"Reliable Sources" host Howard Kurtz apologized for his incorrect coverage about NBA player Jason Collins, saying he had read a story about Collins too quickly and that as a media critic he should be held to a higher standard.
He also said his joking about Collins was "completely inappropriate."
Kurtz parted ways with The Daily Beast after the Collins mistake, but Kurtz said an "amicable divorce" was already in the works with the site before he made the error. He also said his work with another site, The Daily Download, was on a freelance basis and that he did not think he made the Collins error because he was spread too thin.
Collins came out as gay on Monday in a Sports Illustrated piece. Kurtz, the Washington bureau chief of The Daily Beast, claimed in a story that Collins "didn't come clean" about his past engagement to a woman. In fact, Collins had noted the engagement in his Sport Illustrated story.
Kurtz amended his own story, writing that Collins had "downplayed" the engagement. The Daily Beast then went further by retracting Kurtz's story and writing, "The Daily Beast sincerely regrets Kurtz's error—and any implication that Collins attempted to hide or obscure the engagement."
Kurtz included two other media reporters on "Reliable Sources" -- NPR's David Folkenflik and Poltico's Dylan Byers -- who grilled him on why people should consider him credible given the Collins mistake and others. Kurtz said he was committed to making sure his stories from now on would be "double and triple checked."
Folkenflik said other reporters have been "forced out... for lesser transgressions" than the one Kurtz committed.
"Why should we put stock in you as a media critic... when so much of your recent work has been sloppy and even reckless?" Folkenflik asked.
"Well, I would say we're talking here about a small minority of cases," said Kurtz, arguing that he should be judged by his work overall. "I have worked very hard over the course of three decades to establish credibility, and people can make their own judgment about weighing the occasional mistakes versus what I have done. But I am taking this very seriously."
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