AP News

Yahoo fires bureau chief for Romney/blacks remark


NEW YORK (AP) — Yahoo News fired its Washington bureau chief on Wednesday, less than 24 hours after he was caught on an open microphone saying that Mitt Romney and his wife, at the GOP convention in Florida while a hurricane was approaching Louisiana, were "happy to have a party with black people drowning."

Company spokeswoman Anne Espiritu said Wednesday that David Chalian's remark was inappropriate and does not represent Yahoo's views.

"We have already reached out to the Romney campaign, and we apologize to Mitt Romney, his staff, their supporters and anyone who was offend," she said.

Chalian made the remark during a hot-mic moment before Yahoo began its live coverage of the GOP convention in Tampa, Fla., on Tuesday evening. Yahoo is streaming coverage in association with ABC News.

The website Newsbusters posted a copy of the video and the audio. The video showed Ann and Mitt Romney while the audio picked up background conversation, not all of it intelligible, about the GOP convention taking place as Hurricane Isaac hit the Louisiana coast.

Someone makes a remark, "they're not concerned at all." In a clearer voice, Chalian says, "they are happy to have a party with black people drowning."

Rescuers in boats and trucks plucked a handful of people who became stranded by floodwaters in thinly populated areas of southeast Louisiana during the storm. But only one death had been reported as the hurricane plodded across the state, that of a man who authorities said had gone to help friends move a vehicle from under a tree and fell after climbing 18 feet up it.


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