Dallas Morning News reporter allegedly fired for addressing black mayor as ‘bruh’ on Twitter

Meghan Mangrum, a now former education reporter for the Dallas Morning News, claims that she was fired by the paper’s editor, Katrice Hardy, after addressing Mayor Eric Johnson, who is black, as “bruh” on Twitter.

It all began after Johnson complained that local media were not covering improving crime rates in Dallas. That sparked an exchange between the Democrat mayor and Mangrum which evidently did not end well for her.

“Our local media have no interest in reporting on this data, which is why you haven’t heard about it,” Johnson tweeted in February.

“Bruh, national news is always going to chase the trend. Cultivate relationships with quality local news partnerships,” Mangrum tweeted to the mayor.

“Bruh? Have we met?” Johnson replied. “Gotta love when folks let their inherent biases show. I get to be addressed as ‘bruh’ by someone who writes for my daily local paper whom I’ve never met.”

D Magazine interviewed Mangrum who told the media outlet that three days after referring to Johnson as “bruh,” she was fired.

Hardy allegedly asked her during a meeting if she would have used that word if the mayor had not been black. Mangrum responded that “yes,” she would have.

D Magazine pointed out that the reporter has referred to all kinds of people on Twitter as “bruh,” including hockey fans and the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife.

“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,” she said during the interview. “I’m a millennial.”

Interestingly, the day after that meeting, Mangrum attended a demonstration in downtown Dallas that was organized by the Dallas News Guild, protesting various issues including equal pay for Spanish-speaking workers. The reporter was fired after that. She wrote a piece for Medium on the protest that definitely makes her firing suspect.

“The language we use, the opinions we do or don’t share as journalists and what type of deference traditional media institutions give to elected officials and people in power are all worthy conversations to be had. Still, the more significant concern for me — one that seems to be getting lost — is the messages the DallasNews Corp. is sending to its unionized workers,” she wrote.

“I don’t speak for the Dallas News Guild, but I know the guild has filed half a dozen complaints with the National Labor Relations Board in the past few months ranging from my termination to abrupt changes to working conditions,” Mangrum continued.

When the reporter was told that she was fired, the editor cited a violation of the paper’s social media policy. She was not told what part of the policy she had breached.

Mangrum told D Magazine that she got involved in the back and forth with Johnson to stick up for her colleagues because she believed they had been unfairly attacked by the mayor.

Following the mayor’s original tweet, he posted a series of them attacking journalists. He called them “hit dogs.”

“Them hit dogs still hollerin’! And still clearly unable or unwilling to read carefully a simple tweet. Explains why the media is where it is in terms of public opinion: the quality has fallen off a cliff. Pathetic,” he railed five hours after the original tweet.

Johnson’s chief of staff, Tristan Hallman, jumped into the fray to defend his boss.

“Calling the mayor ‘bruh’ is disrespectful. Be a pro,” he told Mangrum.

Johnson tweeted after that, “You beat me to it, bruh! The hit dogs all hollered.”

Mangrum told D Magazine that Johnson’s statements were not fair.

“He was going after local media for their coverage of crime,” she stated. “I saw some of my colleagues responding to him, tweeting out stories the Dallas Morning News has done, saying, ‘Hey, Mr. Mayor, you know this isn’t quite fair.'”

“Standing up for my colleagues and the work that we do, when I know we’re doing good and honest work, is something I pride myself on and something that I look for in my colleagues and in my workplace as well,” the reporter contended.

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