Howard Kurtz is no longer working for the Daily Beast, Tina Brown, the editor in chief of the news site, confirms on Twitter. "@thedailybeast & @HowardKurtz have parted company...we wish him well," so she tweeted. His departure came hot on heels of his erroneous comment about Jason Collins' coming-out story in the Sports Illustrated.
Kurtz accused Collins of leaving out "one detail" about his engagement to a woman, while, in fact, the athlete did write in his story, "When I was younger I dated women. I even got engaged. I thought I had to live a certain way. I thought I needed to marry a woman and raise kids with her. I kept telling myself the sky was red, but I always knew it was blue."
Kurtz still hadn't realized his mistake when extending his discussion on the Daily Download with Lauren Ashburn, a regular commentator on his CNN program "Reliable Sources". He said, "If you leave out the fact that you dated this woman for eight years, and you were engaged to be married, then you have not told the whole story. I think this really muddies the plot line here."
Kurtz initially corrected his comment by saying that Collins "downplayed" his engagement and "didn't dwell on it" when he told the world that he was gay, but the Daily Beast decided to retract Kurtz's writing as they were facing backlashes and criticisms not only from individual readers but also from other websites.
"The Daily Beast sincerely regrets Kurtz's error - and any implication that Collins attempted to hide or obscure the engagement," an editor note read. Kurtz himself tweeted, "Apologies: Jason Collins did mention his engagement in SI article. But he didn't tell the full story--his ex says she just learned he's gay."
"I've enjoyed my time at the Daily Beast but as we began to move in different directions, both sides agreed it was best to part company," Kurtz said of his departure. "This was in the works for some time, but want to wish all my colleagues continued success with a terrific website."
"Newsweek and the Beast are great brands, but the time had come for me to move on to other opportunities. For those asking, I am just a paid contributor to DailyDownload and have no financial interest in its growth or future business prospects."
Kurtz was The Daily Beast and Newsweek's Washington bureau chief when he left the company. He was working for the Washington Post before joining the Daily Beast in 2010. His position as the host of CNN's "Reliable Sources" hasn't changed, but a representative tells New York Times that the news channel is reviewing matters.
The Jason Collins article that landed Kurtz in hot water was still available to read.