CNN's Kurtz apologizes for errors in Collins story - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

CNN's Kurtz apologizes for errors in Collins story

Posted: Updated:
This April 25, 2012 file photo shows journalist Howard Kurtz at the world premiere of "Knife Fight" during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival in New York. This April 25, 2012 file photo shows journalist Howard Kurtz at the world premiere of "Knife Fight" during the 2012 Tribeca Film Festival in New York.

NEW YORK (AP) — 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.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

  • Entertainment NewsEntertainment NewsMore>>

  • Film of Judy Blume's 'Are You There God?...' in development

    Film of Judy Blume's 'Are You There God?...' in development

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 7:38 PM EDT2018-10-17 23:38:24 GMT
    Thursday, October 18 2018 12:39 PM EDT2018-10-18 16:39:32 GMT
    (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File). FILE - In this May 31, 2015, photo, author Judy Blume speaks about her new book, "In the Unlikely Event," her first novel for adults in 17 years, at BookCon in New York. “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and Hollywo...(AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File). FILE - In this May 31, 2015, photo, author Judy Blume speaks about her new book, "In the Unlikely Event," her first novel for adults in 17 years, at BookCon in New York. “Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret” and Hollywo...
    Film adaptation of Judy Blume's 'Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret' in development. 
    Film adaptation of Judy Blume's 'Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret' in development. 
  • New accusation of police wrongdoing in Weinstein case

    New accusation of police wrongdoing in Weinstein case

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 3:48 PM EDT2018-10-17 19:48:22 GMT
    Thursday, October 18 2018 12:39 PM EDT2018-10-18 16:39:32 GMT
    (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File). FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2018 file photo, Harvey Weinstein enters State Supreme Court in New York. New York prosecutors say the former lead police detective in Weinstein's sexual assault investigation urged one of his acc...(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File). FILE - In this Oct. 11, 2018 file photo, Harvey Weinstein enters State Supreme Court in New York. New York prosecutors say the former lead police detective in Weinstein's sexual assault investigation urged one of his acc...
    New York prosecutors say the former lead police detective in the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault investigation urged one of his accusers to delete information from her phone before turning it over to prosecutors. 
    New York prosecutors say the former lead police detective in the Harvey Weinstein sexual assault investigation urged one of his accusers to delete information from her phone before turning it over to prosecutors. 
  • Michael Buble shuts down rumors of retirement from music

    Michael Buble shuts down rumors of retirement from music

    Wednesday, October 17 2018 5:28 PM EDT2018-10-17 21:28:30 GMT
    Thursday, October 18 2018 12:35 PM EDT2018-10-18 16:35:05 GMT
    (Michelle Siu/The Canadian Press via AP, File). FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016 file photo,Canadian singer Michael Buble poses for a photo to promote the upcoming Oct. 21 release of his new album "Nobody But Me" in Toronto. Grammy-winning singer ...(Michelle Siu/The Canadian Press via AP, File). FILE - In this Tuesday, Oct. 18, 2016 file photo,Canadian singer Michael Buble poses for a photo to promote the upcoming Oct. 21 release of his new album "Nobody But Me" in Toronto. Grammy-winning singer ...
    Grammy-winning singer Michael Buble is shutting down rumors that he's going to retire, saying he was misquoted in a recent interview. 
    Grammy-winning singer Michael Buble is shutting down rumors that he's going to retire, saying he was misquoted in a recent interview. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KFMB-TV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.