Howard Kurtz Gets Grilled on Own CNN Show Over Mistakes

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 5 2013 4:02 PM

Watch Howard Kurtz Apologize, Get Grilled on His Own CNN Show Over Mistakes

Media critic Howard Kurtz apologized on his own CNN show Sunday for writing a story on gay basketball player Jason Collins that contained errors. Kurtz wrote that Collins had hidden a previous engagement to a woman in a Sports Illustrated story. In his show today, Kurtz says he read the story too quickly and “carelessly missed” that Collins had mentioned the engagement. “I was wrong,” he said, adding that the way he wrote and talked about Collins’ coming out “showed a lack of sensitivity to the issue.” He also recognized his first correction to the story “was not as complete and as full as it should have been.” And then added: “I apologize to readers, to viewers and most importantly to Jason Collins and to his ex-fiancee.”

But Kurtz didn’t stop at an apology. He also said "CNN has invited two media critics to turn the table and ask me the critical questions this morning." Politico’s Dylan Byers and NPR’s David Folkenflik harshly questioned Kurtz on not only his latest mistake but also past mistakes and whether he has any credibility left. During the grilling Kurtz said he “should be held to a higher standard” because he has been a media critic for two decades. “I deserve the criticism, I accept it and I am determined to learn from this episode,” he added.

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Kurtz also described it as “unfortunate timing” that his “amicable divorce” from the Daily Beast was announced on the same day as his Collins mistake, noting that it had been in the works for a while.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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