The Daily Beast‘s Washington Bureau Chief Howard Kurtz isn’t known for his expedience on the job, despite moving from print to “the blogs” as he likes to say. He got a barrage of flak last night for coming in so late on Weinergate, crawling in with a story at 9:35 p.m. This was especially aggravating for observers after he piously declared that he wasn’t covering it yet. “Of course reporters should have looked into Weiner hacking controversy. I was off for weekend and chose not to jump to conclusions,” he told his Twitter followers. Before that, he attempted to defend his non-coverage, saying, “To twerps demanding I cover Anthony Weiner Twitter scandal: Whole thing appears to be faked. Sometimes it pays to wait for the facts.”
“Isn’t it your job to find out?” conservative writer Derek Hunter wrote in disgust.
So last night when Kurtz suddenly emerged from his Daily Beast Batcave with his first story about Weiner, it was, well, too little too late, despite his best efforts to self-pimp his story. In fact, the self-pimping only made matters worse, with one reader berating him, saying, “Late to the big dance, Scoop!”
Kurtz’s piece, headlined “Anthony Weiner’s Junk Defense” regurgitates everything everyone else already said on air. He writes, “The New York congressman’s shifting explanations—his refusal to say whether the bulge seen round the world is in fact his—have stretched this Twitter tale into a weeklong soap opera.” A soap opera that Kurtz himself failed to cover. (Excuse me while I channel Kurtz from his own Media Monitor segment…)
Like other journalists who have been covering this story for days, he tried his hand at penis puns. “If Weiner had confessed from the start, it would not have been a one-day story, not when the perpetrator is a hard-charging congressman widely expected to run for New York mayor when Mike Bloomberg’s term ends,” he wrote. “But it would have, forgive me, petered out before long.”
In the end, Kurtz said finally, Weiner has no one to blame but himself. Then again, the same could be said of Kurtz’s coverage of Weinergate.
Read his story here.