***UPDATED – Times Free Press opinion page editor fired after posting scathing headline aimed at Obama

***UPDATE: Drew Johnson is adamant that he didn’t violate any rules. He says the new rules were created after people complained about the headline and applied retroactively:

***

Times Free Press opinion page editor was apparently fired for writing a scathing article to Obama, telling him to “Take your jobs plan and shove it…” And according to Drew Johnson, it was the paper’s most-read article ever:

The paper claims they fired him for violating the “normal editing procedures” (emphasis mine):

Free Press editor Drew Johnson has been terminated after placing a headline on an editorial outside of normal editing procedures.

Johnson’s headline, “Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough,” appeared on the Free Press page Tuesday, the day President Barack Obama visited the city.

The headline was inappropriate for this newspaper. It was not the original headline approved for publication, and Johnson violated the normal editing process when he changed the headline. 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.



So they didn’t like the ‘inappropriate’ headline. Sounds to me like there was more to it, after all the article reflected the headline quite well. And as we all know in this business, good headlines bring in the bacon and bad headlines make you wish you had a good headline.

Johnson refutes this claim though, saying they change their headlines all the time at the last minute:

The article is FANTASTIC and a must read, especially for those in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Here’s a portion below:

President Obama,

Welcome to Chattanooga, one of hundreds of cities throughout this great nation struggling to succeed in spite of your foolish policies that limit job creation, stifle economic growth and suffocate the entrepreneurial spirit.

Forgive us if you are not greeted with the same level of Southern hospitality that our area usually bestows on its distinguished guests. You see, we understand you are in town to share your umpteenth different job creation plan during your time in office. If it works as well as your other job creation programs, then thanks, but no thanks. We’d prefer you keep it to yourself.

That’s because your jobs creation plans so far have included a ridiculous government spending spree and punitive tax increase on job creators that were passed, as well as a minimum wage increase that, thankfully, was not. Economists — and regular folks with a basic understanding of math — understand that these are three of the most damaging policies imaginable when a country is mired in unemployment and starving for job growth.

Even though 64 percent of Chattanooga respondents said they would rather you hadn’t chosen to visit our fair city, according to a survey on the Times Free Press website, it’s probably good that you’re here. It will give you an opportunity to see the failure of your most comprehensive jobs plan to date, the disastrous stimulus scheme, up close and personal.

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 helped fund the Gig to Nowhere project, a $552 million socialist-style experiment in government-owned Internet, cable and phone services orchestrated by EPB — Chattanooga’s government-owned electric monopoly.

KEEP READING…the article gets better and better until it ends.

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ScottNAtlanta
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ScottNAtlanta
ScottNAtlanta
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ScottNAtlanta

Now read the “unedited” response from the TFP 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. 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.” However, he waited until his editor had left for the day before changing the headline. That is a violation of our clear editing practice, and our trust. He admitted the following day that he failed to follow the standard set for him. The language he chose was vulgar and not appropriate for this newspaper. Even Johnson… Read more »

cabensg
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cabensg
john11111
Guest
john11111

facts hurt imbeciles

harryojam
Guest
harryojam

Fired by ex-post facto rules.

imatellau
Member
imatellau

Editors at the FP…… Not!!!
Speak truth to power from the DOMINATE pulpit of liberalism and you will be FIRED, soon to be slandered, demeaned, dehumanized and cast from “real journalism”….
Quit buying the bird cage line

imatellau
Member
imatellau

Yup, looks like those folks in Tennessee are getting the real “truth” from th

curlylouis1970122
Member
curlylouis1970122

As a Chattanooga resident, I’m SHOCKED by this. I didn’t think that our newspaper would sink that low. What I want to know is why if they fired him, why won’t they fire Clay Bennett the left-wing cartoonist in the newspaper who has drawn some pretty disgusting cartoons aimed at conservatives, some of them going WAY over the line. I urge you guys to google him on the internet and look at some of his cartoons, it will make your blood boil. I may just have to boycott our newspaper over this.

Sallyjohanna
Member
Sallyjohanna

LouisLaGuardiaIII Chattanooga is my hometown…still have a lot of family there. Can you tell us is he correct about this gigabit debacle… does it work or is it a boondoggle?

gypsylady
Guest
gypsylady

You have to understand politics here. He was really fired for exposing the taxpayer funded Chamber of Commerce deals here. The local social conservative Republicans didn’t like him because he is a Libertarian. The headline was just an excuse.

poptoy1949
Guest
poptoy1949

Whoever is the owner of “The Times Free press are the ones that should be looked at for THEIR actions.  Who are the Owners by the way?????????????

tvlgds
Guest
tvlgds

Great article! I hope a more conservative paper picks him up and pays him a whole lot more!

TexasPGRRider
Guest
TexasPGRRider

tvlgds Please don`t take offense tvlgds, but I Must get something communicated to you, Seriously.  I LOVE IT whenever you post a comment.  Your avitar is Most Definitely one of my ALL TIME  FAVORITES !!! A Big smile and a warmer heart are always the result of my gazing at kitty kitty meow meow…Thanks for sharing. Peace be with you

tvlgds
Guest
tvlgds

TexasPGRRider tvlgds  LOL! No offense taken. Us Texans don’t get offended easily! smile That cat has put a smile on my face since the first time I saw it about 4 yrs ago – it’s so me!  The story that goes with it is funny, too.What Happens When You Have…
1)
Nothing to do
2)
A sharp knife
3)
A large lime
4)
A patient cat
5)
Too much tequila
6)
And it’s football season?
You
Get a Feline Football Player!

TexasPGRRider
Guest
TexasPGRRider

tvlgds  I Thought that was a lime, but wasn`t sure. Thanks for the info. You made my day…Again

tvlgds
Guest
tvlgds

TexasPGRRider tvlgds  smile Actually, it is some sort of Chinese grapefruit being passed off as a lime- happy to put a smile on your face.

sjmom
Member
sjmom

Since this was the Opinion page and this was the editor’s opinion I see no problem other than the newspaper is run by a bunch of Leftists who kowtow to their king. The people of Chattanooga should start cancelling their subscriptions.

Zalman770
Guest
Zalman770

This is no surprise. How dare anybody question king Obama?!  – at least that’s what the media thinks

SafeTea
Guest
SafeTea

MANY people have been fired over Obama comments over the last five years.  E.D. Hill was the first one to take a career hit, and it’s ongoing since.  I feel bad for Mr. Johnson, but he’s just one in a long line of folks to feel Obama’s Communist sting; i.e., no drone may dis the Queen bee.
May Drew Johnson’s career skyrocket.  If not now, then when the little Tyrant-in-Chief is removed (or moves on).

tvlgds
Guest
tvlgds

SafeTea I never did know what happened to E. D. Hill and am stunned that this was the reason. She was a great reporter.

SafeTea
Guest
SafeTea

tvlgds SafeTea 
Yes, a great reporter, a great Mom.  She’s a very dynamic woman and firing her over such a light joke was the first sign that FOX News was making a left turn.  They’ve been heading in the left direction since then and IMO no longer resemble the conservative, right-leaning news station they once were.

tvlgds
Guest
tvlgds

SafeTea tvlgds Probably about the time that Murdoch sold a bunch NewsCorp to the ahabs in UAE. That’s about when the move to the left started. I haven’t watched Fox on any regular basis since the election. I only look now if I know Allen West or something special will be on. I was a Fox News Junkie for over a decade.

SafeTea
Guest
SafeTea

tvlgds SafeTea 
Yes, I so agree with your timeline of when FOX turned left!  And yes, I too was a FOX junkie for about the same length of time until they morphed.  I now rely on alternative news websites to keep abreast of REAL news.

Proudhispanicconservative
Guest
Proudhispanicconservative

He will have no problem finding another job, I read the and found it to be awesome. Today my sister works in an ice cream company and told me that she had the terrible position to tell 4 of her co-workers that they are being let go, I told her this is only the beginning of what is to come in Obama’s economy and told her I warned you not to vote for Obama and you did anyway, and so did her co-workers, I also told her I dont feel any sorrow for them, they are getting exactly what they voted for.

harryojam
Guest
harryojam

You have proved that liberals can’t handle the truth. Sorry you lost your job for it. It proves they were not worthy of your talent anyway. They should change their name to Pravda to reflect their level of integrity.

tvlgds
Guest
tvlgds

harryojam Current day Pravda has far more integrity than the majority of US news outlets these days.

bx_ny
Guest
bx_ny

Something sounds fishy about this guy’s story.

LIBERTYUSA
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LIBERTYUSA

…so much for freedom of thought and welcome to the world of Mullah O B A M A !”

tinlizzieowner
Member
tinlizzieowner

“The Free Press page has often printed editorials critical of the president and his policies.”
If it’s anything like my local paper, the ratio of editorials critical to the President, as opposed to favorable editorials for the President, is probably close to the ratio of Conservative 501’s investigated by the IRS as opposed to Liberal ones. wink wink

unseen
Member
unseen

if anyone  thinks we  still live in a free country  you are mistaken.  While  normal everyday life hasn’t changed much, those that control the levers of power have  placed  an ironclad  lock  on the avg person’s freedom to  contend with the powers that be.

Conniption Fitz
Guest
Conniption Fitz

I love Drew Johnson’s letter from Chattanooga!  He belongs with a conservative paper.

tinlizzieowner
Member
tinlizzieowner

Conniption Fitz  
A conservative paper?

Conniption Fitz
Guest
Conniption Fitz

or news agency…. papers are a thing of the past, aren’t they?

oldcynic
Guest
oldcynic

Free press is like Henry Ford’s Model T. You can have it in any color you want, as long as it is black. Free press is free and you can say anything you want to say, as long as it supports and kowtows to the liberal left.

Diogenes_wy
Guest
Diogenes_wy

Kinda reminds one of the problems that John The Baptist had with king Herod.
Power does not like or respond well to the truth and since truth cannot be refuted the messenger  then becomes the target of reprisal.
Look around you and you will see prime examples being reported every day: M. Bachman, Alan West, Snowden, Assange and Wikileaks and recently, Bill O’Reilly for his comments on the black community.

lonestar1
Guest
lonestar1

Isn’t Free Press an oxymoron?

TexasPGRRider
Guest
TexasPGRRider

In this instance…FOR SHURE, lonestar

kong1967
Member
kong1967

Sounds suspicious with the firing, but there’s really no way to know for sure what the real reason was.  He could be right but it could also be coincidence.  I’m not defending the newspaper, but I can’t place blame when the only story we have is from the guy that got fired.  It’s not uncommon for people to make claims about their firing that isn’t true.  It was a pretty good article, though.

DavidZimmerman2
Guest
DavidZimmerman2

kong1967  
Not that it applies in this case, but the guy that writes the headline is usually not the guy that wrote the article. 
I’ll guarantee that the article here got more traffic due to the colorful headline. Sounds like they needed an excuse to can him.

kong1967
Member
kong1967

DavidZimmerman2  I completely agree with you, and it came after the backlash from the left.  Although I believe that’s probably the case, he did change the headline himself and he’s not the editor.  He says that’s done all the time, but do we have anyone verifying that?  Although I’m pretty sure it was a reaction to liberal complaints, I don’t know beyond speculation.

K-Bob
Editor
K-Bob

>>> I have a great link for you folks in the open thread (the big gun thread). <<<

Man, several commenters at the article by Mr. Johnson claim the guy is exposing the GOP’s racism.
(Wut?)

On the left It’s all they have: Hate, the race card, and sex-themed profanity.

DarrellGriffin
Guest
DarrellGriffin

K-Bob They lack the intellectual capacity to do anything else.
In this way, they are much like a dog pees on a fire hydrant every time the opportunity presents itself.
It’s instinct, based on emotion and a divorce from rational thinking, or the ability to do so.

Conniption Fitz
Guest
Conniption Fitz

SOCIALIST/COMMUNIST POLICIES NEVER WORK. 
The ruin of Detroit was created by the unions
and Democrat socialism, demagoguery and corruption aka Graft.
LOOK AT THE RESULT OF Obama’s Community
Organizing in Chicago –
BEFORE AND AFTER COMMUNISM IN EUROPE.   
Communism and totalitarianism creates an
oligarchy of elites who gain the most money, privilege and power…and create
misery, poverty and genocide or oppression wherever it festers.

DavidZimmerman2
Guest
DavidZimmerman2

Conniption Fitz Like our members of Congress having their insurance paid for by the taxpayers……privilege.

rjp977
Member
rjp977

Fascism.

The Sentinel
Guest
The Sentinel

So take issue with the anointed one and you’re fired.
Welcome to the new world order under the reign of liberals.
“Please Sir, may I have more?”

NYGino
Editor
NYGino

The Sentinel    “Yes you may, and you deserve it.  Now, bend over and repeat after me…”

Louis
Member
Louis

The truth can be ugly, but a “free press” shooting the messenger because they’re offended by the truth is even uglier.

Fireplug52
Member
Fireplug52

All this does is perpetuates the believe that those in the media protect Obama. They must protect their golden boy. He who is without sin, who can make the oceans recede, who can make jobs, by the very words from his mouth, that green energy will be much cheaper and the green energy companies will lead the way that our hallowed leader has blessed. Praise the Obama, hallelujah, he has saved the world because his noble prize has lite the way for peace throughout the world and brought together the Palestinians and Israel that they now sit around the camp fire singing Kumbaya. The Egyptians are filling the streets because the “anointed one” has so ordained that they will have democracy.
Now if you believe that, then lets talk about some swamp land in Florida I can sell you.

Laurel
Member
Laurel

Fireplug52 I will trade you my big red bridge for your Florida swamp land. smile

Fireplug52
Member
Fireplug52

Laurel A Fireplug52 deal! Now if we can just trade Snowden for Obama then we may get a better deal.

Laurel
Member
Laurel

Fireplug52 Laurel A You trying to restart the Cold War or something??? LOL!

Fireplug52
Member
Fireplug52

Laurel A Fireplug52 No. No. I just figure we could trade one spy for another.

Laurel
Member
Laurel

The bulk of the comments on that article are so dumb they fit every negative stereotype about the South.

badbadlibs
Guest
badbadlibs

Must not criticize comrade zero. The next thing you know people will be hearing the truth. Can’t have that.
Must keep the masses ignorant while promising them all their desires will be met by the government.
Where have we read that in history???????

lawngreen
Guest
lawngreen

I read the full article. If the “Free”hahahahaha.. sorry – Press really does publish articles critical of obama “all the time”, and if the article was factually correct, then the FP is either soft as a hot marshmallow or shrinking-violet sensitive. Make that cringing-violet. Or groveling-violet. I read a few of the comments, and the lib liars were at it full throttle. I suspect that the FP didn’t have the courage to speak plainly. In spite of it being the most-read article, they fired the man who wrote it. Along with him, they fired their journalistic integrity. If they were such wimps that this mild headline offended them, they could have simply issued an apology. Instead, they issued an invitation to obama to …  no, I can’t write any more, or I would definitely offend everyone’s sensibilities, including my own. The obama regime is following hitler’s path to power fairly… Read more »

PNWShan
Guest
PNWShan

lawngreen I read some of the comments at the FP too. It felt to me like a bunch of seminar-caller types: Obamaphiles who joined up just to roast this guy and the newspaper.

NYGino
Editor
NYGino

PNWShan lawngreen   Good analysis.

lawngreen
Guest
lawngreen

NYGino PNWShan lawngreen Thank you.

lawngreen
Guest
lawngreen

PNWShan lawngreen  I wouldn’t be surprised. They were parroting the same phrases you hear all the time – like they’re reading from a script. Very predicatble.

Laurel
Member
Laurel

lawngreen Yeah i like the irony in the name too! LOL!

lawngreen
Guest
lawngreen

Laurel A lawngreen It’s generous of the Left to provide us with so much humor. Nothing else good I can say for them, though.

Laurel
Member
Laurel

lawngreen Yeah i like the irony in the name too! LOL!

Army_Pilot1967
Guest
Army_Pilot1967

I presume some people are actually reading the Times Free Press.  Print media isn’t doing too well financially these days, so the editor was fired to appease the leftists that read that newspaper?  Just another reason why I don’t read newspapers.  I get my news off the internet.

ken56925
Guest
ken56925

obummer will get your job one way or another…

TexasPGRRider
Guest
TexasPGRRider

Let`s see now; “Free Press”, what a concept. Where have I heard that before ??? I Remember now…The Constitution !!!!

OliviaHT
Guest
OliviaHT

This event fits right in with the tactics employed by Stalin’s henchmen working in the White House, Dept. of State, and the Office of War Information during FDR’s tenure. Diana West’s “American Betrayal” documents and beautifully narrates the Communist “occupation” of our government, an occupation and influence over policy and activities that has been kept secret from the American public — and worse, which sets the pattern we see today in the united front erected by officials and the MSM to hide from the public the nefarious and treasonous conduct of this administration.
Truth tellers, like this journalist, will be skewered for their efforts to speak out. This man deserves a medal — and his employer a torrent of opprobrium.

PNWShan
Guest
PNWShan

OliviaHT Thanks for the reminder to be to buy her book.

NYGino
Editor
NYGino

Wonder who got rich on this “Gig to nowhere project, or was this just another political payoff by the Obama administration?

maketcomp
Member
maketcomp

You can thank Senator Corker for that since he once was the Mayor of Chattanooga.

NYGino
Editor
NYGino

Ironic that the ‘Times Free Press”  doesn’t allow  “Freedom of Speech”.

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