Last week, media reporter Howard Kurtz left the Daily Beast after he wrote a column that erroneously reported that now-openly gay NBA player Jason Collins had neglected to reveal that he was once engaged to a woman.
On his Sunday CNN program “Reliable Sources,” the long-time Washington journalist open his show up by apologizing for the controversy.
“Here is what happened, here is why I did what I did, and why it was clearly wrongly handled by me,” Kurtz said. “On Monday I read the Sports Illustrated article by Jason Collins, the first pro male athlete to come out publicly as gay. I read it too fast and carelessly missed Jason Collins said he was engaged previously to a woman, and then wrote and commented that he was wrong to keep that from readers when, in fact, I was the one who was wrong.”
“My logic between what happened between Jason Collins and his former fiancée and was and wasn’t disclosed — in hindsight, well I was wrong to even raise that, and showed a lack of sensitivity to the issue,” he continued. “Also I didn’t give him a chance to respond to my account before I wrote it and, in addition, my first correction to the story was not as complete and full as it should have been. In a video where I discussed the issue I wrongly jokingly referred to something that shouldn’t have been joked about. For all those reasons I apologize to readers, to viewers and most importantly to Jason Collins and to his ex-fiancée. I hope at this very candid response may earn back your trust over time. It is something that I am committed to doing.”
After that apology, Kurtz took on a wide-ranging interview with NPR’s David Folkenflik and Politico’s Dylan Byers about the Collins reporting and other incidents in which Kurtz had made errors. Kurtz also fielded questions about his involvement with “Daily Download,” a news site he contributes to and heavily promotes. Kurtz insisted he is only a freelancer for and advisor to the small website, despite speculation that he has a greater financial stake in its success.