The Weather Channel Picked a Twitter Fight with the Wrong Texan Yesterday


Know your city. Be proud of your city…or pay the consequences, y’all!

Ah yes. Things really are bigger in my beloved Lone Star State, including the Twitter fights. Oh, and the bravado of ancillary city council representatives.

Now, if you know anything about North Texas, D/FW, or what a radio marketer in the 70s called “The Metroplex”, you may be familiar with the sibling rivalry between the two cities separated by a 20 minute drive on the freeway. Dallas and Fort Worth have two distinctively different cultures–both are very Texas, but each has its own conflicts. One of the largest is Fort Worth, consistently known as the rubenesque, butt-ugly, red-headed, buck-toothed stepchild of Dallas.

Even the Weather Channel thinks that way–and one guy in Fort Worth was mad as hell, as wasn’t gonna’ take it any more.

Meet Joel Burns, Fort Worth City Councilman of District 9.

I’ve met Joel on occasion, which is to say I once shook his hand in a local eatery. He’s a good cat who loves his city. Without getting into the step-it and fetch-it debate, Fort Worth is an amazing city with everything that Dallas has to offer. However, since there wasn’t a damn soap opera made in Fort Worth (at a ranch that is nowhere near Dallas), Fort Worth doesn’t get much love from people or organizations unfamiliar with the North Texas region.

And this is where The Weather Channel comes in. They have a nice app; I have it on my phone. Typically, it features pictures of each city’s landmarks as the visual backdrop for the temperature. Because, you know, weather and stuff.

In case you don’t understand his angst, that is a picture of Reunion Tower — arguably the most significant landmark in Dallas. The other picture? Yeah, that’s Dallas too. To wit, Councilman Burns got a little terse with his favorite weather provider. I don’t believe the great Sam Champion or equally great Jim Cantore were available for leadership, so someone decided this would be a nice thing to tweet:

Oh, I get it. You see, Joel is a player in the fight against bullying, so instead of addressing his concerns — or even agreeing to correct a mistake in geography that a second grader could figure out — The Weather Channel’s social media team thought it was the right time to break out their latest “condescending to our customers” joke. Later, someone got fired and this happened:

Yeah, hurts to miss that one, huh? Burns, who must have some cagey PR people or just “gets it”, decided to take his 15 minutes out for a spin. Burns challenged the station to donate $100,000 to The Trevor Project, a nonprofit dedicated to preventing suicide among LGBT youth. Any parting shots? The gentleman from Texas has one:

Set and match!

Publish date: May 13, 2014 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT