Tuesday, July 29, 2014         

 Print   Email   Comment | View 4 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

CNN's Kurtz apologizes for errors in Jason Collins column

By David Bauder

AP Television Writer

LAST UPDATED: 01:27 p.m. HST, May 06, 2013

NEW YORK » Media critic Howard Kurtz used his CNN show on Sunday to point a finger at himself, apologizing for a story on gay basketball player Jason Collins that he said was riddled with errors and shouldn't have been written in the first place.

The extraordinary edition of CNN's "Reliable Sources" contained not only his apology but also a session with two other media critics who sharply questioned Kurtz's credibility.

Kurtz wrote in The Daily Beast that Collins, the NBA center who made headlines last week by being the first active player in one of the four major U.S. pro sports leagues to come out as gay, had hidden a previous engagement to a woman in his announcement. In fact, Collins revealed the engagement in his first-person Sports Illustrated story and in a subsequent interview with ABC's George Stephanopoulos.

Kurtz said Sunday that he had read the Sports Illustrated story too quickly and missed the reference to a fiancee there and elsewhere. He said he was wrong to rush the story without seeking comment from Collins, was too slow to correct himself when it became clear he was wrong and made an inappropriate comment (about playing "both sides of the court") in a video report.

Besides his "sloppy and inexcusable" errors, Kurtz said, the story itself was insensitive and shouldn't have been written.

"I apologize to readers, to viewers and, most importantly, to Jason Collins and his fiancee," said Kurtz, who spent many years as a media writer for The Washington Post. "I hope this very candid response can help me earn back your trust over time. It is something I am very committed to doing."

The Daily Beast and Kurtz announced they were "parting ways" on the same day the mistake came to light. Kurtz said it was amicable and had been in the works before the Collins story.

His public mea culpa included questioning from media writers David Folkenflik of NPR and Dylan Byers of Politico, who both dug deeper into Kurtz's work history and business relationships.

They questioned why Kurtz, with time-consuming jobs at CNN and as Washington bureau chief for The Daily Beast, was doing regular video commentaries for Daily Download, a media website. Kurtz said he was paid on a freelance basis by the website and had no financial stake in its operation, though he did offer advice to the people who started it.

Kurtz said, "I'll leave it to others to judge if I've taken on too much."

They also discussed other Kurtz mistakes from the past few years: a supposed interview with Rep. Darrell Issa that was instead conducted with the congressman's aide, wrongly attributed quotes from former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and wrongly suggesting that Fox News Channel's Greta Van Susteren had questioned the seriousness of an injury to Hillary Clinton.

Given the other mistakes, Byers wondered whether viewers should believe Kurtz had learned from the Collins error. Folkenflik asked why the audience should still trust Kurtz as a media critic.

Kurtz pointed to his track record over many years and said he would recommit himself to being more careful.

 Print   Email   Comment | View 4 Comments   Most Popular   Save   Post   Retweet

You must be subscribed to participate in discussions
By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the TERMS OF SERVICE. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. Because only subscribers are allowed to comment, we have your personal information and are able to contact you. If your comments are inappropriate, you may receive a warning, and if you persist with such comments you may be banned from posting. To report comments that you believe do not follow our guidelines, email commentfeedback@staradvertiser.com.
Leave a comment

Please login to leave a comment.
peanutgallery wrote:
Howard is a liberal lapdog. He is as progressive as they get, often wrong on his facts, but hey; it's cnn. Who cares. Nobody watches anyway, except OD.
on May 6,2013 | 04:10AM
palani wrote:
CNN? Is that relic still around? I thought Al Gore had sold it to Al Jazeera, along with his one person audience station, Current TV.
on May 6,2013 | 05:26AM
loquaciousone wrote:
Self serving apologies are like rubber checks.....they keep bouncing and bouncing and bouncing.
on May 6,2013 | 07:25AM
daniwitz13 wrote:
Not sure what the point is here. That he said that Collins hid the fact of a girlfriend that should have been known and reported. Yes. But the fact is that Collins, a now Gay man, was going with a Female for 8 years and called it off right before the event. 8 years and knew nothing of his Gayness. 8 years stringing her along up to a wedding. So this is how Gays operate. Since Gays are so unknown, his 8 year Girlfriend could not tell. He had to "tell" his Twin brother that he was Gay. 12 years in 6 teams and they did not know. Now again, tell me how Gays are born "that" way? I'll bet his Mother and Father did not know. If it can be known, why the NEED to come "out"? Homosexuality is a Fraud, that's why. Period. Pity.
on May 6,2013 | 10:47AM
Breaking News
Political Radar
`My side’

Political Radar
‘He reminds me of me’

Bionic Reporter
Needing a new knee

Warrior Beat
Monday musings

Small Talk
Burning money

Political Radar
On policy

Warrior Beat
Apple fallout