The news last week thatÂ recentlyÂ hired Yahoo News Washington DC Bureau Chief David Chalian was fired for a truly unbelievable â€œhot micâ€ moment was bad enoughâ€“but digging into his background re-enforces the mess thatÂ likely awaits Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan come debate time.
Chalian was fired for yucking it up with fellow reporters by saying that â€œThey (Republicans)Â are not concerned at all.Â They are happy to be having a party while black people are drowning (Hurricane Isaac).â€Â You can hear the â€œhot micâ€ comment hereÂ along with the, almost as disturbing,Â huge laughs this got from the reporters he was talking to.
In an earlier piece, I made the point that the folksÂ selected to moderate the three Presidential debates and the one VP debate were very concerningâ€“and possibly incapable of approaching this crucial role objectively.Â This revelation regarding David Chalian should win overÂ any ofÂ those who thought I was making too much of this storyâ€“here is why.
David Chalianâ€™s Background
As noted by Tucker Carlson, Chalian was not a mere media foot soldier.Â He had risen through the ranks to become Political Director at ABC news (2007-2010), Political Editor for PBS NewsHour (2010-2012), and had just been hired as the Washington DC Bureau Chief for Yahoo News (November 14, 2011-last week).Â Not too shockingly,Â his professional accomplishmentsÂ include an Emmy nomination for producing Charlie Gibsonâ€™s infamous Alaska interview with Sarah Palin in 2008.Â There is simply no chance that his personal hyper-partisan and crass political viewpoint did not come up in the private job interviews he had with theÂ network brass that eventually hired him.
Worse yet is that, recalling the four news organizations who are supplying the moderators, two of Mr. Chalianâ€™s former employers will be controlling the conversation in what will be the most watched debates in political history.
First, you have the PBS NewsHour.Â Â This is both where Chalian had worked until last November as Political Editor and the home of Jim Lehrer who will moderate the first debate.Â Second, you have ABC News, where Chilian served as Political Director for three years.Â This newsÂ room is providing Martha RadditzÂ as the moderator for the Paul Ryan vs. Joe Biden debate.
This is not to say that these moderatorsÂ share the same despicable viewÂ of Republicans that Chalian was revealed to have, but what it does point to is the internal cultureÂ that thrives in these organizations.Â Simply putâ€“there is a great chance that this bias not only exists in the other â€œjournalistsâ€ who have climbed theÂ totem pole at these networks, but that it will shine through one way orÂ another in the upcoming debates.
Upon being hired by Yahoo News last year, ChilainÂ did an interviewÂ in which he said working with Yahoo would provide, â€œan unparalleledÂ opportunity to deliver high impact, high quality storytelling in what is shaping up to be a really consequential presidential election.â€Â Huhâ€¦I wonder what he meantÂ by â€œhigh impactâ€ storytelling?
((To read original story click hereâ€“ â€œThe 2012 Presidential Debates: When Moderators Arenâ€™t Moderateâ€ ))