Friday, August 2, 2013

TN Reporter Fired Over Rude Obama Headline Becomes RW Media Star

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Previous Posts:
Bea's Restaurant in Chattanooga Says No to President Obama
President Obama Visits Chattanooga, TN


Original Editorial Headline Composed by Drew Johnson:
"Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough."

The Title has been changed to "President Obama's policies have harmed Chattanooga enough."

From Talking Points Memo
The editorial, which criticized the viability of Obama's economic plan on a local level, coincided with the president's visit Tuesday to Chattanooga. The Times Free Press determined that editorial page editor Drew Johnson's altered headline was "inappropriate."
"It was not the original headline approved for publication, and Johnson violated the normal editing process when he changed the headline," the announcement read. "The newspaper’s decision to terminate Johnson had nothing to do with the content of the editorial, which criticized the president’s job creation ideas and Chattanooga’s Smart Grid. The Free Press page has often printed editorials critical of the president and his policies."

From The Chattanoogan
Chattanooga Times Free Press officials denied they yielded to political pressure in firing editor Drew Johnson.
The reason given for the firing was a headline he wrote relating to Tuesday's visit to Chattanooga by President Obama.
TFP officials also claimed they had to block Mr. Johnson recently "from touting the benefits of pornography."
Mr. Johnson, since the surprise termination on Thursday, has made a round of TV and radio talk shows giving his version of the firing.
. . . The firing has made news from the Associated Press to the Drudge Report and Huffington Post.
Chattanooga Times Free Press officials said, "Contrary to statements made by former Free Press editor Drew Johnson and national media reports, Johnson was told on multiple prior occasions not to make material changes to editorials or headlines once they were approved by the editor responsible for the page.

Drew Smith on The Daily Caller
It’s very common practice at our paper and I’m sure it is at a lot of papers to just plug in a space-holder headline or you know, you have a headline you’re not happy with and you change it at the last minute. And I probably did it myself once a week. In this case, I put in a placeholder that wasn’t good. It got time to publish the piece and I thought, ‘What goes with jobs plan?’ and I thought the Johnny Paycheck song, ‘Take this job and shove it.’ So I put that in there — put the title that you saw and the next day, while it was becoming literally the most read, not just editorial but [most read] thing ever on the paper’s website.”
. . . So I was brought into human resources today and I was told, ‘You’re being fired for violating the policy that you have to have an editor sign off when you make a change to a headline,’” he said. “Well, I said, ‘That’s funny, because that policy wasn’t in place until after I wrote the piece and you guys told me that was the policy on Tuesday. And I wrote the piece on Monday.

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