The former Yahoo! News Washington bureau chief who was fired after he was heard saying Republican National Convention attendees were “happy to have a party with black people drowning” has been hired at Politico.
David Chalian will serve as vice president of video programming to expand Politico’s video content, according to an internal memo.
He was fired in August after he was caught on a hot mic during an online video broadcast saying RNC officials were unconcerned about holding their convention as Hurricane Isaac approached the Gulf Coast.
“They’re not concerned at all,” Chalian said. “They are happy to have a party with black people drowning.”
Yahoo! terminated him within hours of his remark coming to light, saying, “David Chalian’s statement was inappropriate and does not represent the views of Yahoo!”
Politico editor in chief John Harris said the comment was taken into account prior to hiring him.
“David screwed up, admitted he screwed up and paid the price of losing his job for screwing up. He certainly would have been held accountable for the lapse in judgment had he been on the Politico staff at the time,” Harris told Politico media reporter Dylan Byers. “He’s made clear that remark did not reflect his personal views or professional standards.”
He added, “We do not believe that lapse in one moment negates a reputation held in high regard by political professionals in both parties.”
For his part, Chalian said he was “thrilled to be joining the Politico team and eager to help take its extraordinarily successful and groundbreaking work in video to even greater heights.”