Howard Kurtz Fired After Unreliable Report On Jason Collins

Was Howard Kurtz fired because of one unreliable report too many? Executive editor Tina Brown tweeted a message yesterday that Kurtz has left his job as The Daily Beast and Newsweek Washington Bureau Chief. The terse notice came the same day that The Daily Beast had to retract a nasty Howard Kurtz piece on Jason Collins.

In the sloppily written piece called “Jason Collins’ Other Secret,” Howard Kurtz claimed that Jason Collins had concealed an eight-years long involvement with a woman. Collins recently made NBA history by coming out as a gay athlete.

However, Collins made no secret of the fact that he’d been engaged to a woman. There’s little point, after all, in having a beard that nobody knows about.

And anyone can read Jason Collins‘ coming out story in Sports Illustrated, since they placed the historic essay online:

“I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport…When I was younger I dated women. I even got engaged. I thought I had to live a certain way…”

So Howard Kurtz taking fire against Collins’ honesty wasn’t just odd. It was factually wrong.

And that was apparently the last straw for The Daily Beast. Ironically, Howard Kurtz is also a host for CNN’s Reliable Sources, although one might reasonably question just how reliable Kurtz himself might be.

In 2011, he was caught fabricating an entire interview with Congressman Darrell Issa. Kurtz said it was a phone interview and that he didn’t know that he was really talking to the Congressman’s spokesman. Oops.

One rumor that’s making the rounds is that Kurtz has been spending way too much time on a new startup, The Daily Download, preventing him from keeping his mind on his real job. Hey. There are only so many hours in the day, right?

Here’s Tina Brown’s unemotional tweet on the split with Howard Kurtz:

No one has openly admitted that Kurtz was officially canned, just that he’s history. In theory, it’s possible that he decided to voluntarily leave The Daily Beast rather than embarrass himself with any more blunders. But I admit it. I think Howard Kurtz was fired.

[Howard Kurtz photo by David Shankbone via Wikipedia Commons]