Politico Doubles Down on Liberalism, Hires Disgraced David Chalian of ‘Black People Drowning’ Fame

Veteran liberal journalist David Chalian was fired by Yahoo after he was caught on an open mic at this year's Republican convention in Tampa saying that GOP officials were "happy to have a party with black people drowning," a story first exposed by NewsBusters. Politico’s Dylan Byers reports that didn’t stop him from being picked up off liberal waivers by....Politico.

Politico editor-in-chief John Harris said management took Chalian's remark into consideration prior to hiring him to manage their video content.  "He’s made clear that remark did not reflect his personal views or professional standards. This is a journalist who carries with him more than a decade of accomplishment and a well-earned reputation for fairness.” That's not tainted at all by a crack about Mitt Romney glorying in the deaths of black Americans?

Liberals at Politico can storm around about Romney's "47 percent" comments caught on tape by anti-Romney activists as if that was the Real Romney and disqualifies him from office, but Chalian's secret tape has zero reflection on the Real David Chalian. That's a pretty strange take.

It says something significant about ABC News and Politico that Chalian was immediately canned for his offensive joke by the former and the subsequently hired by the latter.

Of course, Politico being willing to hire Chalian really isn't much of a surprise considering the website has had a history of hiring those who are outspokenly liberal and ignoring those who lean conservative. In 2011, Politico hired Elizabeth Breckenridge to be its director of administration. She had previously worked for Democratic senators Evan Bayh and Joe Manchin. On the very same day that the site hired her, it also announced it was picking up Dave Levinthal, a liberal activist journalist who has written extensively for websites funded by George Soros. Around the same time, reporter Andy Barr left to go and work for the Democratic Party in Arizona.

In 2009, Politico reporter Jonathan Allen left the paper to go work directly for DNC chairman Debbie Wasserman Schultz's political action committee, Democrats Win Seats. He later was allowed to return back to the paper. Politico is also the former employer of disgraced reporter Joe Williams, made infamous for his remark that GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney preferred the company of "white folks." Williams was suspended for his comment but it was hardly the first Republican-bashing comment he had made over the years. After his remark was exposed, Williams, who later pled guilty to assaulting his ex-wife,  lashed out at "radical conservatives" for being the supposed cause of his problems. Politico also helped left-wing journalist Ben Smith get his start, employing him for a number of years before he left to start up the 4chan-lite blog BuzzFeed.

Readers might also recall that Politico is also the employer of Roger Simon, a perpetually lazy columnist who created a poorly written attempt at satire in which he claimed GOP vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan denounced his running mate as "Stench" out of frustration with the campaign. The piece was not labeled as a joke and many gullible liberals, including the deranged Paul Krugman, believed it was real.

Politico is also the employer of Evan Thomas, a veteran pundit and historian who is known as one of Charles Krauthammer's liberal sparring partners on the PBS show Inside Washington. He's also known for his ludicrous 2009 remark that President Obama was "standing above the country, above – above the world, he’s sort of God."

Predictably, despite all of these very obvious indicators of where its allegiances lie, editor Harris insists it's completely unfounded to say that his organization leans left. Asked earlier about the situation by the Daily Caller, Harris was a laugh a minute:

Politico’s editor-in-chief, John Harris, responded to questions about Barr’s departure, writing in an email that the website’s management does not “worry about someone’s personal ideology so long as it is understood that their responsibilities at POLITICO mean leaving personal views at the door.”

“Andy did that, and had a very good reputation for professionalism with colleagues, sources, and readers,” he told TheDC.

“One of our first and most successful hires is someone who in a previous phase of his career worked as an aide for Republicans,” he said, “and we do have some folks who have written for more ideological platforms on right and left.”

But have any left Politico to work for a Republican? “I don’t know of any, but haven’t made any effort to keep track of where folks land,” Harris said.

Presumably Harris is referring to Jonathan Martin, a reporter and blogger for the paper who formerly worked for several Republican politicians in the state of Virginia. As far as we can tell, he is literally the only person with any sort of right-leaning background at the entire publication.

Tim Graham contributed to this piece.

Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield
Matthew Sheffield, creator of NewsBusters and president of Dialog New Media, an internet marketing and design firm, left NewsBusters at the end of 2013