During coverage of this week’s Republican National Convention, Chalian said the Romneys were “happy to have a party with black people drowning,” in reference to Hurricane Isaac bearing down on Louisiana. Can you say, oops?
Stupid David Chalian. Stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid.
He has since apologized, but the damage is done. He already lost his job. And rightfully so. Chalian called his gaffe an “inappropriate and thoughtless joke.” Truth is, I believe him when he says he was making a joke. How many among us, when we’re with friends or family, will make off-color remarks or downright offensive comments when watching television? All of us, I would hazard to guess. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that behavior…when you’re at home.
But when you’re a paid broadcaster, you have a responsibility to your audience, to your employer, to your subject and to your sponsors to be professional. Chalian’s line was, more than likely, intended to be strictly among his peers. The un-PC nature of off-mic remarks during any news program would probably make a Marine blush. And that’s just it. They’re OFF-mic. If you get busted, you must suffer the consequences.
Of course, the shamelessly opportunistic conservative media are going to claim this as a smoking gun in their endless quest to out the “liberal media bias” in journalism. Silly witch hunts aside, Chalian isn’t guilty of that. He’s guilty of being reckless and stupid with his microphone.