Yahoo news bureau chief fired for racial comments about Romney

Racial tensions in media coverage of Romney were also seen earlier this summer. In June 2012, Politico suspended its reporter Joe Williams after he said on MSNBC that Romney was “only comfortable around white people.”

David Chalian

Yahoo News’ Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian is the latest journalist to lose his job after making racial remarks about Republican presumptive presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

On Wednesday, Aug. 29, during an ABC News/Yahoo News broadcast of the Republican National Convention, Chalian was caught on an open mic joking that Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, were “happy to have a party with black people drowning,” reported Politico’s Dylan Byers. Chalian was referring to the Republican convention taking place as Hurricane Isaac passed over New Orleans. Yahoo! fired Chalian and released a statement saying, “David Chalian’s statement was inappropriate and does not represent the views of Yahoo!. He has been terminated effective immediately,” according to Politico.

Chalian apologized on Wednesday, saying he was “profoundly sorry for making an inappropriate and thoughtless joke,” reported the Associated Press.

Political reporter Gwen Ifill came to Chalian’s defense, tweeting, “One mistake does not change this. @DavidChalian is God’s gift to political journalism,” according to Poynter. Ifill and Chalian worked together at “PBS NewsHour” until Chalian left in 2011.


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