The Huffington Post Rebecca Shapiro First Posted: 08/29/12 01:35 PM ET Updated: 08/30/12 12:35 PM ET
Yahoo News' Washington bureau chief David Chalian was fired on Wednesday after a hot-mic incident during an online broadcast from the GOP convention in Tampa. Media watchdog NewsBusters was first to post audio of the incident. Politico broke the news of his firing. Chalian later apologized for his remarks (UPDATE BELOW).
During the broadcast, Chalian can be heard saying that Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his wife Ann were "not concerned at all" and "happy to have a party with black people drowning." Chalian seemed to be referring to the simultaneous occurrence of the GOP convention convening in Tampa and Hurricane Isaac hammering its way across the gulf coast and through New Orleans.
A Yahoo spokesperson released a statement regarding the company's decision to fire Chalian "effective immediately:"
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.
Listen to the audio in the clip above, courtesy of NewsBusters.
UPDATE: Chalian released an apology Wednesday afternoon. He wrote that he was "profoundly sorry" and described his statement as an "inappropriate and thoughtless joke." Chalian also apologized privately and publicly to the Romney campaign.
Read the full statement below, via BuzzFeed:
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.
(h/t NewsBusters, Politico)