Late last month a Pennsylvania woman made national news when, as the AP reported on Aug. 26, she allegedly "gave birth to a son in the bathroom of a sports bar, then abandoned him to die in the restaurant's toilet."
The team at "Nancy Grace" -- as Grace's HLN current-affairs cable show is called -- saw in this story not just a horrific tragedy, but a social-media opportunity. Last night at 7:55 p.m. ET, to promote a segment on the story, the official @NancyGraceHLN Twitter account tweeted,
A mom gives birth in a sports bar bathroom during a wrestling match—then allegedly suffocates the baby & stuffs it in the toilet #ToiletBaby— Nancy Grace (@NancyGraceHLN) September 3, 2013
That hashtag prompted immediate negative reaction from the Twittersphere, including "I think that hash is very insensitive" and "Sensationalism above all else" and "omg I can't believe the hashtag!That is awful & insensitive !!!"
A "Nancy Grace" viewer spotted the offending hashtag on-screen during the televised segment and posted it to image-sharing site Imgur:
Did the "Nancy Grace" show have any second thoughts about using such an insensitive hashtag? Apparently not. @NancyGraceHLN ended up using #ToiletBaby seven more times last night, including:
Imagine the jury hearing the details of how this mom allegedly ripped the baby's umbilical cord w/her bare hands #ToiletBaby— Nancy Grace (@NancyGraceHLN) September 4, 2013
Someone explain to me how it is that "Nancy Grace" has any advertisers?
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.