Daily Beast “parts company” with Howard Kurtz for erroneous blog post about Jason Collins

posted at 6:01 pm on May 2, 2013 by Allahpundit

What does a guy known for one of the longest-running conflicts of interest in media and famous for haughtily pronouncing the Anthony Weiner scandal a hoax on day one have to do to get fired? Answer: Make a sloppy mistake about a man who’s under the left’s protection, and do it at a moment when his employer might be looking for reasons to fire him.

Kurtz wrote a post criticizing Collins, the NBA player who just came out as gay, for not coming clean about the fact that he had once been engaged to a woman in his big Sports Illustrated piece. But Collins hadn’t omitted that detail; it was right there in the SI story. Evidently Kurtz couldn’t be bothered to read through an article he was writing about. Embarrassing. Also embarrassing is that when he was called on it, he didn’t come clean himself. He revised the post to say that even if Collins didn’t omit the detail about the engagement, he shouldn’t have “downplayed” it. But Collins didn’t really “downplay” it. It just wasn’t hugely germane to the story of him coming out as a pro athlete except to show that he’d felt sufficiently pressured to be a “normal” guy that he once came close to marrying a woman.

Normally that’s fodder for a day’s worth of humiliation on Twitter and a round of “Howard Kurtz is a moron and you should never watch his show, ever” blog posts, with everyone soon to move on to a new shiny object. Not today:

The Daily Beast has retracted a May 2, 2013, blog post by Howard Kurtz titled “Jason Collins’ Other Secret.” The piece contained several errors, resulting in a misleading characterization of NBA player Collins and the story he co-wrote in Sports Illustrated in which he came out as gay…

The Daily Beast sincerely regrets Kurtz’s error—and any implication that Collins attempted to hide or obscure the engagement.

Full retraction? Okay. The piece was sloppy and then weaselly about the mistake. But then that wasn’t enough:

The Daily Beast is dropping Howard Kurtz, the veteran media critic who made headlines this week for his erroneous report about NBA star Jason Collins.

“The Daily Beast and Howard Kurtz have parted company,” Tina Brown, the site’s editor in chief, said in a statement sent to POLITICO.

The decision comes after Kurtz published a blog post that falsely claimed Collins, who announced he was gay in an article for Sports Illustrated, had neglected to mention his previous engagement to a woman.

Ironically, earlier on the same day that Kurtz wrote the engagement piece, he wrote a separate post marveling at the effusive media adoration of Collins when most of the country seemed to be taking the announcement in stride — which is itself a sign of progress in social tolerance of gays. He wasn’t critical of Collins; he wrote that he “deserves credit for stepping forward” and “deserves to be treated with respect.” His criticism was reserved for ESPN’s Chris Broussard for “lecturing Collins about his religion and his sexuality.” Point being, there’s no reason to think animosity drove Kurtz’s later mistake. In most other cases, that would mean eating some shinola publicly and then forgetting about it. Again, not today. And John Nolte knows why:

Right. It wasn’t just the mistake, it was at whose expense the mistake was made. Ace calls Collins, whose self-outing both he and I think is a good thing, this week’s Sandra Fluke, a hero-victim of special momentary prominence on whose behalf outrage will be felt even in the event of an innocuous offense. And Tina Brown, canny operator that she is, seized on it to dump Kurtz because she knew most of her readership would appreciate it — even though she might have had other reasons. Turns out people at the Beast reportedly weren’t happy about all the time Kurtz was putting in at the “Daily Download” site. Another source spoke to WaPo:

A source at The Daily Beast suggested Thursday that the parting of ways was a matter of accrual, saying, “It definitely wasn’t a reaction to what happened yesterday with the Sports Illustrated post. It’s been something that for quite some time — there’ve been some errors like this.”…

The source added, “Howie’s been quite distracted with other ventures. We were at the point where it was interfering with the quality of The Daily Beast.” Those other ventures consist of Kurtz’s work for the Daily Download and his CNN program, both of which, the source says, were fully allowable under the terms of Kurtz’s employment with The Daily Beast…

The result of Kurtz’s divided attention: “It kind of lets those people down,” says the source, referring to Daily Beast staffers, “when you have the feeling that someone in a senior position in the organization isn’t as focused.”

It’s a “matter of accrual,” yet he’s let go on the very day that the Beast publicly upbraids him for the Collins post by issuing a retraction. Whether as a pander to her readers or simply to create a more media-friendly angle for the big Kurtz/Beast divorce, Brown wants people to know that making a mistake about Collins was a bridge too far.

Oh, by the way, CNN’s reportedly looking to dump Kurtz too. Not because of this — although, a la Brown, it’d be a sweet hook — but as part of their overall housecleaning project.

Update: Jonathan Last notes that other Beast writers have made major errors before and retained their gigs, since they were in error about the “right” people.


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I just read that Donny Deutsch said on NBC today that Collins wouldn’t probably have been rehired unless he came out, and now his employment chances are “one hundred percent. It was a brilliant career move.”

Why does Donny Deutsch still work this afternoon at NBC? Isn’t this akin to saying black people are only hired for work because they’re black?

Marcus on May 2, 2013 at 6:04 PM

The third Nolte tweet is a repeat.

John the Libertarian on May 2, 2013 at 6:05 PM

Nevermind.

John the Libertarian on May 2, 2013 at 6:06 PM

The Daily Beast is still in business?

Robert_Paulson on May 2, 2013 at 6:07 PM

LOL – the new America is more Rome than USSR.

abobo on May 2, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Why does Donny Deutsch still work this afternoon at NBC? Isn’t this akin to saying black people are only hired for work because they’re black?

Marcus on May 2, 2013 at 6:04 PM

This has nothing to do with Collins being black. It has to do with him being “gay,” a different protected “minority.”

JannyMae on May 2, 2013 at 6:08 PM

Done.

Good…

…although I wish it would have been for something other than screwing up on the latest Golden Girl.

Resist We Much on May 2, 2013 at 6:10 PM

The Daily Beast gets things wrong all the time and has to make corrections, but apparently if you get something wrong about a ghey hero– you commit a cardinal sin..

That being said, I love blue on blue cannibalism.

melle1228 on May 2, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Now Kurtz can work for AlGore Jazeera !!

burrata on May 2, 2013 at 6:11 PM

We were at the point where it was interfering with the quality of The Daily Beast

Hahahahaha

JeremiahJohnson on May 2, 2013 at 6:12 PM

JannyMae on May 2, 2013 at 6:08 PM

You don’t follow very well. My point was that Deutsch came out and said flatly that now he is “protected” only because he is gay and despite the fact that he isn’t qualified for employment, the NBA wouldn’t dare fire him now. Had he said blacks are only hired because they’re black, he’d be fired. He’s said today gays are only hired because they’re gay.

Marcus on May 2, 2013 at 6:13 PM

There are plenty of liberal rags where Howie can hang his hat. Pffft.

Philly on May 2, 2013 at 6:14 PM

Couldnt care less

JR on May 2, 2013 at 6:18 PM

So John Avlon is now political director at Daily Beast and Stuart Stevens is a columnist. All they need to do now is add one of those Huntsman chicks.

Mark1971 on May 2, 2013 at 6:19 PM

Collins, the NBA player who just came out as gay, for not coming clean about the fact that he had once been engaged to a woman in his big Sports Illustrated piece. But Collins hadn’t omitted that detail; it was right there in the SI story.

But coming out as “bisexual” to become a cause célèbre just isn’t nearly as effective as it was in the 70s. “Gay” opens the doors for those with a mediocre, waning career these days.

whatcat on May 2, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Kurtz’s sin was making this error with a sacred cow. Had he made EXACT same error with a Palin or Bachmann, media & Beast woulda shrugged.

— John Nolte(@NolteNC) May 2, 2013

Eff ucking zactly correct.
That is the story here..not the error or sloppy J.
Hypocritical Moo’s. They are the cows.
Signed- The Bull.

bazil9 on May 2, 2013 at 6:21 PM

Lying and Failure to investigate is normally a career enhancer to Progressives like Kurtz…

Fortunately he sinned against Saint Jason of Homosexulus so he got the boot.

Had it been a lie about Palin the jihadi media would have given him the Pulitzer.

PappyD61 on May 2, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Yawn! The left, eating their own. Again.

GarandFan on May 2, 2013 at 6:22 PM

Don’t worry John Avlon is still there…

d1carter on May 2, 2013 at 6:22 PM

That being said, I love blue on blue cannibalism.

melle1228 on May 2, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Yep, happy hour is much more happy for me right now.
Cheers!
Feel the blue burn.
Live by the blue..die by the blue.

bazil9 on May 2, 2013 at 6:23 PM

quoting john nolte as a gesture to the breibart audience is worse. especially because when he advocates murder, you pretend he doesn’t exist.

sesquipedalian on May 2, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Why am I happy about this? Guess I’ll just have to go with it.

DanMan on May 2, 2013 at 6:25 PM

**Cue Perez Hilton voice**

“Nice job you have there Howie…shame if something happened to it”

crrr6 on May 2, 2013 at 6:25 PM

sesquipedalian on May 2, 2013 at 6:24 PM

I don’t care if they quoted a cashier at the Burger King drive through.
The quote is true.
But you knew that and want to play hide the squid.
FO.

bazil9 on May 2, 2013 at 6:26 PM

Maybe they’ll hire Jason Collins to replace him.

22044 on May 2, 2013 at 6:27 PM

It is a chocolate moo too.
Double scared moo moooooooo.

bazil9 on May 2, 2013 at 6:27 PM

Marcus on May 2, 2013 at 6:13 PM

No, you don’t follow very well. Deutsch’s point was that the reason that Collins came out was because he knew it would protect HIS OWN job prospects. He didn’t make the generalization that “gays are only hired because they’re gay.” You made a false comparison. Deal with it.

JannyMae on May 2, 2013 at 6:28 PM

the latest Golden Girl.

Resist We Much on May 2, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Back off!
Bullocks!
;)

bazil9 on May 2, 2013 at 6:30 PM

and do it at a moment when his employer might be looking for reasons to fire him.

This

NBC cancelled Matthews’ Sunday show, not that anyone watched it.

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 6:33 PM

sacred.
whoops-
Happy hour.

bazil9 on May 2, 2013 at 6:33 PM

heh..Chrissy was cancelled?
ha..make my day.

bazil9 on May 2, 2013 at 6:35 PM

But coming out as “bisexual” to become a cause célèbre just isn’t nearly as effective as it was in the 70s. “Gay” opens the doors for those with a mediocre, waning career these days.

whatcat on May 2, 2013 at 6:20 PM

Coming out as gay IN SPITE of dating a lovely woman for 8 years just shows the terrible lengths Collins had to go thru to hide his sexual orientation. That’s supposed to make you feel even worse for him – never mind about the woman that he misled/lied to/cheated on/etc.

For the people who say she had to know – you would think that but apparently his own TWIN didn’t know so that closet was the size of a mansion.

katiejane on May 2, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Collins didn’t really “downplay” it. It just wasn’t hugely germane to the story of him coming out as a pro athlete except to show that he’d felt sufficiently pressured to be a “normal” guy that he once came close to marrying a woman.

Yeah, right. Hittin’ it for 8 years must have been pure hell. I don’t know how he managed to survive the horror.

whatcat on May 2, 2013 at 6:38 PM

I don’t care if they quoted a cashier at the Burger King drive through.
The quote is true.
But you knew that and want to play hide the squid.
FO.

bazil9 on May 2, 2013 at 6:26 PM

it’s an attempt to earn wingnut cred while preserving his reputation.

as for kurtz, no doubt a fat contract with fox beckons.

sesquipedalian on May 2, 2013 at 6:39 PM

The corrupt socialist media has standards for the level of LIES they disseminate????!!!!!

Who knew?

TeaPartyNation on May 2, 2013 at 6:39 PM

bazil9 on May 2, 2013 at 6:26 PM
it’s an attempt to earn wingnut cred while preserving his reputation.

as for kurtz, no doubt a fat contract with fox beckons.

sesquipedalian on May 2, 2013 at 6:39 PM

Again, it isn’t about him.
His statement was true. And you know it.
Spin around in a circle if you wish.
PS-I don’t watch Fox, don’t care.
Your ignorant and dense.
But carry on.

bazil9 on May 2, 2013 at 6:42 PM

One down, and what…? …a gazillion leftist journalist/commentators/columnists to go.

He did write this random act of journalism:

But there is no getting around the fact that some of these messages, culled from the members-only discussion group Journolist, are embarrassing. They show liberal commentators appearing to cooperate in an effort to hammer out the shrewdest talking points against the Republicans — including, in one case, a suggestion for accusing random conservatives of being racist…

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/07/22/AR2010072206024.html?sub=AR&sid=ST2010072206408

Fallon on May 2, 2013 at 6:43 PM

as for kurtz, no doubt a fat contract with fox beckons.

sesquipedalian on May 2, 2013 at 6:39 PM

How easy you abandon your own “for the good of the machine”. What a light dummkopf you are. You stand for nothing.

p.s., to your glee about “whitey”…one of the 3 kids implicated in Boston is black; out of PC they didn’t show his pic. yesterday…’cause being black makes him more equal.

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 6:50 PM

Faux = CNN

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 6:51 PM

The Daily Beast is dropping Howard Kurtz, the veteran media critic who made headlines this week for his erroneous report about NBA star Jason Collins. (EMPHASIS MINE)

So now Collins was an NBA star??? Lol looking at his profile page on ESPN he averaged less than 2 pts a game. And he was a career benchwarmer. Who only really played in garbage time.

This has become ridiculous. Pretty soon this guy is going to be in the HOF. And now he has sponsors literally lining up for him.

Smh.

Raquel Pinkbullet on May 2, 2013 at 6:53 PM

And as for Kurtz, good glad he got fired, he was a partisan hack. And the only reason he was fired was because he dared to say something critical about the Left’s new PET ROCK.

Raquel Pinkbullet on May 2, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Raquel Pinkbullet on May 2, 2013 at 6:53 PM

NOW he is a star.
He played his cards well.
Timing.

bazil9 on May 2, 2013 at 6:56 PM

he dared to say something critical about the Left’s new PET ROCK.

Raquel Pinkbullet on May 2, 2013 at 6:53 PM

Pet Rocks sold much better…plenty of dummies in the world.

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 6:56 PM

Ace calls Collins, whose self-outing both he and I think is a good thing

Don’t want to get fired like Kurtz for being teh anti-gaiz when commenting on a comment about a very important moment in socialist utopia history

Welcome to the animal farm…

Skywise on May 2, 2013 at 6:59 PM

Howie Kurtz, still an idiot, no longer useful.

mchristian on May 2, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Pet Rocks sold much better…plenty of dummies in the world.
Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 6:56 PM

I feel like a dummy for not having thought of it before the Pet Rock inventor did.

whatcat on May 2, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Fallon on May 2, 2013 at 6:43 PM

The only reason he wrote that was because he was butthurt over not being invited into the Journolist cool kids clubhouse himself.

Good riddance as far as I’m concerned. I hope CNN uses this chance to give him the hook as well. The less of Kurtz that I have to hear about, the better.

Gator Country on May 2, 2013 at 7:01 PM

point where it was interfering with the quality of The Daily Beast

Ha ha ha ha. No, really? Quality? Daily Beast? That right there was funny, I don’t care who are.

AZfederalist on May 2, 2013 at 7:02 PM

So now Collins was an NBA star??? Lol looking at his profile page on ESPN he averaged less than 2 pts a game. And he was a career benchwarmer. Who only really played in garbage time.

This has become ridiculous. Pretty soon this guy is going to be in the HOF. And now he has sponsors literally lining up for him.

Smh.

Raquel Pinkbullet on May 2, 2013 at 6:53 PM

This was always about the $$$.

The PR over “OMG the ghey!” is over the top and stupid.

tetriskid on May 2, 2013 at 7:06 PM

I feel like a dummy for not having thought of it before the Pet Rock inventor did.

whatcat on May 2, 2013 at 7:00 PM

Hey, you can sell thin air. Just package and market it well.

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Not sure who John Nolte is, but he speaks truth to power in this instance.

KS Rex on May 2, 2013 at 7:12 PM

By the way, I’d like to go on record as saying this sucks. I don’t think I liked anything the guy said or wrote but he was speaking his mind in a non-derogatory way and wasn’t even attacking Collins but questioning the shallowness of the story. (Which actually I do agree with… Huh…)

To wit – they fired him for speaking his mind.

And as much as we’re all smirking in glee… Internally we should be disgusted that the DB did it and will do it again… Right thinking will be rewarded.

Skywise on May 2, 2013 at 7:14 PM

And as much as we’re all smirking in glee… Internally we should be disgusted that the DB did it and will do it again… Right thinking will be rewarded.

Skywise on May 2, 2013 at 7:14 PM

I can be disgusted by what the DB did, and at the same time, not lose too much sleep over the fact that there’s one less leftist “media critic” (i.e. – someone who’s job is to pull Media Matters talking points off his Twitter feed and write columns around them) out there polluting the tubes.

Gator Country on May 2, 2013 at 7:28 PM

Hey, you can sell thin air. Just package and market it well.

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 7:09 PM

Yep

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama_%22Hope%22_poster

HumpBot Salvation on May 2, 2013 at 7:55 PM

he didn’t come clean himself

I’ve yet to meet a liberal capable of accomplishing that.

rukiddingme on May 2, 2013 at 8:00 PM

Liberals eating their own? Meh. He’ll hook his wagon to the next propaganda machine soon…

When does the Administration erect a monument for Collins?

The hero of all things gay needs a fitting effigy.

Polish Rifle on May 2, 2013 at 8:06 PM

Yep

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama_%22Hope%22_poster

HumpBot Salvation on May 2, 2013 at 7:55 PM

There ya go!

Schadenfreude on May 2, 2013 at 8:10 PM

So being on the “Down Low” – leading to the high rate of black women contracting AIDS, pays more than being an NBA center playing down, low.

Glad this war on women is solved.

Odie1941 on May 2, 2013 at 8:14 PM

Ironically, earlier on the same day that Kurtz wrote the engagement piece, he wrote a separate post marveling at the effusive media adoration of Collins when most of the country seemed to be taking the announcement in stride — which is itself a sign of progress in social tolerance of gays.

Don’t tell me I have to “socially” tolerate gays. Let me repeat that—I DON’T HAVE TO TOLERATE OR CONDONE GAYS OR THE HOMO-SEXUAL ACT–an abomination of natural human relations. Progress my @ss!!!

Rovin on May 2, 2013 at 8:29 PM

Kurtz shoulda played the “my ghostwriter erred and I apologize for his error” card. Seems to work with other liberal journalists.

OxyCon on May 2, 2013 at 8:51 PM

The better comparison than Nolte’s would have been to Monday’s other big sports story, which was the Jets cutting Tim Tebow. Had Kurtz criticized Tebow based on some fact that was supposedly left out of the story but was right there for anyone to read, Tina and others would have simply treated it as an “oohpsie!” barely worthy of a correction.

The fun thing right now would be to check Howie’s pulse and see if he still believes there’s at best only minimal liberal media bias for pet causes. Odds are at the moment he’d double down and stand by his belief in order to keep his high-profile CNN gig that’s hanging by a thread. But if that goes, then Kurtz — like his former Washington Post colleague Juan Williams after his NPR termination — might be a little more open about talking about the major PC biases among his co-workers and the price anyone pays for crossing them.

jon1979 on May 2, 2013 at 8:56 PM

A 1.5 pt/game stiff comes out and now he’s guaranteed another seat warming job. Wonder if Will Perdue, Scottie Brooks, ML Carr, Jack Haley and Cornbread Maxwell are reconsidering their sexual orientations?

fitzfong on May 2, 2013 at 9:45 PM

He was a hack. Good riddance to bad rubbish!

EdmundBurke247 on May 2, 2013 at 11:23 PM

Maybe FOX will adopt Kurtz.

Sherman1864 on May 2, 2013 at 11:44 PM

Is Collins double protected because he’s Black and Gay? Now that’s a real minority!

Drill and Fill on May 3, 2013 at 12:26 AM

Now that Kurtz is fired I expect to see him on FOX. I saw Carville on FOX yesterday. Is FOX the new CNN?

steveracer on May 3, 2013 at 12:37 AM

quoting john nolte as a gesture to the breibart audience is worse. especially because when he advocates murder, you pretend he doesn’t exist.

sesquipedalian on May 2, 2013 at 6:24 PM

Quick! Look at something else! Ignore the entire premise of the story cuz it makes my “side” look bad!!! Instead, look at the right winger who hates everyone cuz I say so!!!

runawayyyy on May 3, 2013 at 10:04 AM

A 1.5 pt/game stiff comes out and now he’s guaranteed another seat warming job. Wonder if Will Perdue, Scottie Brooks, ML Carr, Jack Haley and Cornbread Maxwell are reconsidering their sexual orientations?

fitzfong on May 2, 2013 at 9:45 PM

Lol. That was my first thought, too.

But in the long run, I think this goes in reverse.

Jason Collins is NOT the Jackie Robinson of our generation. Branch Rickey chose JR because he was an excellent ballplayer who he knew should make the team. JR could play. Can Jason Collins?

There is no profession on earth as performance-driven as male professional sports. As a direct consequence, it is also the most diverse industry in the world in terms of cultures, ethnicities and economic backgrounds. In short, it accomplishes the libs’ #1 goal but it must be “fixed” because it doesn’t use lib methods–you know, having some all-powerful Fairness Commission defining and dictating Equality of Result to all the teams, so they can take turns winning championships and all that.

There is only room for one on the Jason Collins bandwagon. In the locker rooms of the NBA and other sports, I really think he will be despised as the only guy willing to play that card to keep his job. If one of Collins’ mediocre teammates were also to come out, the team would only keep one gay underperformer. (insert vulgar Letterman joke here.)

Though the fact that just one of them might still be employed in spite of their underachieving play is a disgrace, and a measure of the influence of liberal thinking into an achievement-oriented industry.

Kurtz? I’ll miss making fun of such a lazy buffoon.

rwenger43 on May 3, 2013 at 10:49 AM

We were at the point where it was interfering with the quality of The Daily Beast

Hahahahaha

JeremiahJohnson on May 2, 2013 at 6:12 PM

point where it was interfering with the quality of The Daily Beast

Ha ha ha ha. No, really? Quality? Daily Beast? That right there was funny, I don’t care who are.

AZfederalist on May 2, 2013 at 7:02 PM

… guess I don’t have anything to add here after all.

Time to go for ice cream?

gekkobear on May 3, 2013 at 5:29 PM