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Texas city councilman schools the Weather Channel on Twitter

Joel Burns is no stranger to Internet drama.


Miles Klee


Posted on May 13, 2014   Updated on May 31, 2021, 7:52 am CDT

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.

Dear @weatherchannel I SWEAR I’m deleting your aggravating app if you don’t STOP SHOWING DALLAS pics for Fort Worth

— Councilm. Joel Burns (@JoelBurns) May 12, 2014

Hey snoozing @weatherchannel social media team, see anything missing now? CC @YahooWeather @wfaaweathertoo

— Councilm. Joel Burns (@JoelBurns) May 12, 2014

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.

Nice comeback to @JoelBurns, @weatherchannel. You make it easy to see why you are losing viewers hand over fist.

— Zanti Misfit (@SPZanti) May 12, 2014

How to be a dick on social media, cable network-style. RT @weatherchannel: @JoelBurns Sorry to see you go. Good luck on ending bullying.

— Brian Winkeler (@brianwinkeler) May 12, 2014

@JoelBurns today’s forecast for @weatherchannel is 90% chance of 1-star app reviews.

— Chris Williams (@amboy00) May 12, 2014

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.

Let’s help kids instead of snark? $100k @weatherchannel to @GLSEN @TrevorProject? (Agree?Pls RT) I’ll give $1000

— Councilm. Joel Burns (@JoelBurns) May 12, 2014

Come to the @cityoffortworth @weatherchannel and let us show you #thisisFortWorth

— Councilm. Joel Burns (@JoelBurns) May 12, 2014

#THISisFortWorth Beautiful pic from cc @weatherchannel

— Bridget Allen (@ItsBridgetsWord) May 12, 2014

Amazing day! @themodernfw #thisisFortWorth @weatherchannel @joelburns

— Sabrina Bedford (@msgroberto) May 13, 2014

lightning pic taken in downtown Fort Worth Credit: Brian Luenser @JoelBurns @weatherchannel

— JMPACK (@laughingdork) May 12, 2014

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. 

.@JoelBurns we apologize for our reply this morning. Our response was inappropriate & we’re taking steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.

— The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) May 12, 2014

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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*First Published: May 13, 2014, 6:21 pm CDT