Newspaper editor's 'shove it' Obama headline a firing offense

Joseph Smith
The Blaze has reported, and Fox News has also picked up, that an editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press was fired for marking the occasion of President Obama's recent Chattanooga visit with an editorial titled "Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President."

The newspaper contends that the headline was changed without approval and that it violated decorum standards for the paper, while the fired editor contends that he "just became the first person in the history of newspapers to be fired for writing a paper's most-read article."

Fox quotes the dismissed editor's Twitter account:

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.

In an unusual twist, the paper actually has two separate editorial pages, "the conservative Free Press page and the liberal Times page."  The column has since been retitled to the bland "Obama's policies have harmed Chattanooga enough."

The kerfuffle over the headline and decorum-loving liberals would be comical, except that an editor is out on the street as a result.

To the cashiered editor's credit, his column, addressed to the President, was right on the money:

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.

Even though 64 percent of Chattanooga respondents said they would rather you hadn't chosen to visit our fair city... It will give you an opportunity to see the failure of your most comprehensive jobs plan to date, the disastrous stimulus scheme, up close and personal.

The column goes on to describe the so-called Gig to Nowhere smart grid project, a "$552 million socialist-style experiment in government-owned Internet, cable and phone services" that will cost federal taxpayers $158 million with interest and cost the Chattanooga utility monopoly (i.e. ratepayers) $391 million in future bond payments, with nothing to show for it:

In reality, though, the gig, like most of the projects funded by your stimulus plan, has been an absolute bust... Almost no economic development whatsoever has resulted from the gig.

...But getting government involved in places it doesn't belong is a hallmark of your administration. As a result, you and your policymakers were happy to fund the Gig to Nowhere.

But in reality, all it did was push America deeper in debt and lure a local government agency into making a terrible financial decision that will weigh on Chattanoogans like a millstone for decades to come.

So excuse us, Mr. President, for our lack of enthusiasm for your new jobs program. Here in Chattanooga we're still reeling from your old one.

The paper's management needs a sense of humor.

Thomas Lifson adds:

In 1980, Boston Globe editorial writer Kirk Scharfenberg gained a certain immortality (he died in 1992 at age 48, though), but kept his job when a joke headline he wrote for his editorial criticizing President Carter was not removed, and appeared in a press run of allmost 200,000 copies. The immortal headline was "More mush from the wimp." At the rinme I lived in Bosyton and was a subscriber. I almsot fell off my chair when I read the headline.

The Blaze has reported, and Fox News has also picked up, that an editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press was fired for marking the occasion of President Obama's recent Chattanooga visit with an editorial titled "Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President."

The newspaper contends that the headline was changed without approval and that it violated decorum standards for the paper, while the fired editor contends that he "just became the first person in the history of newspapers to be fired for writing a paper's most-read article."

Fox quotes the dismissed editor's Twitter account:

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.

In an unusual twist, the paper actually has two separate editorial pages, "the conservative Free Press page and the liberal Times page."  The column has since been retitled to the bland "Obama's policies have harmed Chattanooga enough."

The kerfuffle over the headline and decorum-loving liberals would be comical, except that an editor is out on the street as a result.

To the cashiered editor's credit, his column, addressed to the President, was right on the money:

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.

Even though 64 percent of Chattanooga respondents said they would rather you hadn't chosen to visit our fair city... It will give you an opportunity to see the failure of your most comprehensive jobs plan to date, the disastrous stimulus scheme, up close and personal.

The column goes on to describe the so-called Gig to Nowhere smart grid project, a "$552 million socialist-style experiment in government-owned Internet, cable and phone services" that will cost federal taxpayers $158 million with interest and cost the Chattanooga utility monopoly (i.e. ratepayers) $391 million in future bond payments, with nothing to show for it:

In reality, though, the gig, like most of the projects funded by your stimulus plan, has been an absolute bust... Almost no economic development whatsoever has resulted from the gig.

...But getting government involved in places it doesn't belong is a hallmark of your administration. As a result, you and your policymakers were happy to fund the Gig to Nowhere.

But in reality, all it did was push America deeper in debt and lure a local government agency into making a terrible financial decision that will weigh on Chattanoogans like a millstone for decades to come.

So excuse us, Mr. President, for our lack of enthusiasm for your new jobs program. Here in Chattanooga we're still reeling from your old one.

The paper's management needs a sense of humor.

Thomas Lifson adds:

In 1980, Boston Globe editorial writer Kirk Scharfenberg gained a certain immortality (he died in 1992 at age 48, though), but kept his job when a joke headline he wrote for his editorial criticizing President Carter was not removed, and appeared in a press run of allmost 200,000 copies. The immortal headline was "More mush from the wimp." At the rinme I lived in Bosyton and was a subscriber. I almsot fell off my chair when I read the headline.