Fox News’ Howard Kurtz has apologized to MSNBC’s Alex Wagner after tweeting that Wagner would be the only Black host in cable primetime.
“I was in error on two points: Alex Wagner, taking over for Maddow 4 nights a week, is Asian-American, and Don Lemon is obviously a black host in that 8-11 time period,” Kurtz tweeted on Monday. “My apologies to Alex and to my followers for not being more careful, given dangers of quick-response tweeting.”
Kurtz’s tweets follow the news that Alex Wagner will take over Rachel Maddow’s 9:00 p.m. slot on MSNBC. Beginning August 16, Wagner will take over the four-day-a-week gig — the result of Maddow shifting to just once a week, on Mondays.
Following the MSNBC announcement this morning, Kurtz wrote, “Alex Wagner, whose MSNBC show was canceled in 2015, has been named Rachel Maddow’s replacement four nights a week,” in a since-deleted tweet,” he said in a since-deleted tweet. “She’d be the only black host in cable prime time.”
Not only did Kurtz mistake Wagner’s ethnic and racial identity, as Wagner’s mother is an immigrant from Myanmar and her father is white, but he also failed to acknowledge two other primetime Black hosts, CNN’s Don Lemon, who hosts “Don Lemon Tonight” between 10:00 p.m. ET and midnight and MSNBC’s Joy Reid, who hosts “The ReidOut” at 7:00 p.m ET.
In his apology tweet, although Kurtz corrected his comment regarding Wagner’s ethnicity and noted Don Lemon as a primetime Black host, he did not correct his statement to include Joy Reid, though he did specifically reference the 8:00-11:00 p.m. lineup.
In 2013, Kurtz left CNN, where he formerly hosted “Reliable Sources,” to join Fox News just a month after he apologized for a retracted Daily Beast article about NBA player Jason Collins’ coming out as gay.