Times Free Press Fires Editor Drew Johnson

Thursday, August 01, 2013
Drew Johnson
Drew Johnson

Chattanooga Times Free Press officials said Thursday that Free Press editor Drew Johnson has been fired "after placing a headline on an editorial outside of normal editing procedures."

The newspaper said, "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.

"The Chattanooga Times Free Press is unique in that it has two editorial pages, the conservative Free Press page and the liberal Times page. This newspaper places high value on expressions of divergent opinion, but will not permit violations of its standards."

Soon after his dismissal, Mr. Johnson sent out this tweet, "I just became the first person in the history of newspapers to be fired for writing a paper's most-read article."

He later added, "Getting fired for taking a stand is bad. Getting fired two weeks before your wedding is worse. Thanks for sticking by me."

He also wrote, "The policy I 'broke' did not exist when I 'broke' it. It was created after people complained about the headline & was applied retroactively. Any time the paper wanted to change the headline online (which is how most people read the editorial), they could've.

"We change headlines all the time at the last minute. I had a filler headline in that stunk and thought of that Johnny Paycheck song."

Mr. Johnson, 34, had been the replacement for Lee Anderson, who had a 70-year career with the newspaper.

He was the founder and first president of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research, a free market think tank and watchdog organization based in Nashville.

He was with the newspaper for just over a year. 


Latest Hamilton County Jail Booking Report - And Mug Shots

Here is the latest jail booking report from Hamilton County: ALLEN, GYLES J     8160 PINECREST DR CHATTANOOGA, 37421     42     Tenn Highway Patrol          DRIVING UNDER THE INFLUENCE     IMPLIED CONSENT LAW - DRIVERS BAGGETT, JUSTIN     412 GLENN ROAD LAFAYETTE, ... (click for more)

Chattanooga Police Seek 2 Theft And Fraud Suspects

The Chattanooga Police Department is asking for assistance in identifying two theft/fraud suspects who were captured on camera walking into businesses in the downtown area, stealing purses and other personal items.  The suspects then used the cash and credit cards they stole to purchase over $10,000 in Walmart gift cards. Investigators with the Fraud Unit need assistance ... (click for more)

Chuck Is Doing His Job - And Response (6)

Four years ago we conservatives sent Chuck Fleischmann to Washington to basically say no to Obama and every program he tried to sneak through.  He did such a good job at this we sent him back two years ago. Now this young whippersnapper comes along and wants to go to Washington under the Republican title to cross the isles and negotiate with Obama and the Democrats. Is ... (click for more)

Roy Exum: Two Wrongs Not Right

Scottie Mayfield is a delightful friend of mine but he’s the last guy in the world who should be aiming at anybody’s character. He’s always had class but today Scottie is the “star” of a shameful political commercial in which he assails challenger Weston Wamp on behalf of a panicked Chuck Fleischmann. Mayfield, you’ll remember, ran against the two in the last race for the District ... (click for more)

Chattanooga FC Hosts Sacramento Gold Saturday At 7:30

The Chattanooga Football Club will host yet another playoff soccer game on Saturday as Sacramento Gold comes to town in the National NPSL final four semifinal game.  The NPSL National semifinals are powered by Mitre.  Midwest region champions Lansing United will play Northeast region champions Red Buls U23s in New York on Sunday in the other semifinal match.  The ... (click for more)

Lookouts Get 8-7 Walkoff Win Over Biscuits,

Chris O’Brien’s only hit of the game was the one that mattered the most, giving the Chattanooga Lookouts (12-21)  the  walk-off win on his RBI single against the Montgomery Biscuits (19-16) before a raucous sell-out crowd of 6,378. The first inning came and went innocuously, but the second showed the first offensive outburst of the night as the Biscuits staked themselves ... (click for more)