Chattanooga paper fires columnist who blasted the president & lamented gigabit fiber

Drew Johnson, a columnist for Chattanooga Free-Press newspaper, recently wrote an editorial that blasted President Obama, “Take your jobs plan and shove it, Mr. President: Your policies have harmed Chattanooga enough.” The editorial, which lamented the gigabit fiber network built in Chattanooga, generated a lot of attention, but earlier this week Johnson was fired by the paper for changing the headline of the editorial without permission. The new headline for the editorial is – President Obama’s policies have harmed Chattanooga enough. Johnson later tweeted that he was the first person to be fired for writing the most read article in the newspaper’s history. The episode illustrates the heated debates around municipal funded networks (fiber or otherwise), often fueled by the lobbying dollars incumbent monopolies.