I am always a little nervous when a reporter or some similar public figure is fired for an impromptu remark. Everyone makes mistakes. On the other hand, if you are going to fire someone for an unpremeditated statement, it should probably be something like this. From The Politico:
TAMPA, Fla. -- Yahoo News has fired Washington bureau chief David Chalian after he was caught on a hot-mic during an online video broadcast saying that Mitt Romney and his wife, Ann, had no problem with African Americans suffering as a result of Hurricane Isaac, a source familiar with the situation tells POLITICO.
"They're not concerned at all. They're happy to have a party with black people drowning," Chalian said over a break during the ABC News/Yahoo News webcast, in reference to the fact that the GOP convention in Tampa is taking place as Hurricane Isaac makes landfall on the north Gulf coast.
That is hate speech. On the basis of no evidence whatsoever, Chalian attributed the vilest of sentiments to Mr. and Mrs. Romney. Both Chalian and Yahoo apologized to the Romneys. Yahoo's apology, given their action, is acceptable. Chalian revealed himself to be one of those people who have trouble disagreeing with people without hating them. At the very least, this makes him a dubious choice for a bureau chief.
It is no surprise that MSNBC is less scrupulous. Chris Matthews hates Republicans as much as Chalian does. Again from The Politico:
On today's edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, Matthews told Priebus that Republican attacks on President Obama's welfare stance, as well as Mitt Romney's remark about his birth certificate, were evidence that the Republican party was playing "that little ethnic card... the race card," and called it an embarrassment to the party.
Romney's remark was quite stupid but calling it racist is just as stupid. As for Obama's welfare stance, if that isn't a legitimate policy issue, what is? The Administration clearly contemplated weakening the work first requirement of the 1996 welfare reform. See Mickey Kaus for a clear parsing of the issue. Matthews is saying in effect that it amounts to racism to criticize Mr. Obama, at least on select issues. That is playing the race card.
I haven't watched all of the speeches at the Republican Convention, but I have watched Mia Love, Artur Davis, and Secretary Condoleezza Rice. All three were very fine. I can't help noting that Condi dropped a hint about an African American girl becoming President. The crowd roared.
This much is undeniable: all three were welcomed with enormous enthusiasm by the conventioneers. That is dispositive. Republicans are about as uncompetitive among African Americans as it is possible for a party to be among any demographic. By contrast, African Americans are welcomed into the Republican Party with prominent places on the convention agenda and wild applause. If Republicans are in love with Love and Davis and Rice, but Obama not so much, that's because the former are Republicans and share their principles whereas the latter is not and does not. Only a fool or a knave or both can interpret that as racism.
MSNBC agrees with me, in their fashion. From the Daily Caller:
One of the left's favorite attacks on the Republican Party is that it is the party of old white people, devoid of diversity and probably racist.
If you were watching MSNBC's coverage of the Republican National Convention in Tampa on Tuesday night, you might believe those assertions, since missing from the coverage was nearly every ethnic minority that spoke during Tuesday's festivities.
In lieu of airing speeches from former Democratic Rep. Artur Davis, a black American; Mia Love, a black candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives from Utah; and Texas senatorial hopeful Ted Cruz, a Latino American, MSNBC opted to show commentary anchored by Rachel Maddow from Rev. Al Sharpton, Ed Schultz, Chris Matthews, Chris Hayes and Steve Schmidt.
What would be the use of selectively ignoring three black and one Latino speaker except that their presence obviously confirms my point? To put it mildly, the Party that presents such faces to represent it has less to apologize for than journalists who try to keep such faces invisible.