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Howard Kurtz Wrote Email At Daily Beast To Discourage Story About CNN Colleague

Buzzfeed’s Kate Aurthur, who is a former Daily Beast staffer, recalled an anecdote in which she was editing a story about gay news anchors. Aurthur was going to mention CNN anchor Anderson Cooper in her story. While Cooper was “out” to his friends, family and co-workers, he was not yet “out” publicly and did not talk about his sexuality on-air.

Howard Kurtz, the Washington bureau chief for The Daily Beast, who also has a weekly show on CNN, sent an email to a senior editor at the site dismissive of the story, and saying “I hope this isn’t about AC.”

The whole thing has become a big kerfuffle due to a pickup by Politico, but Aurthur herself explains it well here. Nonetheless, the story once again raises the question that has followed Kurtz for years, both when he was at the Washington Post and The Daily Beast: is his CNN job a conflict of interest? Kurtz himself argues to Aurthur that no it is not, and that he notes his “other job” in stories he writes about cable news.

That said, it does appear that Kurtz stepped in to try and dissuade the Daily Beast from writing the story, and indeed it was never published. Kurtz may argue that is because he has personal issues with “outing” closeted anchors, but the CNN connection is hard to ignore.

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