Howard Kurtz, the media critic for CNN, and, until this week, the Daily Beast, has been in the news, not the kind of news that Kurtz probably wanted and most likely dreaded.
Kurtz screwed up royally on a story about Jason Collins. Collins, of course, is the NBA player who came out publicly in an article in Sports Illustrated that he was gay.
Kurtz wrote negatively about Collins in the DB indicating that Collins was once engaged and never mentioned it.
In fact, Collins did mention it.
Sunday on "Reliable Sources", Kurtz apologized.
In addition, after his mea-culpa, Kurtz was scrutinized by two media reporters in the show's opening fifteen-minute segment. That's right--Kurtz himself went from interviewer to interviewee, in essence, being cross-examined for his latest series of journalistic foibles.
Sunday's show was fairly remarkable in its scope. A big-time, highly-paid media reporter looking and sounding utterly withdrawn. Indeed, Kurtz was placid and noticeably unnerved, (as he should have been). His demeanor was candid if not fully contrite. All the while saying he was sorry and essentially stating "I screwed up," he still offered fluffy excuses. ("We all make mistakes...In over two decades I've been right and my credibility is well-established.")
CNN has taken a PR hit lately over its error-plagued reporting on the Boston Marathon bombings and subsequent aftermath. Rightly so.
On the other hand, people and organizations; even vaunted journalistic cable news-gathering operations like CNN, make mistakes. For Kurtz, this is only his latest boo-boo. He's lucky to still have his TV gig. But he seemed genuinely sorry.
We'll give CNN credit for taking on the Kurtz issue with profound clarity on Sunday. Maybe this open mea-culpa could be a blueprint for future media shows down the road, for inevitably, there's sure to be many more mistakes.
*Follow me on Twitter and listen to me every Monday-Friday on KSCO/KOMY from 1-4 PM PT.