The Mirror

OOPS! Tennessee Newspaper Tricked Into Calling GOP Lawmaker An A**hole

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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A reporter for The Tennesseean actually wrote a really balanced story on how local lawmakers feel about having Syrian refugees. But somewhere in this journalistic endeavor, things went awry. The Tennessean has some serious IT issues on its hands.

Dave Boucher zoned in on Glen Casada, a GOP state lawmaker who believes they ought to be rounded up like cattle and removed from Tennessee.

Boucher used this quote from Casada: “We need to activate the Tennessee National Guard and stop them from coming in to the state by whatever means we can,” said Casada, the House GOP Caucus Chairman.

He quoted another Republican lawmaker saying Casada’s idea went too far.

He quoted a Democratic lawmaker saying, “We’re better than this.”

Even the headline didn’t rip Casada to shreds and stuck to the facts.

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 9.21.04 PM


Casada has a colorful past. In 2009, he tried to squash then-former Sen. Barack Obama‘s (D-Ill.) hope to become president with a federal lawsuit that insisted Obama was not a U.S. citizen. The lawsuit went nowhere.

Perhaps where Boucher, the reporter, looked like he went too far was where he forgot that his URL called the lawmaker “an asshole.” Which means the original headline was a little different from what it is now.

See a screen cap of the URL below that links right to story on the newspaper’s website and still shows the story with this URL:

Screen Shot Asshole


Question: So who’s the real asshole here: The reporter or the lawmaker?

The Mirror asked the reporter to answer the question.

UPDATE: This is when things got interesting. The Tennesseean‘s News Director Maria De Varenne wrote to explain that a local citizen decided to take matters into his own hands and re-posted the story on Twitter with the “asshole” URL.

“Your email for comment about The Tennessean’s URL was shared with me,”she wrote The Mirror. “One of The Tennessean’s stories was reposted by a local resident who is active in social media circles, but he changed the URL of our original post. Here’s the original URL. While some have accused the Tennessean of name calling or editorializing given the renamed URL, we have posted the original link on our social media sites again in an effort to quell those concerns.”