Silly cat video website BuzzFeed tried to smear forest fire prevention icon Smokey The Bear by claiming he has been “bad” for fires — especially in California — since his beginning in 1944. But the Internet soon made fools of BuzFeed after its presumptuous attack.
Or, rather, BuzzFeed made a fool of itself with a false attack on the 80-year-old character and folks on the Internet quickly disabused BuzFeed of its foolishness.
The site that has so desperately tried to legitimize itself as a real “news” agency took to its Twitter feed to attack Smokey The Bear saying the whole concept Smokey has sold to stop wildfires is bad because “fire suppression” is not the right way to stop forest fires.
“Most experts now agree that a decades-long policy of suppressing fires in forests, a campaign fronted by Smokey Bear, was a bad idea,” BuzzFeed’s tweet said. “At best, it damaged ecosystems that need to burn from time to time. At worst, it created a tinderbox of unnaturally dense vegetation.”
But the funny cat video site soon deleted the tweet. Why? Because Smokey The Bear has never, ever been used to push a policy of “fire suppression.”
Indeed, his real policy is sort of right in his 80-year-old slogan: “Only you can PREVENT forest fires.”
Yes, PREVENTION, not “suppression,” is Smokey’s policy (and has been since its beginning in 1944) and BuzzFeed had to cut bait and run from its failed attempt to be edgy and truthy.
BuzzFeed soon eliminated the tweet after a torrent of Twitter users destroyed them in tweet after tweet slamming them for their nonsense.
“We’ve deleted this tweet. Smokey Bear fronts a campaign for wildfire prevention, not wildfire suppression,” the site said in a follow up tweet.
We've deleted this tweet. Smokey Bear fronts a campaign for wildfire prevention, not wildfire suppression.
(And yes, his name is actually Smokey Bear) pic.twitter.com/8LZdRkZvGf
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) November 20, 2018
But the deletion and notice of same didn’t come soon enough to head off a wildfire of attacks BuzzFeed had to withstand over its dumb claims.
The slogan was "Only you can prevent forest fires". That should have been a hint.
— Meghan Shanley (@megpat) November 21, 2018
Top tip, hire editors that are older than 21. Starting to look more and more like a parody account.
— TXStrat (@TXStrat) November 21, 2018
There were a ton like those above.
But Nick Schweitzer probably had the funniest reply:
Also, McGruff the Crime Dog doesn't advocate for committing crimes… he encourages crime prevention in case you were confused.
— Nick Schweitzer (@NickSchweitzer) November 21, 2018
We love it!
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.