September 6, 2013

Earlier this year, Daily Beast publishing eminence Tina Brown parted ways with Washington bureau chief Howard Kurtz after he wrote an inaccurate story about the coming-out of gay NBA basketball player Jason Collins. Kurtz alleged that Collins had left a key detail out of the Sports Illustrated story that he’d co-written with Franz Lidz — namely, that he didn’t disclose that he’d been engaged to be married to a woman. In fact, Collins disclosed this detail.

So Kurtz failed to read carefully, and paid the price. Months later, after Kurtz tweeted out a story critical of Brown, she even chided him on Twitter, writing, “Hey @HowardKurtz am I forgetting something or didn’t I fire you for serial inaccuracy? Shurely shome mishtake as British hacks like to say..”

That was a bit of classlessness that simply wasn’t going to go unpunished. And now the journalism gods have spoken, via a correction that is available on NPR. It convicts Brown of the same offense — insufficiently careful reading — that got Kurtz in trouble. The correction is from NPR’s Renee Montagne:

In my conversation with Tina Brown yesterday, we discussed a New York Times Magazine cover story co-written by journalist Amanda Lindhout, who was kidnapped in Somalia and held for ransom for 15 months. Tina Brown told us that Lindhout gave birth as a result of being raped while in captivity. According to Lindhout herself, it is not true that she had a child. She dispels the rumor in writing about her experiences in captivity in her book, “A House in the Sky.”

Erik Wemple writes the Erik Wemple blog, where he reports and opines on media organizations of all sorts.