Yahoo Fires Reporter Over Joke About Romney, 'Drowning Black People'

11:41 AM PST 08/29/2012 by Jordan Zakarin

Veteran journalist David Chalian was removed from his post after several blogs pointed out his statement.

Yahoo has fired its Washington Bureau Chief David Chalian two days after he made a racially tinged joke that was aired over the internet during ABC News' online coverage of the Republican National Convention.

Referring to the RNC's concurrence with Hurricane Isaac's threat of the Gulf Coast -- the party canceled the convention's first day on Monday -- Chalian said, "They [the Romneys] are not concerned at all. They are happy to have a party with black people drowning."

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"David Chalian's statement was inappropriate and does not represent the views of Yahoo," the site said in a statement. "He has been terminated. We apologize to Mitt Romney, his staff, their supporters and anyone who was offended."

The remark was noticed by several blogs, including The Atlantic Wire, and Chalian was identified as the speaker on Tuesday.

After his firing, PBS' Gwen Ifill expressed her support for Chalian on Twitter, writing, "One mistake does not change this. @DavidChalian is God's gift to political journalism. #IStandwithDavid."

UPDATE: Chalian issued an apology over Twitter, writing, "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."

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