Yahoo News fired its Washington bureau chief David Chalian for “inappropriate” comments during the Republican National Convention. Chalian is quoted as saying of the Romney campaign:
“They’re not concerned at all. They’re happy to have a party with black people drowning.”
According to Politico, his comments were made during “a break during the ABC News/Yahoo News webcast” and during a “hot-mic” situation, when one doesn’t necessarily know that one is being broadcast. We wrote to Yahoo News asking for further comment concerning Chalian’s firing and if this incident would affect Yahoo News’ practice or presence at the convention. Yahoo’s Carolyn Clark provided iMediaEthics with the following 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.”
Chalian added on Twitter:
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“I am profoundly sorry for making an inappropriate and thoughtless joke.”
According to USA Today, “Chalian was fired just three hours after Newsbusters, a conservative media watchdog site, posted the video on its blog.”
Newsbusters, which is credited with first posting the video, published the recording. Newsbusters also posted an “update” on its article to correct its earlier claim that the person making the comments “was likely an ABC News employee,” which Newsbusters said was “incorrect.”
We wrote in 2010 when Alaska TV news KTVA-11 “let go” two reporters after they were accidentally recorded making comments about a Senate candidate. The reporters had called the candidate’s spokesperson and didn’t disconnect the phone call, so their comments suggesting a “registered sex offender” would be at the candidate’s rally were accidentally left on the spokesperson’s voicemail.
Hat Tip: U.S. News & World Report