Tech

Vulture-tweeting ABC producer disappears from social media after Conn. massacre

Photo of David Martosko
David Martosko
Executive Editor

Update: ABC Senior VP Jeffrey Schneider angrily accused TheDC in a voicemail message Monday morning of writing a “story about Nadine being fired, which is self-evidently just a lie.”

“She is still employed by ABC News,” Schneider added in a followup message.

TheDC has not reported that Shubailat lost her job. 

The ABC News producer who became a social media celebrity Friday for all the wrong reasons isn’t tweeting anymore. She’s no longer ”LinkedIn.” Even her Google+ is a minus. But ABC denies Nadine Shubailat has been fired for soliciting interviews online from panicked people in the wake of Friday’s devastating mass-shooting at a Connecticut elementary school.

Shubailat tweeted her interview requests to two people with ties to Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. One of them, a man who said his friend’s daughter attends kindergarten there, responded to the intrusion with three indignant words: “Eat a dick.” (RELATED: ABC, NY Times reporters go full-on vulture tweeting friends, family of Connecticut massacre targets)

Another said she was grieving the loss of her cousin. Shubailat later deleted both tweets, but an archive available at the website Topsy.com remains intact.

ABC Senior VP Jeffrey W. Schneider told The Daily Caller on Sunday evening that Shubailat was not fired on Friday, calling the rumor “1000 percent false.”

But Shubailat’s ABC News email address, which TheDC used to contact her Friday night, no longer existed 48 hours later. Emails sent to that address — the one she included with her now-famous tweets — bounced back to the sender in what Gmail calls a “permanent failure … User unknown.”

By Sunday, Shubailat’s Twitter account – @NadineatABC – had also been deleted. Her formerly extensive LinkedIn account no longer existed, and was available only from Google in a cached version.

That cache, a snapshot taken Saturday, Dec. 15 at 2:10 EST, still reflected that Shubailat was an “Editorial Producer at ABC News.” But 24 hours later, the cache was its only trace.

Her personal Facebook account was still online but no longer publicly mentioned her employment status.

Another Facebook account bearing Shubailat’s name had also sprung up, one that TheDC has confirmed is a parody. It announced Sunday that she had “[l]ots of time on my hands now to thank people for making me world famous.”

That parody appeared to copy Shubailat’s employment and education history from her genuine account before the information was placed out of the public’s reach.

Schneider, the ABC News spokesman who denied Shubailat was fired, did not initially respond to follow-up emails Sunday night asking whether she was still employed with the network, or if she had left ABC on her own. He later said she was still employed by ABC News,

He also defended her Saturday morning after TheDC first reported on her aggressive Twitter activity, which she later deleted.

“She was doing her job – which she does very well,” Schneider emailed TheDC. He did not initially respond to a request for a phone interview, but called TheDC several times Monday to comment.

Shubailat did not respond to multiple requests for comment. She hung up on TheDC Friday night after answering her cellphone.

Friday morning’s massacre at the Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Connecticut snuffed out 20 children’s lives, and those of six adult victims. The alleged gunman, a 20-year-old who his brother reportedly described as mentally ill and “somewhat autistic,” then took his own life.

In the hours following the shooting, media saturation in Newtown has reached a level local residents have never seen. Some noted online that more reporters than townspeople showed up for outdoor prayer services. Others railed against aggressive journalists who rushed to interview surviving children on the scene.

New York Times reporter Thomas Kaplan tweeted a photo Saturday showing television videographers and reporters congregating outside what appeared to be a building on the Sandy Hook School’s campus — some about 20 feet past a sign that read “NO MEDIA BEYOND THIS POINT.”

Follow David on Twitter