In a special segment of CNN's "Reliable Sources" this week, a show devoted to media criticism, host and not-entirely-reliable journalist Howard Kurtz put himself in the hot seat. Kurtz, to his credit, endured a 15-minute examination from NPR’s David Folkenflik and Politico's Dylan Byers, who took Kurtz to task for egregiously incorrect accusations against recently out NBA center Jason Collins.
Kurtz, who issued an incomplete correction to the story that was later pulled from the Daily Beast, has since "parted ways" with the site, though he maintains that the departure was not related to his recent column.
Kurtz opened the program saying, "This show has always been about turning a critical lens on the media. This time the media mistake was mine — a big mistake, more than one in fact.”
“On Monday I read the ‘Sports Illustrated’ article by Jason Collins, the first pro male-team athlete to come out publicly as gay. I read it too fast and carelessly missed that 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 that was wrong. My logic between what happened between Jason Collins and his former fiance and what was and wasn’t disclosed — in hindsight, well, I was wrong to even raise that and showed a lack of sensitivity to the issue. 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.”
Byers and Folkenflik grilled the reporter over his most recent inaccuracies as well as those in the past as Kurtz continuously apologized for his mistakes. “I am taking this very seriously,” he said.
As political junkies and reporters note, the 15-minute apology was a painfully awkward experience: