The Howard Kurtz matter

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Alas, media critic Howard Kurtz lost his perch with the Daily Beast on Thursday following some erroneous reporting on NBA player Jason Collins and his decision to reveal that he is gay. Mr. Kurtz had headlined his account “Jason Collins’ other secret” and suggested that the athlete had not been frank about his situation with his former fiancee. Mr. Kurtz amended his story, but apparently that was not enough.

In the aftermath, Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown simply declared that the publication and Mr. Kurtz had “parted company,” not exactly a dignified farewell for the author, and former, longtime media maven for The Washington Post. The news of the dismissal was instantly picked up by the Drudge Report and a half dozen websites that monitor press high jinks; many pointed out that at least Mr. Kurtz still has his weekly “Reliable Sources” show on CNN, among other things.

Will he address his error on his own show, which monitors other news organizations and journalistic ethics? It would be smart, some suggest.

“The show has a ‘Media Monitor’ segment in which Kurtz notes the debatable issues of the day, like whether a reporter’s erroneous column was appropriately amended,” points out Eddie Scarry, a correspondent with FishBowlDC, the gossip and news site which is a must-read for most Washington-based journalists.

“We’ve reached out to Kurtz and one of the show’s producers to find out if he’ll be addressing the matter. But in the highly unlikely event that he decides not to cover his own bungle, we’re going to preempt Kurtz’s media monitoring and do it ourselves,” Mr. Scarry adds.

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