National Review columnist Mark Steyn said Friday that Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown was “glad to have an opportunity” to part ways with longtime Washington journalist Howard Kurtz.
Kurtz, the Daily Beast’s Washington bureau chief, was dismissed after publishing an erroneous column about gay NBA player Jason Collins. Steyn seemed to agree with reports that there were rumblings of Kurtz’s dismissal even before the Collins column.
“For erroneously attempting to hang the stigma of being ashamed of attempted heterosexuality around this guy’s neck, Howard Kurtz was made to walk the plank,” Steyn said on Thursday’s broadcast of Hugh Hewitt’s syndicated radio show. “And look, Tina Brown is someone who is a successful, very successful person, and a great survivor. And my view is that Tina did not get rid of him for that reason. In fact, I’m sure it’s the sort of thing that in different circumstances, Tina would have been laughing her head off. So I think she was glad to have an opportunity to get rid of Howard Kurtz, and it’s not actually very much to do with that.”
But beyond his departure from The Daily Beast, Steyn mocked Kurtz’s situation, noting that it showed what would happen to someone who would attempt to ruin an “iconic gay moment.”
“Well, I think it was the suggestion that he had attempted, in a way, to take the earth-shattering significance of the occasion — that we had here some pristine, gay trailblazer, and that Howie Kurtz had somehow attempted to muddy that picture, and so had taken away from this iconic gay moment that was so iconically gay in all its fabulous iconic gayness, that the president of the United States took time off from not doing anything about Syria, and not doing anything about Benghazi, and not doing anything about the Boston bombers, and not doing anything about anything else, to personally call this guy and congratulate him on his courage and heroism in becoming the first, if I understand it correctly, I think he’s the first American to proclaim himself openly gay,” Steyn added. “And that is a historic moment.”