approach, and, after reading your feedback, I now have a better understanding of why my posts upset some of you."

"My comments were not directed at the mother’s right to breastfeed. They were just a reaction to the location of that choice, and the fashion in which it was executed on that occasion."

"I respect the mother’s right to feed her child whenever and wherever she pleases."

Click here to see this post on Kahne's Facebook page and the comments that came along with it. Kahne has 123 thousand Facebook fans but this post could, in theory, be read by millions of Facebook users.

It's interesting to watch the news cycle of today. A tweet from a cell phone leads to outraged responses and ramps-up to profanity involving a very public figure. Select news outlets latch onto the story and try to add-in a catchy headline to attract readers. Ultimately, some PR folks use Facebook as a platform for a public apology and the last opportunity for direct feedback via comments.

All of this happened over basically a 24 hour span. Kanhe is heading to the friendly confines of Tulsa and the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds for the indoor Chili Bowl midget races from January 10 to 14. Then, his normal NASCAR activities start to heat up as the Daytona 500 looms on the horizon.

A good apology goes a long way with the public and stories like this one don't usually have long "legs" as they say in the media. As the NASCAR season approaches, the best advice is the simplest in the world of social media.

Think...then tweet.

We welcome your comments on this topic. To add your media-related opinion, just click on the comments button below. Thank you for taking the time to stop by The Daly Planet.


fins2112 said...

Kahne was right and he has nothing to apologize for.

Edward said...

I don't know that I care one way or another (I'm the male) but my wife HATES public breastfeeding (and we have two kids) - she had to do it maybe 5 times between the two and tried to be as discreet as possible - my/our very limited reading of the story seems that this mother was just a bit too out in the "open". The "standards" of the United States is just try to keep it somewhat private. Not saying that is right, just the way it "is". Plus, while yes, breastfeeding is NORMAL - it is just not "normal" in this Puritan country that is the U S of A. If "they" were, um, hanging out in the middle of the aisle over a cart full of groceries - then yeah - he was kind of right.

iworkhere said...

No fine for Kasey on this one.
He wasn't speaking of the Boobs at NASCAR.
Bad taste? Yes.
Disrespectful? Yes.
Stupid? Yes.
I see a lot of people getting into jams with Facebook posts that turn into arguments and tweetering something that they wish they had not.
Remember the old saying?
Don't put your foot in your mouth.
Well, nowadays toy can put a whole lot of feet in your mouth thanks to the internet.

HendrickFan said...

We are never going to all agree on the breast feeding in public issue. Can we all agree his name calling was inappropriate? To respond with what he said was immature, he should have not resorted to that. I think he agrees or he would not have deleted the tweet.

KoHoSo said...

Personally, I'm more offended that Kasey doesn't know the difference between "you're" and "your".


bevo said...

Can you imagine how shocked the young lad will be when someone tells him that there are multiple establishments in every city that make a whole lot of money by selling $10 bottles of Budweiser to guys just so they can look at women's breasts?

anonymous internet genius said...

the first thing we need to realize is that kasey was reating to this lady alone. and obviously she is unattractive. if a hottie was doing the same action, kasey would have gotten in just as much trouble because his tweet may have looked like this....

hot boob action on aisle three.

fins2112 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

First, I'm a woman. And I agree with Kasey. I think public breastfeeding is only marginally OK. But if you must, cover it up! Geez, and somewhere there's food--a grocery store? A restaurant or cafe? That is nasty, and not hygienic either.

GinaV24 said...

Considering that I wouldn't be happy with seeing someone breastfeeding in such a public place and manner either, I can understand why Kahne had that "ewww" reaction - however, there is also a time to engage your brain and that is BEFORE you put thoughts onto "social media".

Ron said...

Kasey has seen far worse "boobs" on the race track than he did at the supermarket!

Tracy D said...

You all are the best! Got a good chuckle out of all your comments, but KoHoSo wins! It's annoying as heck that simple spelling seems to be beyond these guys.

IMO, his biggest mistake was the name calling. Betcha he takes a long Twitter break. Oh, kudos to the person who wrote the FB apology. Obviously not KK.

Sally said...

Seeing the furor over the KK tweets, is it any wonder that I have no interest whatsoecver in making my personal feelings available to the public at large? Some things just need to be kept to yourself. If you can't resist the temptation to air your personal views, it would be best to avoid using such wide spread 'social media'.

Veri: racke...too appropriate!

gramzcam said...

As a Mother and a Grandmother I have to agree with Kasey as far as the breastfeeding in public. Also have to agree that he should not have posted what he did to the Person(can't call her a lady) that had also called him a name. Not against breast feeding but not over the oranges that I may buy. Go to a dressing room sure they wouldn't mind and I don't have to see you Have some pride in yourself not to show everyone what God gave you.

Buschseries61 said...

These drivers need to be busy again. Daytona testing is just 2 weeks away!

starrcade76 said...

I see what I am missing now, by not following the sport via twitter.

And here I thought it was just guys talking about going grocery shopping and stuff like that.

If only it had been Kurt Busch. Maybe we could have had a special edition of Race Hub on tonight then.

Michael Stoffel said...

I think Kahne's issue was not breastfeeding in public, but the way the mother was handling

His problem is calling a fan a name like that.

And as a Kurt Busch fan, I love this story! Go get him, mainstream media!

jr88freak said...

One of the big things people want on twitter, is honest opinions on what drivers (wives, media, etc.) think on certain topics. But when that stuff happens, people begin to trash it because their opinion isn't shared by the majority. I think what was lost in the sauce during this whole thing (and probably from the way that Kasey first tweeted) was how the woman was breastfeeding, not that the woman was breastfeeding. Of course that was my interpertation of the tweet when I read it and I know that we all interpert stuff differently. (Come on, we can't get thousands of fans to agree on how a wreck occured and who - if anyone- was at fault.) I bet if Kasey would have reworded that tweet this wouldn't have been major news. In fact it really isn't major news in my world. Who cares. I don't like to see guys with their butts hanging out, guys constantly scratching their balls. I hate people that, in stopped traffic, go all the way at the end of the merge lane and cut in front of you. i hate when people don't use their turn signal. Definately not views shared by all, but a lot. Kasey should have been more...tactful when tweeting. But really? Are we, do we, really but these guys up on the pedestols to where they can't actually tweet without checking, double checking, asking your PR, then thinking about it before finally hitting "tweet"?

Probably wasn't the greatest thing in the world for Kasey to retaliate against the one woman using that language. But was it okay for that woman to have first called Kasey what she did? Is it okay for fans to use and call drivers whatever they want, but Kasey just has to bite his tongue and smile and say, "Thank you"? I guess this is the world we live in, where in social media we salivate for drivers opinion then jump all over and create a big mess out of nothing. As for that fan that said she was "over it; let's move on". If she was over it, she wouldn't have that "badge of honor" as her avatar.

These is where it really comes to light the real reason, I think, that Carl, Tony and Jr aren't on Twitter. Why put up with that? Do you think Tony's gonna hold back on his opinion? Look at the flack he already gets now? and after Denny Hamlin was fined, he surely cut back on his tweets. And that made a few drivers say, "no" to Twitter. (A la Jamie McMurrary) They decided it just wasn't worth it. At least Brad Keselowski has decided to stick around after his fine instead of deciding that twitter wasn't worth it. Because when this stuff happens to these guys, I've come to realize that just maybe, Twitter isn't worth it for them.

Fed UP said...

Kahne has a right to air his opinion on public breastfeeding. He feels that its icky and weird and should be closeted. O.k. I have the right to say that anyone who is repulsed by seeing a mother feed her child is a sexual deviant.

So, why does Hooters occassionaly sponsor a car in Nascar? They exploit women's breasts. Does Kasey blush when he sees the Hooters car?

The Mad Man said...

Having spent a number of years in Europe where the human body is looked at a little differently, I'd hate to think what Kasey would've said had he seen some 70 year old German grandma going topless at an Italian or Spanish beach.

I've seen several women breast feed in public but they did so using some descretion by sitting in an out of the way place or had the infant under a cover of some sort (blanket, shawl, poncho) where the feeding wasn't readily viewed or noticeable.

When it comes to Twitter, it's like the old saying, "Be sure your brain is engaged before putting your mouth into gear". Only in this case, be sure your brain is engaged before Tweeting your comments to the world.

This story will be buried by the media soon enough with the upcoming silly season announcements and we'll all forget about it.

Mike said...

Twitter is great because you get to see what the drivers are really thinking. There is a downside here that makes me think that the smart drivers should turn their twitter account over to there PR folks.

We can't have nice things apparantly

Anonymous said...

I just checked Jayski and and found nothing about "booby-gate". Very strange indeed......

AncientRacer said...

FINALLY! A story like this that is NOT about Kyle Busch or his brother)!

Just goes to show everyone has their own inner Eddie Haskell screaming to get out.

diane said...

I'm not a big fan of public breast feeding, however, I appreciate it when the mother makes an effort to cover everything up with a blanket or throw, just for public politeness sake.

Kasey's reaction was just childish. He sounds like a 12 year old, not a grown man. Its been my experience in life that most men are happy to be confronted with a bare breast, whether deliberate or by accident.

Anonymous said...

Public breastfeeding should be covered by something like a shawl or thin blanket. I get very offended by public displays of bodies or dress that does not cover certain parts. Pants worn so low the crack shows, the underwear shows, bra straps showing, boobs falling out or mostly uncovered and the list could go on forever. I really dislike the lack of respect that a lot of people now show for others by baring themselves in public. New technology I can subscribe to, although I don't use any of them but the internet. New morals in America leave me aghast.

Thank you.
GA Red

LightenUp! said...

Oh for the love of pete people why do you use social media? To voice opinions. I happen to agree w Kasey. I don't think a supermarket or any unsheltered public place is an appropriate place to breastfeed. I also don't think a bathroom is proper. I find it amusing that people are up in arms at Kasey for showing emotion honestly in public but are ok with someone showing private body parts in public! Can we say irony? Yes it was wrong for him to curse at the woman but what somehow got lost was that she cursed at him first. That doesn't excuse the retort but it does explain it. I wonder how this woman feels about public scratching by athletes on tv? LOL

Anonymous said...

I'm unsure how anyone can be upset by a woman feeding her baby. What a strange world we live in.

MRM4 said...

Excuse the pun, but this is making mountains out of mole hills. This is a non-story, but a few people have tried to make it one. Typical 2011 over-reaction.

I agree with Michael Stoffel's take. I don't think Kahne was offended by the actual action, just how out in the open the woman was about it.

I don't know if Kahne's incident was tied to this or not, but there was some sort of breast feeding flash mob event that took place yesterday. The mob was organized by a woman in Houston who was breast feeding in a Target and they asked her to go to a changing room. She got all offended by that and organized this mass feeding freenzy.

I talked to someone last night who was in a Target store yesterday where he saw at least 10 women do this in the middle of the store. And he said they did nothing to hide themselves.

I don't know if Kahne witnessed one of these mobs yesterday or just happened to run into a woman that doesn't mind showing herself while breast feeding.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous at 12:56pm
Obviously you don't care what you eat from a supermarket or what has touched it prior to you buying it. Yes, feed your baby, but don't subject others to having to buy what your hands have touched after they have been who knows where. No objection to the feeding, but have respect for those who don't want to see it or buy what your hands have touched.

Dennis said...

I think it's just as his explanation pointed out. It wasn't the fact the woman was breastfeeding. It was where and the manner in which she was doing it.

There seems to be a trend in North American culture (could be everywhere else, don't know, I live in Canada and visit the States both in person and through television and other media lol) towards the rights of the individual and a total ignoring of decorum, other people's sensibilities and rights, social acceptance, societal norms, etc..

I don't find breasts offensive. On the contrary, as a guy and a lover of breasts my whole life I support the breast every chance I get. Large, medium or small it doesn't matter. Mismatched sets are fine as well. So long as they are attached to the one I love, they are perfect.

HOWEVER. There is a time and place for everything.

It's similar to public swearing in that when I hear people drop the F bomb while they are walking in public or sitting at a restaurant, I find myself more offended by their lack of consideration for others than by the word itself.

I looked at the comments in the stories John provided the links for and the one thing that struck me more than anything else was the viciousness and the name calling by those that felt Kasey was out of line. I'm really not impressed with the direction our cultures are moving towards.

Oh, and hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and wishing everyone all the best in the New Year.

Kim said...

First of all, it was a KID, not a baby (read the tweet).

We all picture this soft-focused beautiful picture of a baby at mother's breast...

Riiiight...ever seen a KID old enough to unbutton mommy's blouse and ask to nurse? In public? I have.

None of the news articles showed @knittingrad's tweets to Kasey, prompting the backlash.

I cringed when I saw what he called her; he should never have done that, but women can't expect to dish it out and run behind "I'm a WOMAN!" when it comes right back at them.

And the apology? That was no PR person - read it again, folks. Kasey is sorry folks were upset, but he saw what he saw. Of all the apologies you have ever heard, THIS was not written by a PR department.

Kasey also apologized directly to @knittingrad on Twitter, and she to him. The exchange is off Twitter as her avatar now.

Roadgeek Adam said...

And JD, you ask why I hate Twitter with a passion?

OSBORNK said...

I don't think this is really about breast feeding or boob exposure. It is about a celebrity who should have kept his opinion to himself and didn't. It didn't change anything other than making people mad at him and forcing his PR team to go to work.

Big Henry said...

Am I surprised that someone who spent more time at a track than in school can't properly use the English language? "your/you're" No

Am I surprised that said person is also immature and juvenile.."Look! An icky boobie!" No

I am surprised by all the mental midgets posting here that think it's the MOTHER'S fault that they get all squirmy when they see a woman feeding a child in the manner nature intended. Or that it's not okay if that woman is unattractive to them.
Do you people actually raise children?
Your poor, poor kids.

GinaV24 said...

saw an article online that said a bunch of women had staged a protest at Target stores because at a prior time a woman was breastfeeding in publci and someone objected, so these folks apparently decided to go to 250 Target stores and breastfeed in support of their rights.

If I understand it correctly the law allows it, but personally I would appreciate it when people use a little discretion when in public. I'm not a fan of seeing guys wearing their pants with the underweare showing either, so I'm equal opportunity on this.

It's the same way as I wind up hearing WAY TOO MUCH information sometimes with people talking on cell phones! Don't really want to know your medical history!

Daly Planet Editor said...

Comments on TDP may be deleted for hateful/deragatory remarks, off-topic responses or spam.

If you believe a comment was deleted in error, please email Thanks.

Vicky D said...

Another twitter outburst. Personally, I don't care one way or the other, but I'm really surprised KK was actually out shopping at a grocery store! That's was really something!

MRM4 said...

I really appreciated the comments from both Dennis and Kim on the topic.

On Dennis, his comments about the lack of respect for others are spot on. This is a growing problem that will only get worse as many people are only interested in individual's rights.

On Kim, I am glad to see a woman call out other women for wanting to be equal, but will run and hide behind the "I'm a woman" call if someone takes them to task for saying or doing something. Can't have it both ways folks.

What gets me is Kahne spoke his mind and offered his opinion and was wrong for doing so in some people's eyes. The name calling was totally wrong, I am not defending that. I just hate seeing where our country has gone and this story certainly amplifies that.

BillyDelyon said...

Yer hilarious, thanks for the giggle!

DaleJr88Rulez said...

No TDP my post was removed because I questioned why a NASCAR TV blog would even go down this Kahne Twitter road when that same NASCAR TV blog always criticizes the networks for daring to go off-topic and talk/promote sports/topics other than NASCAR during their telecasts. I asked why a NASCAR TV blog is discussing this decidedly non-NASCAR TV topic and the post was removed. So was my response. Selective posting is weak. If you found out ESPN, Fox or Speed were doing that on their sites you would go nuts.

fins2112 said...

It will be interesting to see if this movement toward people insisting on their rights to perform natural bodily functions in public will expand further.

I kind of hope it doesn' stores will have to raise prices to cover the higher salary costs necessary to attract workers who will be willing to handle the extra cleanups on aisle 5..

Daly Planet Editor said...


You know NASCAR TV is off the air until mid-January, right?

These topics are media topics that we have been talking about for years. Social media, including Twitter has been integrated into every NASCAR TV telecast except for ESPN's actual races.

This kind of direct interaction and real time dialogue is changing TV and radio as we know it right now.

Not sure how often you stop by, but the biggest criticism of the mainstream NASCAR TV folks is their inability to chase stories outside of what is being fed to them by NASCAR, the teams and sponsors.

Your post was deleted because I decided it was outside of the boundaries of good taste. I posted an email for you to use if you need to continue the discussion.

Feel free to use it. Thank you.


Buschseries61 said...

You know it's a quiet week for NASCAR news when this 'story' has over 40 comments.

And am I the only one that giggled at Kasey's grammar mistake in the 'offensive' tweet?

Daly Planet Editor said...

The good news is we made it to 43 comments before the kids got home from school.

Moderation is on, I should publish a book of deleted comments from the past five years.

Get comments posted ASAP! Thanks for your patience.


Anonymous said...

Was Kasey at Target? See excert from MSN news story.

Nursing moms descended on hundreds of Target stores around the country this week, but they weren't looking for after-Christmas deals. Nope, they came for a nurse-in: a public gathering of moms breast-feeding their babies, in support of a woman's right to nurse in public (known in some circles by the handy acronym, NIP).

Why was Target the target? Texas mom Michelle Hickman says she was hassled by several different Target employees last month when she tried to breast-feed her baby inside a Webster, Texas store. She says she was sitting in a quiet corner, using a blanket to cover up, but apparently that wasn't enough for the employees she encountered or the clueless customer service representative who allegedly told her on the phone that laws protecting women's right to breast-feed don't apply inside Target stores. (Newsflash: they do! 45 states have laws allowing women to breast-feed in public.) She complained on her Facebook page, her complaints picked up steam with the breast-feeding mom community, and a nurse-in was planned for Dec. 28. Moms from all over took part, including some TODAY Moms readers.

Kasey might have part of something bigger?

Anonymous said...

This is just the latest example of the young and pampered not thinking that their actions will have consequences.
Breast feeding isn't really the issue here. Its that as a public figure every action and every comment will be held up to scrutiny. Like it or not that means that you had better stay away from anything even remotely controversial.
If he had thought before he started this we wouldn't be discussing it now.

Tim S. said...

This can't be good for "Mr. Hendrick." With the occasional exception, he doesn't like drivers who can talk while their PR rep drinks a glass of water.

AndyPandy said...

Poor choice of words by Kahne, and he shouldn't have used the language he directed at that one woman (although she deserved it). However, when this situation arises, my usual response is "I don't mind you breastfeeding in public if you don't mind me staring at your breast." As with many things, just because you can do something doesn't necessarily mean that you should.

Anonymous said...

Daly Planet Editor said...
"The good news is we made it to 43 comments before the kids got home from school. "

I get the joke but I'm pretty sure almost all kids have been on Christmas break, or perhaps these days I am supposed to call it Winter break.

Andy D said...

Well, this should help him retain GoDaddy, who was a previous sponsor of the #5 car. They share the same beliefs about why God gave women breasts.

Darcie said...

When will these guys in the public arena learn that not a lot of good comes from expressing opinions on Twitter? Tweeting insignificant things are ok, but you gotta be careful not to be stupid.

Anonymous said...

First off some of you refering to her as a fan ?how do we know this she may not know who kasey is i wouldn't call her a fan, and for the person who said hooters exploited female breast you need to explore a logo before you comment hooters exploits an owl if you so want to call it that.personally i think women should be more aware of where they are when they breast feed i understand the child has to eat but going to an area less populated in a store is more acceptable than doing it in the middle of the store.but i totally agree out of line on the name calling.