Chattanooga Free Press Editor Terminated Over ‘Shove It, Mr. President’ Headline

AP

The Chattanooga Times Free Press announced Thursday that the head of its Free Press editorial page had been terminated for violating the newspaper’s standards in altering an editorial’s headline to “Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough.”

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.”

The Free Press is the conservative editorial page of the newspaper, while its counterpart Times page publishes editorials with a liberal slant.

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Catherine Thompson is a senior editor for Talking Points Memo in New York City. She came to the site in 2013 and reported on national affairs. Previously, she worked as a research assistant to investigative reporter Wayne Barrett. She can be reached at catherine@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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