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As a purveyor of online content, I have to respect 21 year old, aspiring meteorologist Johnny Mullins’ hustle. The kid wanted more views and likes on his Facebook videos about weather, so he made the weather. Or, more accurately, he started a forest fire.
Would I start a fire for content? You bet. If you’re not willing to start fires for content you’re in the wrong industry. As long as I don’t own it, it’s not alive, no one’s inside of it, and it’s not a cross (though I’m guessing more than a few writers on either side of the political aisle would gladly forgo that last one for #clix) then go ahead and hand me the lighter fluid and torch. Christ, they probably teach that in journalism schools now. “How To Manufacture Content Out Of Thin Air No Matter The Legal Or Societal Ramifications So That You’ll Remain Employed 1000” is probably already a required J-school class across the country, if the dozens of “news” articles I read a day are any indication.
Mullins’ tactic would be the equivalent of me showing up to a fraternity party with a bucket of cocaine and twenty gallons of grain alcohol in order to get a good story. It’d be the perfect plan if I had any self control. As it is, I’d end up partaking and dying. Then that would be the story. And I’m not down to die for a story that doesn’t involve being crushed to death by thirty Red Light District Amsterdam prostitutes. “Rob died like he lived,” they’d say. “In a manner we’d prefer not to think about because it’s both sad and gross, now please pass the turkey and change the subject, you’re ruining Thanksgiving.”
Apparently Mullins had been posting amateur weather videos for years before he finally got the bright idea to burn shit and film it. It seems his plan wasn’t as foolproof as he thought, though, because he ended up admitting to police that he started the fires. One would assume the police pretty quickly decided that they should ask the first man on the scene some questions, and considering that Mullins strikes me as an actually guilty Brendan Dassey, I don’t think it took long for the truth to come out.
Here are two of Mullins’ videos about the fires (that he started). In one of them he’s basically inside the forest fire.
A quick perusal of Mullins’ Facebook page revealed that he is a Kentucky basketball fan, but obviously that’s about as much evidence that he actually goes to the University of Kentucky as saying, “I like boobs” is evidence that I regularly motorboat Emily Ratajkowski.
According to reports, Mullins has been charged with second degree arson.
Someone hire Johnny Mullins. This kid will get you a story..