Politico’s Dylan Byers reports that Yahoo News has fired Washington bureau chief David Chalian after he was caught on an ABC hot mic saying, in vulgar terms, that Mitt and Ann Romney were unconcerned with the fate of the residents of New Orleans in Hurricane Issac.
“Feel free to say, ‘They’re not concerned at all. They’re happy to have a party with black people drowning,'” Chalian, who was not aware that the conversation was being aired live, told another person on set.
The conservative media watchdog Newsbusters’ Matthew Sheffield first reported on Chalian’s comments. Here’s the audio, which ran simultaneously along with this footage of the Romneys:
Yahoo News hired Chalian last November, after he spent three years with PBS and seven years with ABC before that.
“Political content is consumed like no other news in the digital space,” Chalian said upon his hire at Yahoo. “With Yahoo doubling down on its content, matching that commitment to Yahoo’s massive reach is an unparalleled opportunity to deliver high impact, high quality storytelling in what is shaping up to be a really consequential presidential election.”
The tape suggests that Chalian was encouraging a guest to say something outrageous, rather than explicitly stating a personal belief. (Note the “feel free to say” at the beginning.)
Yahoo adds an apology to Mitt Romney on Twitter:
Yahoo’s rough transition from a link aggregator to a full-fledged media company continues….
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