Daily Download Editor Lauren Ashburn Retracts Kurtz Video, Apologizes
Lauren Ashburn, founder and editor-in-chief of the media blog Daily Download, has added her apologies to Howard Kurtz's mea culpa over erroneous coverage of NBA player Jason Collins coming out.
She has also retracted the video on the site that she made with Kurtz, and apologized for not doing so formally until Sunday.
Here is her apology, posted on Sunday:
In a regular Daily Download feature where Howard Kurtz and I comment on the day's media news, Howard Kurtz made a mistake. And so did I.
Kurtz said that Jason Collins, in a Sports Illustrated article about his sexual orientation, did not disclose that he had been engaged. In fact, Collins did disclose his engagement.
I knew Kurtz was going to make this point about Collins before we taped, and I didn't double check to make sure it was accurate. As soon as I knew about the mistake, I pulled the video off of the site without acknowledging and correcting the mistake. That was another error.
To Jason Collins, who courageously revealed details about his personal life, I am deeply sorry. And, I also apologize to Daily Download readers who trust the information we provide.
As Founder and Editor-in-Chief, I am responsible for what goes on Daily Download. I am committed to being more vigilant to ensure our facts are correct and that we are more transparent if issues arise."
Earlier on Sunday, CNN "Reliable Sources" host Kurtz apologized for his incorrect coverage of Collins in which he said the basketball player had not "come clean" about having been engaged to a woman. In fact Collins had said exactly that. Kurtz said he had read a Sports Illustrated story by Collins too quickly and that as a media critic he should be held to a higher standard.
He also said his joking about Collins on the Daily Download video was "completely inappropriate" and that he was insensitive to address the fact that Collins was engaged to a woman at one point before he came out Monday as gay. He said his mistake was "sloppy and inexcusable."
"For all those reasons, I apologize to readers, to viewers, most importantly, to Jason Collins and his ex-fiancée," he said.
Kurtz also said that he was an "unpaid advisor" to the Daily Download, and was paid on a freelance basis. He said he was not a founder of the site. Nonetheless, his frequent videos with Ashburn - two or three times a week - have raised questions about his involvement with that site. The video site contributes regularly to PBS's evening news show.
Kurtz made his error in a Daily Beast story, and subsequently parted ways with the site, for which he had been Washington bureau chief. Kurtz said Sunday that an "amicable divorce" was already in the works with the site before the error.
He also said his work with The Daily Download was on a freelance basis and that he did not think he made the Collins error because he was spread too thin among the Daily Beast, the Daily Download and CNN.