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Was This News Editor Fired for Headline Criticizing Obama!?

Todd Starnes reported yesterday on a newspaper editor in Chattanooga, Tennessee, who was fired after running the headline, "Take Your Jobs Plan and Shove It, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough." The opinion page headline ran this week after President Obama spoke in Chattanooga about his plan to create jobs.


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The paper has said Johnson changed the headline after a previous one was approved for publication, going around normal procedures. Johnson, however, says headlines are changed routinely, and wrote on Twitter that he was "the first person in the history of newspapers to be fired for writing a paper’s most-read article."

The paper contends that it runs editorials criticizing Obama all the time, so the content of the article was not the reason for firing Johnson. Greta Van Susteren spoke to Johnson last night to get his take on his dismissal.

He said "it's very common" for headlines to be changed at the last minute and that he thought of the famous Johnny Paycheck song near the deadline. Johnson said the paper's editor called him in the next day and and told him she was "disappointed" with his choice, calling it "crass." He then said that he was told there would be a new policy implemented for approving headlines.

Johnson says that amazingly, he was then fired "retroactively" for violating the policy, even though it wasn't in place when he published the headline in question.


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