Yahoo News Editor Fired After Saying That Republicans “Like To Party While Black People Are Drowning”

Yahoo News’s Washington editor has been fired after he was heard over an open microphone during ABC and Yahoo’s live-streaming of last night’s convention proceedings making a racially charged comment about Mitt Romney:

David Chalian, the Yahoo News Washington Bureau chief, has been fired after getting caught claiming that “they” — Mitt Romney and his fellow Republicans — “are happy to have a party with black people drowning.”

The implication: that Republicans’ decision to continue with their convention despite the hurricane hitting New Orleans means they don’t care about black people.

(…)

“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’s comments was first picked up by the conservative site Newsbusters and quickly went viral among the conservative blogosphere. The comment itself is idiotic and indefinsible so I can’t say I’m surprised to see it result in Chalian’s termination.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2012, Quick Takes, US Politics
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010. Before joining OTB, he wrote at Below The BeltwayThe Liberty Papers, and United Liberty Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. James Joyner says:

    Although, in fairness, the statement does represent the views of yahoos.

  2. mattb says:

    @James Joyner:
    I see what you did there…

  3. Nikki says:

    Well, at least he didn’t throw nuts and racial retorts at any black cameramen. He’s at least got that going for him.

  4. Modulo Myself says:

    Now it’s too much to make jokes about Republicans?

  5. Rob in CT says:

    Good decision, of course. That’s well below the belt.

  6. Nikki says:

    @Doug Mataconis: Yes, they were, but when the Republican presidential candidate’s campaign is so eagerly embracing race-baiting, incidents like this tend to reinforce perceptions, doesn’t it?

  7. An Interested Party says:

    Good decision, of course. That’s well below the belt.

    Oh absolutely! I mean, it’s not like he was telling lies about the President’s welfare reforms…oh wait…

  8. slimslowslider says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    As I am sure you are no doubt aware, those two individuals were immediately kicked off the convention floor.

    And this guy was fired. What’s your point?

  9. JKB says:

    @Modulo Myself: Now it’s too much to make jokes about Republicans?

    The real story is the environment and culture at Yahoo and ABC where anyone, much less a so-called journalist, would think such a “joke” would be accepted or even tolerated. One doesn’t make such a joke except in the company of those who would welcome such comments. Or except where such like-minded people dominate over those who value their profession’s supposed objectivity.

  10. JKB says:

    @slimslowslider: And this guy was fired. What’s your point?

    Well the convention goers were two among a very large crowd who acted stupidly. Chalian on the other hand is a supposed professional making a joke he felt would be accepted by this co workers. And it was, and would have come to nothing, if it weren’t for those meddling microphones recording everything.

  11. Modulo Myself says:

    Seriously, the GOP is doing everything it can to stop African-Americans from voting and it’s filled with people who believe that the current president, notably an African-American, is some sort of alien outsider who has come to bearing his opponent’s healthcare plan to ruin America.

    What’s below the belt about this joke? Because it hurts the feelings of Republicans? Or should all who cover Republicans be under constant surveillance, in order to insure that nobody jokes about them?

  12. Nikki says:

    One doesn’t make such a joke except in the company of those who would welcome such comments. Or except where such like-minded people dominate over those who value their profession’s supposed objectivity.

    Or when one is running for President of the United States as a Republican.

  13. Just Me says:

    And this guy was fired. What’s your point?

    Do you think he would have been fired if not for the hot mic recording?

    Did you notice that his companions were laughing and joking right along with him (although they still have their jobs)?

    At least other republicans reported the peanuts-I am willing to bet not a single reporter in that room would have reported Chalian’s comments to higher ups.

  14. Good riddance.

    And now that we’ve found him, we’ve got a “liberal” to balance the Rove quote:

    And I said, ‘Mitch, is there a white Democrat south of Indianapolis who’s supporting Obama who’s not a college professor in Bloomington?’ [Laughter] And he stopped for a minute over his green beans and says, ‘Not that I can think of.

    Remember, all it takes is any tiny thing said by some obscure figure, and “both sides do it.”

  15. Nikki says:

    @Just Me: Yours has to be the weakest justification in the history of justifications.

  16. Oh, and smooth move OTB, putting Yahoo guy ahead of Rove in the queue.

  17. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @Modulo Myself: The Republican Party seems to attract minorities who can actually do things — and have done so. I’m trying to think of a prominent minority Republican who has as slim a record of accomplishments as, say, Barack Obama or Jesse Jackson or Jesse Jackson Jr. or Nancy Pelosi…

    The GOP seems to see beyond minority status and honors people for their leadership and other abilities. It’s almost like they judge them not on the color of their skin, but the content of their character…

  18. An Interested Party says:

    The Republican Party seems to attract minorities who can actually do things — and have done so.

    Oh yes…Clarence Thomas, Allen West, Alan Keyes, Michael Steele, Herman Cain, Ken Blackwell, Artur Davis…such a sterling list…sadly for your argument, I would imagine most black people look upon the President with far more admiration than those listed above…

    The GOP seems to see beyond minority status and honors people for their leadership and other abilities. It’s almost like they judge them not on the color of their skin, but the content of their character…

    Run with that argument if you like, but the voting records of minorities tell a very different story…I’ll take that over your delusions…

  19. John Burgess says:

    I can tell who was watching MSNBC coverage last night. You know, the coverage in which Republicans of color were suddenly invisible?

  20. Nikki says:

    @An Interested Party: I only wish I could give you two thumbs up!

  21. grumpy realist says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: If you think Allen West and Alan Keyes are “accomplished individuals”….well, I don’t know. Accomplished at being bat-effing crazy, perhaps.

    Based on the above, I s’pose your next candidate for the Supreme Court is Orly Taitz.

  22. @John Burgess:

    It is possible that MSNBC were seeking to skew the coverage. It is also possible that the people of color found to populate the convention were not that high profile.

    Perhaps you can help me understand it. Who was the high profile person of color left on the cutting room floor?

  23. MstrB says:

    I’d elect Alan Keyes mayor of Crazy Town.

    And promoting great leadership and ethics is whey the DNC selected Tony Villar to be Convention Chair, it had absolutely nothing to do with pandering.

  24. Franklin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Yes, Michael Steele rose through the ranks of the Republicans because he … did … what, exactly? Well, he failed the Maryland bar exam at one point, so that’s a good start.

  25. Franklin says:

    Oh, and regarding the actual story here, I will second john personna’s “good riddance” comment.

  26. MstrB says:

    @Franklin: Pfft MY mayor failed it 4 times and then gave up.

  27. mantis says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    It’s almost like they judge them not on the color of their skin, but the content of their character…

    Republicans sure judge people by the color of their skin when purging the voter rolls and restricting voting hours. The party’s promotion of token minorities is an obvious, cynical attempt to mask their general attitudes and behavior towards those groups. It’s the equivalent of John Kerry on a goose hunt. Everyone knows its a pandering sham.

  28. MstrB says:

    @mantis: Both parties pander, lets move on.

  29. David M says:

    The comment seemed completely inexplicable, and then I watched the Daily Show rerun I had recorded and they had a very similar joke. It was a rerun from the 2008 GOP Convention coverage that aired again on Tuesday…odd coincidence.

  30. mantis says:

    @MstrB:

    And promoting great leadership and ethics is whey the DNC selected Tony Villar to be Convention Chair, it had absolutely nothing to do with pandering.

    It didn’t. Villaraigosa has been Speaker of the California State Assembly, co-chair of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, a member of President Obama’s Transition Economic Advisory Board, and is currently president of the United States Conference of Mayors. He is a major player in the Democratic Party. That’s why he is convention chair.

  31. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party:

    Let’s look at some of those you listed:

    Allen West: Rose to rank of Colonel in the US Army, and the US military is probably the closest thing we have to a color-blind meritocracy.

    Hermain Cain: Very successful businessman AFTER being a literal “rocket scientist.”

    Ken Blackwell: successful mayor and secretary of state (in Ohio).

    Artur Davis: the Democrats thought enough of him to have him second Obama’s nomination in 2008.

    I realize none of them have the cachet and panache of, say, a “community organizer” who wrote not one, but two best-selling books about himself, but some folks find those pretty impressive.

  32. MstrB says:

    @mantis: You’ve got to be kidding me. Its complete pandering using a well know Latino politician. Look at what he has done in Los Angeles, if you want to highlight a leadership and ethics of minority members of your party fine, if Tony Villar is the best you can do… you are in trouble.

  33. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @mantis: Villaraigosa… was he the guy who was banging at least one reporter assigned to cover him while his wife was undergoing treatment for cancer?

  34. MstrB says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: No the reporter was the second widely publicized time after the cancer and they actually got divorced, the first time widely publicized time is when she had cancer and he added his wife’s name Raigosa to his name.

  35. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @MstrB: Thanks. I knew there was something sordid there.

    So, “Villaraigosa” is Spanish for “Gingrich?”

  36. David M says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: Alternatively:

    Allen West: Stands out as a loon even in the GOP House, retired from the Army after a scandal

    Hermain Cain: Talk radio host whose joke presidential campaign failed after scandal

    Ken Blackwell: Currently a Fellow at the Family Resource Council

    Artur Davis: Switched parties to the GOP, was surprised to lose a Democratic primary while campaigning as a Republican

    Barack Obama: President of the United States

  37. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @David M: So, David, you’re agreeing with me that Republican minorities are successful outside politics, while Obama has done nothing outside of politics?

  38. An Interested Party says:

    I realize none of them have the cachet and panache of, say, a “community organizer” who wrote not one, but two best-selling books about himself, but some folks find those pretty impressive.

    Funny how most of those folks would be white conservatives only…oh, and being President of the United States does have a certain cachet and panache…certainly more than any of those people on that sterling list will ever achieve…

  39. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: Oh, a variant of Obama’s “I won.” On that note, Dubya won TWICE.

    Why don’t you also bring up his Nobel Peace Prize while you’re at it?

    As far as your snide racial dig at “white conservatives…” shove it up your ass. Then find another president who had such a flimsy record of accomplishments before being elected.

    That Obama has a huge ego is indisputable. As noted, he only writes about himself. His “tribute” to Neil Armstrong was a stock photo of Obama looking at the moon.

    Of course, having a huge ego is pretty much a prerequisite to run for president. I just don’t recall one so blatant, with so little justification.

  40. An Interested Party says:

    As far as your snide racial dig at “white conservatives…” shove it up your ass. Then find another president who had such a flimsy record of accomplishments before being elected.

    I can only imagine your further anger when he wins reelection…

    That Obama has a huge ego is indisputable. As noted, he only writes about himself. His “tribute” to Neil Armstrong was a stock photo of Obama looking at the moon.

    Sorry sweetie, but if we’re talking about ego, you must be thinking of Chris Christie’s speech last night…

  41. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: Christie’s speech was fantastic. He showed that he’s not just an attack dog, but can be a statesman.

    But should Obama be re-elected, perhaps I should take the example of so many of the left did for bush — vow to move out of the country, then pretend I never said it.

    And once again, you resort to the “I won” argument. That doesn’t say anything about right or wrong, wise or unwise, just that the SCOAMF persuaded enough people at the right time to vote for him.

    Bush did that twice. So did Nixon, for that matter.

  42. Franklin says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: I agree with you on Herman Cain, I don’t know some of the others on that list. While I don’t think Cain was qualified to be POTUS, he was quite successful at what he did.

  43. An Interested Party says:

    Christie’s speech was fantastic. He showed that he’s not just an attack dog, but can be a statesman.

    Uh huh…

    That doesn’t say anything about right or wrong, wise or unwise…

    Neither do your delusions fueled by your ODS, but there we are…

  44. bandit says:

    Always good to see the libs show their true character as racist haters.

  45. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: I respect Chris Wallace, but I don’t agree with him here. Christie’s goal wasn’t to boost Romney; it was battlefield preparation. he wasn’t setting up the candidate, but the campaign. He didn’t have to mention by Romney by name; he hit pretty much all of Romney’s points.

    Besides, it was positive and inspirational and NOT full of attacks on Obama. Shouldn’t we be lauding efforts like this?

  46. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    But back to the original topic… the Republicans are partying “while black people are drowning.” What is Obama doing at this time?

    Black people drown, New Orleans floods, and Obama’s campaigning.

    Heck of a job there, Barry.

  47. An Interested Party says:

    Christie’s goal wasn’t to boost Romney…

    Indeed…his goal was to boost himself…

    …and NOT full of attacks on Obama.

    Well, considering how much he talked about himself, there probably wasn’t any time left to attack the President…

    Heck of a job there, Barry.

    Sorry, but that line of attack works better on pasty-faced Republicans rather than the black Democrat…life is just so damned unfair…

  48. bill says:

    @James Joyner: liberals, right!

  49. bill says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13: truth hurts, especially when they don’t know what it is.

  50. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: True enough, Christie’s speech was full of enough self-references to approach near-Obama levels, but he couldn’t quite pull off the sheer narcissism for the Full Barry. Damned fool used too many “we” references, and praised too many others.

    And man, are you obsessed with race or what? News flash — black people can be totally incompetent and inept, just like white people.

  51. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    The GOP seems to see beyond minority status and honors people for their leadership and other abilities. It’s almost like they judge them not on the color of their skin, but the content of their character…

    LOL
    Wow that was one of the best misrepresentations of Republican Party attitudes toward minority groups that I’ve come across ever. That is, unless you intended that as humor …

  52. al-Ameda says:

    @Jenos Idanian #13:

    Black people drown, New Orleans floods, and Obama’s campaigning.

    So it’s the same as in 2005 right now? You guys are pathetic.

  53. An Interested Party says:

    And man, are you obsessed with race or what?

    Not really…but you certainly seem to be obsessed with Obama…and Biden…but that’s how ODS works, I suppose…

  54. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: Forgive me for judging them on the content of their character.

    And remember, Obama is the Chief Executive — for the first time in his life, he’s actually responsible for making big decisions, and owning them.

    He put a tax cheat in as Secretary of the Treasury.

    He put Joe Biden a heartbeat away from the presidency.

    He asserted Executive Privilege on Fast and Furious, meaning that he’s PERSONALLY owning that whole mess.

    …need I go on? I haven’t even scratched the surface.

  55. An Interested Party says:

    …need I go on? I haven’t even scratched the surface.

    Those suffering from derangement syndromes rarely do scratch the surface, but do go on if it will make you feel better…

  56. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: Then let me spell it out for you:

    There are many black people who are competent, incisive, and capable of handling the big jobs. And many whites, Asians, Latinos, etc. etc. etc. Race has nothing to do with it.

    Obama, bless his heart, ain’t one of those that fit the above description.

  57. An Interested Party says:

    There are many black people who are competent, incisive, and capable of handling the big jobs. And many whites, Asians, Latinos, etc. etc. etc. Race has nothing to do with it.

    Well of course race has nothing to do with it (accept for a certain subset of people suffering from ODS)…in your case, it’s ODS that has everything to do with it…

  58. Jenos Idanian #13 says:

    @An Interested Party: You keep saying that. Do you hope that if you keep saying it, you might actually convince people it’s true? Or are you just trying to convince yourself?

    Look, just admit that Obama and his machine gulled you in 2008, and even you can’t excuse his failures any longer. It’s not that bad, really.

  59. An Interested Party says:

    You keep saying that. Do you hope that if you keep saying it, you might actually convince people it’s true?

    So very true…I guess I should never expect you to admit the truth…

  60. skip rocket says:

    Is it possible to get fired in America for doing anything other than telling the truth?

    “We don’t want to help black people.”
    “We don’t want to make it easy for blacks to vote.”
    “We are not generating enough angry white guys.”

    Were any of the elected white male republicans who said these things in the last 6 months fired? The answer is no.