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A reporter says she was fired from the Dallas Morning News over what she thought was an innocuous tweet towards Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, D.
Meghan Mangrum, an education journalist who joined the Dallas newspaper in August 2022, took to Twitter on Feb. 11 in reaction to a tweet from Johnson, who was accusing the local media of not covering favorable stats that show decreases in violent crime in recent years.
"And as we’ve seen recently, if policing or crime stories don’t feed into a particular narrative, the national media has zero interest in them. If it doesn’t feed into our worst tribal instincts or show a city devolving into violent crime-ridden chaos, the media will not cover it," Johnson wrote.
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"Bruh, national news is always going to chase the trend," Mangrum told the mayor in the now-deleted Saturday tweet. "Cultivate relationships with quality local news partnerships."
"Bruh? Have we met?" the Democratic mayor shot back.
Johnson's chief of staff Tristan Hallman, notably a former editor and reporter for the Dallas Morning News until he began working for the mayor in 2019, also took an indirect swipe at Mangrum, tweeting, "Calling the mayor ‘bruh’ is disrespectful. Be a pro."
Unbeknownst to Mangrum at the time, that "bruh" tweet would ultimately result in her firing just three days later.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson knocked local media for what he deemed was insufficient coverage of falling crime stats in his city. (Omar Vega/Getty Images)
According to an interview with D Magazine, Mangrum said she was called in by human resources for a meeting that Monday, where she faced a grilling from Dallas Morning News executive editor Katrice Hardy.
Hardy questioned whether there was a racial component in Mangrum using the popular Twitter term "bruh" on Johnson, who is Black.
"Hardy, who is Black, asked her if she would have used the word ‘bruh’ if the mayor were White. Mangrum, who is White, said yes. Her Twitter feed is littered with the word ‘bruh’ directed at all sorts of accounts, including those belonging to hockey fans and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife," D Magazine wrote.
The Dallas Morning News declined to comment.
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Mangrum told the magazine, "I would never tell a person of color, ‘Oh, it wasn’t racist. You shouldn’t feel that way'… But I know my intent, and it was not at all about race. I use that word with my friends and when I tweet about hockey. It’s just part of my vernacular. I grew up in Central Florida, and, you know, I’m a millennial."
The next morning, Mangrum helped organize a union protest with Dallas Morning News colleagues over long-standing issues. Later that day, she was fired.
Meghan Mangrum and Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson.
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