Howard Kurtz Retracted: Amid Twitter Ridicule, The Daily Beast Apologizes For Erroneous Jason Collins Story

on May 02 2013 1:54 PM

Following almost 24 hours of Twitter-born criticism and ridicule, the Daily Beast has retracted a factually inaccurate blog post by Howard Kurtz, who had insisted that Jason Collins didn’t tell the whole story when he came out as gay.

In an unbylined post on Thursday, the Daily Beast acknowledged that Kurtz’s error-ridden piece resulted in a “misleading characterization” of the NBA player who made history on Monday when he made his homosexuality public in Sports Illustrated. Kurtz initially wrote that Collins failed to reveal that he was once engaged to a woman -- 34-year-old model Carolyn Moos -- but as it turned out, Collins did mention that he was engaged.

“When I was younger I dated women,” he wrote in the Sports Illustrated piece. “I even got engaged. I thought I had to live a certain way.”

After a swarm of criticism on Twitter, Kurtz amended the piece, stating instead that Collins had “downplayed” the engagement. On Twitter, meanwhile, he stuck to his original thesis that Collins hadn't been entirely truthful.

“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,” he tweeted.

Critics weren’t buying it, however. New York magazine’s Justin Miller correctly pointed out that the definition of “coming out” includes revealing one’s homosexuality to people who hadn’t previously been aware of it. “If he had told her already ... he’d be out already,” Miller wrote.

Editors at the Daily Beast were evidently unhappy with the way the narrative was playing out. Rather than allowing Kurtz himself to define the degree of his missteps, the website posted that Kurtz was incorrect when he stated that Collins “didn’t come clean.”

“The Daily Beast sincerely regrets Kurtz’s error -- and any implication that Collins attempted to hide or obscure the engagement,” editors of the website wrote.

Kurtz, the Washington bureau chief for Newsweek/Daily Beast, hasn’t yet responded to the retraction. Updates will be posted here if he does.

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