Sunday, May 5, 2013

Howard Kurtz Meets the Press; CNN Washington Media Critic gets Grilled on Reliable Sources; Apologizes over Collins Screw-Up

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 A big-time, highly-paid media reporter looking and sounding utterly withdrawn.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.

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  1. I can't wait until the day when anyone who comes out of the closet is met by a big collective yawn. Seriously, why is this news anyway? Maybe we are spoiled living in the Bay Area. Why anyone gets excited over a gay person coming out is beyond me. The rest of the country is light years behind the times.

    1. It's not just you who feels that way. Many folks out here feel this topic in general has exceeded it's saturation point. What was it the Dems used to say :It's just sex between two consenting adults, why are yoouss guys all obsessed with it? I am in general sympathetic to supporting gay causes, but nowadays, many people of any gender tend to use their sexuality as their New Fundamentalist Religion, where no tolerance for variance of opinion is shown, at least not in public. Ironic, wouldn't you say? These sort of NothingBurger stories are tactics used by today's media to absorb attention and to deflect most of it away from news of true originality and value. See the history of "bread and circuses". Some times the real news is not so nice, sometimes, to use bad English the news is quite "un-good", but it should still be fully disclosed.
      Take for instance the story of Dr. Kermit Gosnell, the 'enthusiastic abortionist'. I won't detail that here ,or I will be driving down the wrong street in Topic Ville. I will only say that the thinking man or woman already knows that tale of horror. You people reading this now are the inquisitive type, who thrive on intellectual stimulation. The average citizen is not that way. They don't know what's really going on (of substance) and they don't want to know. The average citizen drinks all the Kool-Aid they are told to imbibe, then passively asks for more of the same flavor.

  2. "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.."

    This could be a blueprint for Rich as well. The only difference between Rich and Kurtz is that Kurtz is capable of owning up to his mistakes.

    1. Being compared to Kurtz and CNN, I'm flattered. for "owning up to 'mistakes", I'll try harder.

  3. Accepting responsibility for an enevitable mistake? Whats the world coming to? Good for you Mr. Kurtz.

    PS i have more sympathy for the fake fiance than the b ball player. Somehow, dont ask me how, she got duped and used as a pawn for his hetro charade. Collins gets the SI cover and she gets written off as collateral damage for his cause. Some world we live in.

  4. I don't think you should assume that she had such a terrible experience with him. They split up...years passed...He proceeded with his life and bravely made his recent statements in SI.She has no claim on his future after they ended,and no claim to his life.

  5. Interested on Rich's take on Savage's victory his case in Federal court. Also interested in the battle between cumulus and limbaugh. does that fact that savage won his case allow limbaugh to easily split from cumulus? that would be a huge blow to them, i imagine.

    1. Rush does not work for Cumulus. He's under contract to Premiere Radio Networks, a subsidiary of Clear Channel. Clear Channel now owns WOR in New York, a direct competitor of Cumulus's WABC. When the contract with WABC expires later this year, it's very likely Clear will want him off the competitor and on their own property. Hence the preemptive defensiveness and bad-mouthing from the pompous one. (Recall a similar situation here in San Francisco about 16 months back, when Rush's program was switched from Cumulus's KSFO to Clear's KKSF, and Cumulus needed to punt with a much inferior morning program, though Rush ended up on an inferior signal.)

  6. I watched the episode and in my mind I consider this issue resolved and closed. Howie's show is the only one on TV that takes a critical look at the media's performance over the past week. He invites a wide range of commentators onto his weekly CNN Sunday morning show and he has insightful and well studied questions and opinions. I hope CNN retains him.