Chattanooga Times-Free Press Editor Gets Canned For Telling What The President Can Do With His Policies

If you were reading either the Peach Pundit Daily (if you haven’t signed up, what are you waiting for?) or my morning reads, you would’ve seen an article from Jim Galloway about an editor for the Chattanooga Times-Free Press getting canned for telling President Barack Obama, in the spirit of Johnny Paycheck, to take his “jobs plan and shove it” in the headline of his editorial:

“Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough”

Editor Drew Johnson didn’t pull any punches in the headline of his opinion piece for the President’s visit on Tuesday.  Two things though:  first, according to Mr. Johnson, the headline was changed at least last minute and probably expected it to change since others normally write headlines; second, Mr. Johnson was fired retroactively after a new policy was established.  From NewsChannel9:

Following President Obama’s visit Tuesday, Johnson wanted a catchy headline for TFP’s article… changing it shortly before deadline.

“A lot of times we go into filing an editorial not having any more than a placeholder and we’ll change it at the last minute,” said Johnson.

Johnson says immediately after the article was published, managers met. He needed reminding that all headlines must be approved by management.  He says he agreed, saying he would let someone in charge sign off on his material.  Then, this morning, he was fired for “not following procedure.”

Johnson says “the real frustration is I was fired retroactively for a policy that didn’t exist when I wrote the piece.”

Tennessee is a right-to-work state, and Mr. Johnson worked at the will of his employer.  He is out of a job for now, but I’m sure that he’ll get on with another newspaper (or another media outlet) soon.  My question would be if a.) would the Times-Free Press have reacted the same way if a liberal editor acted in the same manner and b.) changes policy and retroactively fires someone on a regular basis?

27 comments

  1. John Konop says:

    ……….My question would be if a.) would the Times-Free Press have reacted the same way if a liberal editor acted in the same manner and b.) changes policy and retroactively fires someone on a regular basis?……….

    Is this not a private business? The job of an executive is to return your stock holders the highest rate of investment…..Some outlets do it spinning right or left….And if the executive team and or owners made the wrong call, they will feel it in the pocket book……This is called capitalism…..I would bet this decision was based on money not ideology………Obviously Mr. Johnson was on the wrong page with stockholders……It is called working for someone……

  2. griftdrift says:

    He got canned because he bypassed the editorial process. You go outside that and you get fired, doesn’t matter if you are conservative, liberal or a fungo.

    Below is the Chattnooga Free Times response

    “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”

    http://timesfreepress.com/news/2013/aug/02/times-free-press-responds-inaccuracies-coverage-dr/

    • David C says:

      I’ll just leave this here. He sounds like a real prize:

      “In fact the only instance when the Times Free Press ever denied Johnson the freedom to present his views was last week when he referred to pornography as a “miracle product” and touted the benefits of pornography stating that if teenagers watched pornography it would result in lower rates of teenage pregnancy.”

  3. Harry says:

    The owners obviously didn’t want to deal with the heat. The message is, better think twice about putting Obama in a bad light.
    .

  4. peachstealth says:

    “On Monday night, Johnson changed the approved headline on his Tuesday editorial from, “Keep your jobs plan to yourself, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough already” to “Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough.”

    You would think someone from Tennessee would realize the new headline was a take off on an old country music song.

  5. Jeremy Jones says:

    He was not fired for his “Anti-Obama” views. There have been anti-Obama views in the paper every day since he took office. Him not following policy, apparently on multiple occasions, is what caused it.

    He will be replaced with another editorial writer who will write just as “anti-Obama” as did he.

    I do not agree or disagree with the firing, for I do not know the relationship of them prior to this incident, but, I do know there have been years of writings like this, and they will continue. If he was going to be fired for anti-Obama writings, it would have been done long before today.

  6. Herb says:

    Of course he deserved to be fired! You do not talk about the President this way. Air you grievances civilly. Don’t resort to foul-mouthedness, which seems to be the knee-jerk response of all Righties. Anyone who airs an ill-advised grievance should be more than fired. Blacklist them. Society and business should not reward this kind of behaviour.

    • KingRichard says:

      Herb – You can talk about anybody you want to in this country any way you desire, blacklists, boycotts, these are Un-American, what is American is to stand up, voice your point of view aloud and debate. The answer to free speech is not to silence or deem some of it politically incorrect, it is more free speech, this way opinions are changed on the spot. PC policies and behaviors are shackeling. America has a long history of calling it like it is and to your face mind you.

      PC is a form of Marxism…I disagree with Obama everwhere I look at his administration and his policies and I will make it known to my legislatures with my lettters, words, votes and hard earned cash…

  7. peachstealth says:

    “Of course he deserved to be fired! You do not talk about the President this way. ”
    If that be the case, one would wonder how anyone at MSNBC kept their jobs during the Bush administration

    • Scott65 says:

      and what does that have to do with this topic…Harry this isnt the open thread.
      Now…on topic. I dont know if any of you read the editorial, but its was so factually wrong I was amazed they would run it. Opinion is one thing, factually erroneous is another. I cant think of one person in CHA who has EPB Internet that does not love it (whats not to love…its cheaper and faster). Their customer service is better and locally provided (no one named Bob in India answering your call). Drew Johnson seems to think that Comcast or AT&T would have built it if given the chance…sure, and anyone who believes that…well lets say you’d be in free market lala land. Comcast upgraded the area AFTER EPB…because suddenly there was…wait for it…COMPETITION

  8. Scott65 says:

    The title should read “Chattanooga Times-Free Press Editor Gets Canned For Insubordination”

  9. Nathan says:

    Harry, please don’t threadjack. If you would like to discuss those items you posted, please do so in the nearest open thread (Morning Reads).

Comments are closed.