Storied media critic Howard Kurtz is leaving Newsweek and the Daily Beast, just days after The Daily Beast retracted a column in which Kurtz critiqued Jason Collins's coming-out op-ed in Sports Illustrated for not disclosing that Collins was formerly engaged to a woman. The article did, in fact, discuss the NBA center's former fiancée.
Newsweek's editor in chief, Tina Brown, announced via Twitter Thursday that Kurtz had "parted company" with two news sites, where he served as the Washington bureau chief, according to The New York Times.
Kurtz, who the Times calls "one of the most prominent media critics in the country," previously served as a media correspondent for The Washington Post and hosts CNN's media analysis program Reliable Sources.
Kurtz's history of harshly criticizing journalists for shoddy reporting placed him in the proverbial hot seat for his column critiquing Collins, since it appeared that Kurtz had not bothered to read the article, cowritten by Collins, which featured an entire paragraph discussing Collins's former engagement.
An anonymous Daily Beast employee told the Times that Kurtz's departure was unrelated to the retracted column or to recent reports that Kurtz had been filing stories for an unaffiliated website called Daily Download.
"This is not a reaction to the Jason Collins story or the Daily Download situation," said the staffer, who asked to remain anonymous because the company wanted Brown's statement to be the only public statement. "“It’s been apparent for some time that Howie has a lot of other irons in the fire.”
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