Yahoo News Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian was fired after making a racially-charged comment regarding Mitt Romney and his wife Ann at the Republican National Convention (RNC).
Chalian was heard on a live microphone saying that the Romneys were not “concerned” about Black people who were in the path of Hurricane Isaac as it made landfall on the Gulf coast, writes POLITICO. Listen to the audio here.
“They’re not concerned at all. They’re happy to have a party with black people drowning,” said Challian during a break of the ABC News/Yahoo News webcast. Chalian was unaware the microphone was still taking audio at the time. Naturally, conservative media watchdog group NewsBusters seized the audio and ran an inaccurate but no less sensational transcript of the Chalian gaffe; NewsBusters later made corrections and updates to the breaking story.
As a result, Chalian was fired immediately by Yahoo, with the Internet company offering an apologetic statement.
David Chalian’s statement was inappropriate and does not represent the views of Yahoo! He has been terminated effective immediately. We have already reached out to the Romney campaign, and we apologize to Mitt Romney, his staff, their supporters and anyone who was offended.
David Chalian followed with an apology on Facebook:
I am profoundly sorry for making an inappropriate and thoughtless joke. I was commenting on the challenge of staging a convention during a hurricane and about campaign optics. I have apologized to the Romney campaign, and I want to take this opportunity to publicly apologize to Gov. and Mrs. Romney. I also regret causing any distraction from the exceptional coverage of the Republican convention by Yahoo News and ABC News.
While Chalian’s quip was ill-timed, has there been much more than a casual mention of African-American citizens in the path of the hurricane in the gulf? Are Black voters even being addressed at the RNC? If anyone has been paying attention, there has been mention of Hispanic and women voters but little mention of the African-American voting bloc.
Without doubt, Chalian’s jab at Romney was a low-blow, but how far off was he in his assessment?