One factual error can cost even the most prominent journalists their job

Veteran media critic Howard Kurtz of The Daily Beast has been let go of his position at the popular news site. The reason? he neglected to fact check his own article that erroneously reported that NBA player Jason Collins had left out the fact that he has been engaged to a woman in his Sports Illustrated story.

Things got interesting when people realized that Kurtz had failed to realize that Collins did indeed mention his prior engagement to a woman in that article. This proved that Kurtz had failed to read up to only the eighth paragraph in the Sports Illustrated story. There is something seriously wrong when a prominent journalist is writing a story about a story they read — or in this case, did not read.

As a result, Kuntz has been essentially fired or “dropped” by The Daily Beast. The error was corrected by Kuntz to try and downplay his factual mistake, but it was already too late. So what all journalists should take away from this story is that if you ever plan on writing a story about someone elses story, please make sure you actually…read it first.

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