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Ed Driscoll

Journalism in the 21st Century: Just Be Quiet, And You’ll Be OK

August 1st, 2013 - 11:52 am

“I just became the first person in the history of newspapers to be fired for writing a paper’s most-read article,” Drew Johnson of the Chattanooga Times Free Press — at least until today — tweets.  At the Blaze, Jason Howerton responds:

The opinion page editor at the Chattanooga Times Free Press says he has been fired for writing an editorial that was highly critical of President Barack Obama’s new “jobs plan.”

“Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough,” the headline reads.

Drew Johnson, the now apparently former opinion page editor at the Free Press, announced his firing on Twitter Thursday.

“I just became the first person in the history of newspapers to be fired for writing a paper’s most-read article,” Johnson wrote.

In response, as Jim Romensko.com notes, the paper claims that Johnson was fired because he “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.”

Romensko also links to the the Atlanta Journal Constitution tut-tutting that Johnson’s headline was “rude.”

Well, we can’t have that. In the world of the MSM, when a Democrat is in power, we must be a polite and docile palace guard. Breaking news that hurts Dear Leader — or even potential Dear Leader — must be buried, sharp edges must be sanded smooth.

The unspoken motto of political correctness has long been “Better dead than rude.” Evidently that extends to careers in the legacy media as well.

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The legacy media's motto is now "Better dead than read."
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (8)
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Intersting thugh that ths rudeness standard that leftie papers pplace so much faith in only seems to apply to Obama and prominent dems. I never noticed any restraint against rudeness when it came to criticising repubs like bush, palin, cheney, etc.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
When commenting about the current regime, it is better to seek permission than unemployment assistance.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
"If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can imagine."

I don't see this firing as a career-ending move for Mr. Johnson -- far from it. I'm not sure what the paper thought to accomplish by firing him, but if their intent was to shut him up, it's not going to work.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
About that chill some warned about in the wake of the DOJ's probing of AP reporters and James Rosen. Guess this means the nation's journalism schools will have to change terminology and start offering degrees in stenography since actually doing one's job is now cause for firing.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm 50 years old an not particularly technologically cutting edge and my only observation to this is "what's a newspaper"? People still go to them as their primary sources of information? Really? humph...
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
This stuff gets scarier every day. With over 800 days left under the thumb of the One, we are in big trouble.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
Welcome to Obamination.
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
The legacy media's motto is now "Better dead than read."
37 weeks ago
37 weeks ago Link To Comment
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