Earlier this week, President Barack Obama visited Chattanooga, Tenn. as part of his PR blitz on the economy.
But he was greeted with a headline of an editorial in the Chattanooga (Tenn.) Times Free Press, “Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough.”
The editorial began:
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.
Jim Galloway, writing for the nearby left-leaning Atlanta Journal-Constitution, called the headline “hostile” and “rude.”
And apparently that was a step too far for the newspaper’s management.
In a story published on Thursday, the Free Press announced the firing of editor Drew Johnson and called his headline inappropriate.
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.