The Daily Beast has fired columnist Howard Kurtz after he included an erroneous error in his story about NBA player Jason Collins' coming out, the news organization announced on Thursday.
Earlier this week, Collins wrote an essay for Sports Illustrated in which the 34-year-old Washington Wizards center became the first openly gay active NBA player. In response, Kurtz wrote a widely criticized article in which the outlet's Washington Bureau Chief chided Collins for not revealing that he had once been engaged to a woman. However, Collins had noted that in his original essay.
"When I was younger I dated women," Collins wrote. "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."
In a revised posting, Kurtz changed his story to say that Collins had "downplayed" the engagement. "I regret the mistake I made in writing about Jason Collins' essay, and I hope I wasn't insensitive in discussing it," Kurtz wrote in an e-mail to BuzzFeed late Wednesday about his story. "He did a courageous thing by taking this step, but once he put it out for public discussion, it seems fair to raise questions about the account of his former fiancée, who granted several interviews."
The Daily Beast has since retracted the story and let go of Kurtz. "The Daily Beast sincerely regrets Kurtz's error-and any implication that Collins attempted to hide or obscure the engagement," read a statement on the website.
"@thedailybeast & @HowardKurtz have parted company...we wish him well," The Daily Beast's Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown tweeted on Thursday.
Additionally, Kurtz's status at CNN, where he hosts Reliable Sources, is under review following his firing from The Daily Beast, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It's likely CNN will not renew Kurtz's contact when it comes up again.
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