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'Black people drowning' shot deemed off-colour

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Yahoo! News' Washington bureau chief has been sacked after he joked that Republican US presidential wannabe Mitt Romney was "happy to have a party with black people drowning".

The quip was made as the right-wing party held its National Convention and Hurricane Isaac barrelled across the southern state of Louisiana, bringing days or rain and flooding to rural neighbourhoods.

David Chalian's blooper was caught on a microphone during the web biz's coverage of the political gathering, according to the Washington Post.

Yahoo! was quick to distance itself from the gaffe, said Chalian's remark was "inappropriate" and added that he did not "represent the views" of the Marissa Mayer-led company. Yahoo! also swiftly apologised to Romney's campaign team, and extended it to anyone else "offended" by Chalian's poor-taste joke.

The sacked scribe later admitted his gag was "inappropriate and thoughtless". He also said sorry to the presidential hopeful.

However, an audio clip of the off-air comment was later uploaded to the Newsbusters website, which claims to be a leader in "exposing and neutralising liberal media bias".

Chalian's comment suggested that Mr and Mrs Romney didn't care for the sufferings of Southerners being hit by the fury of the hurricane, which has caused widespread floods and other disasters. In full, he said to an unnamed guest: "Feel free to say, 'They’re not concerned at all. They are happy to have a party with black people drowning'."

The comment was immediately followed by laughter. ®

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