Update, 3:06 p.m. Eastern: The Daily Beast has parted ways with Kurtz. Tina Brown writes in a statement, via Politico's Dylan Byers:
The Daily Beast and Howard Kurtz have parted company. Under the direction of our newly named political director John Avlon we have added new momentum and authority to our Washington bureau with columnists such as Jon Favreau, Joshua Dubois and Stuart Stevens joining our outstanding DC team of Eleanor Clift, Daniel Klaidman, Michael Tomasky, Eli Lake, David Frum and Michelle Cottle - giving us one of the best politics teams in the business which was instrumental in this week’s Webby win for Best News site.
And Brown tweets:
According to Byers, sources said that "it became clear Kurtz was dedicating much of his time to other ventures, including The Daily Download, a media criticism site." Yesterday Michael Calderone of the Huffington Post wrote a piece about Kurtz's connections to Daily Download. In response to concern from his Daily Beast colleagues about his time spent at that site he said: "I work a zillion hours a week." Those hours include a weekly hosting stint on CNN's Reliable Sources. We've reached out to a spokesperson for the show seeking comment about Kurtz's future at the network.
As for what Kurtz has to say, he tweeted:
I've enjoyed my time at the Daily Beast but as we began to move in different directions, both sides agreed it was best to part company.— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) May 2, 2013
This was in the works for some time, but want to wish all my colleagues continued success with a terrific website.— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) May 2, 2013
Newsweek and the Beast are great brands, but the time had come for me to move on to other opportunities.— HowardKurtz (@HowardKurtz) May 2, 2013
Original post: Responding to an intense media firestorm surrounding its Washington bureau chief and chief media critic, the Daily Beast has retracted Howard Kurtz's blog post in which he incorrectly accused newly out basketball player Jason Collins of obstructing facts surrounding his coming out in relation to comments made by his former fiancée.
In a post today, the Daily Beast's editors justified the site's retraction by saying: "The piece contained several errors, resulting in a misleading characterization of NBA player Collins and the story he co-wrote in Sports Illustrated in which he came out as gay." The brief editor's note concludes: "The Daily Beast sincerely regrets Kurtz's error—and any implication that Collins attempted to hide or obscure the engagement." In response to Kate Aurthur of BuzzFeed's questions, Kurtz said: "I don't think my analysis was out of bounds, but that's for others to judge."
Kurtz's employer, after changing and then correcting his column, has leveled its judgment.
Originally titled "Jason Collins' Other Hidden Secret," the original version of Kurtz's piece implied that Collins somehow wasn't being truthful because he "left out one little bit" in this week's SI cover story that he was engaged to a woman. But Collins's essay did mention that, forcing Kurtz to change his story to read that Collins had "downplayed one detail"—and, later, forcing the Daily Beast to add a correction, which still somehow implied that Collins was committing some sort of subterfuge: "An earlier version of this story erroneously said that Collins had not mentioned his engagement in his Sports Illustrated essay."
Today's retraction, some 20 hours after Kurtz's post went live yesterday afternoon, arrived after relentless shaming from other members of the media, including but not limited to the Atlantic Wire—not nearly. Gawker posted a video of Kurtz inanely discussing the matter with the headline: "Howard Kurtz's Shocking Revelation: He Can't Read." Alex Pareene of Salon took a similar tact: "Howard Kurtz comes out as illiterate."
Though a version of the original piece remains available, it seems the Daily Beast was sufficiently shamed by Kurtz's shaming this go around.