10/23/2012 03:14 EDT | Updated 10/23/2012 03:33 EDT

Danielle Smith Tainted Tweet Continues To Fuel Online Reaction


It was the first day of the fall session at the Alberta legislature but politics watchers were still concentrating on one thing – Danielle Smith’s tainted tweet.

Smith sparked a tempest of tweets that garnered national attention when, using her Twitter account this weekend, she agreed with another tweeter that XL Foods beef would be safe to eat if cooked properly and should be used to feed the hungry.

Hundreds of tons of beef from the Brooks plant were sent to Alberta landfills starting on Saturday, one of the facts that led to Smith’s online discussion in the first place.

The Tainted Tweet: Let Them Eat Meat!

Tainted Meat Should Be Fed To The Poor (UPDATED)

But the backlash for insinuating the poor should be fed meat considered by XL Foods to be too much of a risk to be put back in the market was too much for commentators and the Twittersphere to handle.

At best, many questioned whether the leader of the opposition was actually savvy enough to hold the government to account or even eventually run the province. At worst, tweets attacked the Wildrose leader’s ethical character and what they saw as a complete lack of compassion.


But where on Monday it seemed like Smith was at the wrong end of a shooting gallery, on Tuesday, the fight was a bit more balanced.

Smith supporters unleashed a hail of hate against Smith haters, calling those who called the Wildrose leader out ignorant, uninformed, opportunistic, and other non-printables.


The original public reaction was such that Smith offered an unequivocal apology on Monday.

“I would have to say that if you can’t explain something in 140 characters you shouldn’t try to talk about it on Twitter,” Smith told reporters at the legislature Monday, the Edmonton Journal reported.

“I have learned a lesson there. It was a mistake to re-tweet it — quite obviously when you look at the reaction of the public.”