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Joel Burns is no stranger to Internet drama.

You may have lost track of Fort Worth City Councilman Joel Burns after his emotional “It Gets Better” speech went viral back in 2010. What’s the Texas politician up to now? Oh, you know, just waging a bitter Twitter war with the Weather Channel. 

It all began, as these things do, with a small complaint about geography.

The Weather Channel’s social media crew replied with an unfortunate allusion to Burns’ well-known interest in keeping children from being harassed to the point of suicide.

Well, that’s one way to shoot yourself in the foot. The response was swift and righteous.

That’s the thing about the 16th-largest city in the United States: people live there. Soon enough, Burns was taking to higher ground (while continuing to retweet other peoples’ criticisms, naturally) and pushing a civic-pride hashtag.

So yes, Fort Worth is a place that isn’t Dallas, and they have weather there. Take note! The Weather Channel trotted out a standard corporate apology, promising vague action. 

But the real winners, as Burns wrote in a follow-up Facebook post, were the LGBT youth:

An update from this very strange day: I just spoke the Weather Channel's communications exec Shirley Powell in Atlanta. She assures me: They are working to update their app. They love the #‎THISisFortWorth photos and might even use some (depending on rights, legalities, etc.) so keep them coming. They are making a contribution to The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and The Trevor Project. She couldn't confirm how much, but that they would. They were appreciative of the invite to come do a weathercast from Sundance Square, and while they didn't exactly decline, they were unable to commit to any visit. She said I made her cry in 2010. In general, good news for Fort Worth. Keep adding your #THISisFortWorth pics and twitter and check out the collection at

Now let’s just hope that Dallas and Fort Worth can go on sharing an airport.

Photo by Brandi Korte/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

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