Media writer Howard Kurtz made a huge error Thursday in a now-retracted Daily Beast column titled, Jason Collins’ Other Secret. In it, Kurtz accused the active NBA player, who came out as gay in a self-penned Sports Illustrated cover article Monday, of not disclosing the fact that he had been engaged to a woman.
Kurtz, however, was 100% wrong. In his piece, Collins disclosed, “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.”
After this glaring error was discovered, it immediately went viral on Twitter. Rather than retract, though, Kurtz reacted foolishly and attempted to salvage the column with a quick edit and the watered down claim that Collins had “downplayed” this part of his life. But this claim was also false.
In an interview with George Stephanopoulos that aired the day after the Sports illustrated article ran, Collins spoke in greater detail about the engagement.
In the end, the Daily Beast was eventually forced to completely retract the entire column.
The ensuing backlash against Kurtz has been fierce. Left-wing media outlets like Politico and BuzzFeed have been brutal in print, and even more so on Twitter. Kurtz’s mistake was an uncharacteristically stupid one, and made worse by the fact that he made it at the expense of someone the media feels protective towards.
Since the fallout, Kurtz’s Twitter feed has been strangely silent. Kurtz, however, will appear on CNN this coming Saturday Sunday, hosting “Reliable Sources” — his weekly program that examines how the news media did the previous week.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC