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'Daily Beast' Fires Columnist Howard Kurtz After Column Accusing Jason Collins of Not Disclosing Engagement

The Daily Beast today fired Howard Kurtz after he published an irresponsible and false column about Jason Collins, Politico reports:

Kurtz“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 asserted that Collins, who announced he was gay in an article for Sports Illustrated, had neglected to mention his previous engagement to a woman. In fact, Collins mentioned that engagement in the article and in a subsequent interview with ABC News. The Daily Beast retracted that post on Thursday morning.

Tweeted Kurtz: "I've enjoyed my time at the Daily Beast but as we began to move in different directions, both sides agreed it was best to part company. This was in the works for some time, but want to wish all my colleagues continued success with a terrific website. Newsweek and the Beast are great brands, but the time had come for me to move on to other opportunities."

The Daily Beast wrote that it regretted Kurtz's error:

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.
In that piece, Collins wrote, “When I was younger I dated women. I even got engaged. I thought I had to live a certain way. I thought I needed to marry a woman and raise kids with her. I kept telling myself the sky was red, but I always knew it was blue."
In his original blog post, Kurtz incorrectly stated that Collins “didn’t come clean” about the engagement. In an amended version, Kurtz added that Collins “downplayed” the engagement and “didn’t dwell on it.”

Watch a video Kurtz made before his firing reiterating the claims he made in his article, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. "The Daily Beast today fired Howard Kurtz after he published an irresponsible and false column about Jason Collins..." and they did the right thing. Now ESPN needs to fire Chris Broussard for his hate speech directed at Jason Collins. Nail his sorry can to the floor and march Broussard out the door. Do it today.

    Posted by: Mike Ryan | May 2, 2013 5:05:00 PM

  2. He'll go work for Fox News now...

    So the narrative now is "How dare gay people get engaged to straight people even though we've been calling them abnormal and deviants for years and have been trying to keep that closet door locked." It's so bizarre...

    Posted by: Gerry | May 2, 2013 5:06:51 PM

  3. It's long past time this weasel got his comeuppance.

    Posted by: RWG | May 2, 2013 5:10:40 PM

  4. He still has his weekly CNN show, "Reliable Sources", which is his main source of income.

    Posted by: Brian in Texas | May 2, 2013 5:15:09 PM

  5. Doesn't Kurtz work for Fox "Fair and Balanced" News? Accuracy doesn't seem to be his strong point.

    Posted by: andrew | May 2, 2013 5:19:03 PM

  6. Kurtz is a putz, but firing him seems a little extreme. Many other journalists have done stupid things, even plagiarized (Fareed Zakaria, for example) and have been rebuked but not fired.

    Isn't this just going to come across as PC silencing of people whose opinions we don't like? It's certainly not going to change any minds -- it will only harden the opposition.

    Posted by: DW | May 2, 2013 5:36:23 PM

  7. Kurtz's problems don't just stem from his Jason Collins column mistake. There was more to the firing of Kurtz. Before this, he has been regularly contributing to, and heavily promoting, a lesser-known media website called " Daily Download" and there are some very sketchy irregularities to his involvement with them.

    Posted by: Donny with a "D" | May 2, 2013 5:41:33 PM

  8. DW - I'm not sure I agree with that assessment. He "reported" known falsehoods. Either he didn't read the entire Collins article (which means he is a terrible reporter and didn't take the time to do his research) OR he opted to get his "facts" from other sources than the article in question (which means he didn't just cherry-pick his observations but he cherry-picked his facts from incorrect information).

    Either way, if your goal is to have a reliable news and opinion website...this guy did a TERRIBLE job of commenting on the news and regardless of the circumstances of the story (this could be a run of the mill dog-bites-man story), deserves to be fired because he sucks. In addition, you can make a supposition about motivations and other things in an opinion piece, but when the Collins article clearly states he was engaged and this jackwagon said he lied... it opens the Daily Beast and Newsweek up to a liable suit.

    Kurtz said: "...we began to move in different directions..."

    Isn't that telling? That's coded speak for: The Daily Beast wanted to rely more on integrity and Kurtz wants to become the biggest name at the National Enquirer.

    Posted by: Jay | May 2, 2013 5:58:23 PM

  9. Howie Kurtz is a sock puppet. The REAL person in charge is his highly-placed Republican-operative wife Sheri Annis


    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 2, 2013 6:23:27 PM

  10. Mistah Kurtz--he dead.

    Posted by: Jim | May 2, 2013 7:01:58 PM

  11. @Brian In Texas - Do you think Kurtz' firing means CNN will need to rename his show "Unreliable Sources?"

    Posted by: Peter | May 2, 2013 7:03:46 PM

  12. Dear DW, Mr Kurtz lied...repeatedly. That's not just doing a "stupid" thing. It's willful, premeditated evil. Fire his ass! Buh-bye. FOX will be slobbering to have him, anyway.

    Posted by: Geoff | May 2, 2013 7:05:58 PM

  13. Be careful. The truth can get you fired. How dare he suggest that the second coming of gay public relations had a past?

    Posted by: Garth | May 2, 2013 7:06:11 PM

  14. Garth: Howard Kurtz got fired for falsehood, not truth.

    Posted by: taxpayer | May 2, 2013 7:26:43 PM

  15. Good for him. He's off the Titanic either way.

    Posted by: Garth | May 2, 2013 7:42:16 PM

  16. "Reliable Sources" will no doubt "cover" the story this weekend of how the media covered Jason Collins -- and Howard will conveniently exclude his own unreliable story for his CNN show.

    Posted by: will | May 2, 2013 7:57:22 PM

  17. Good riddance!

    Posted by: Manny Espinola | May 2, 2013 9:17:10 PM

  18. Can't have that heterosexuality rear it's ugly head!

    Posted by: GB | May 2, 2013 9:26:57 PM

  19. No we can't BE GONE TROLL!!!!

    Posted by: David Ehrenstein | May 2, 2013 9:43:46 PM

  20. Wow, justice was swift. Good thing. His column was completely irresponsible...I'd even say malicious. Good riddance, clown.

    Next time when you are trying to build a case, perhaps try marshaling evidence in your defense that is actually factual. Rather than, you know, just making sh*t up.

    Posted by: Lars | May 2, 2013 9:44:33 PM

  21. Ehrenstein: You're a relic and the troll.

    Posted by: GB | May 2, 2013 10:12:45 PM

  22. When and where does Towleroad retract its irresponsible and false posts?

    Posted by: NotA | May 2, 2013 10:15:45 PM

  23. To err is human, licentiousness breeds deceit. Collins is a man ripened with deceit.

    Posted by: Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui | May 2, 2013 10:36:41 PM

  24. And trolling tonight is Jean-Jaques wannabeprofound.

    Posted by: Polyboy | May 3, 2013 12:57:55 AM

  25. Caution! Queers might rip each other to shreds if left to their own devices.

    Posted by: Jake | May 3, 2013 1:04:16 AM

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