David Carr, the media columnist for the New York Times who brought a tart and critical mindset to his beat, charting with sardonic affection the connections and disconnections between new and old media, passed away yesterday. He was 58, and was said to have collapsed at his newsroom desk late last night.
- KC's View:
- If you don't read the Times with any sort of regularity, you may not know who Carr is ... but you should. Carr was a remarkable writer, and lived a remarkable life. He had survived several bouts of cancer, as well as an addiction to crack cocaine that he chronicled with clear-eyed reportorial fervor in "Night of the Gun," one of the best nonfiction books that I've ever read. Coming out of the fog of addiction, Carr wrote, he realized that “I now inhabit a life I don’t deserve, but we all walk this earth feeling we are frauds. The trick is to be grateful and hope the caper doesn’t end soon.”
In a commencement address at UC Berkeley last year, Carr reflected on his chosen career: “Being a journalist, I never feel bad talking to journalism students because it’s a grand, grand caper. You get to leave, go talk to strangers, ask them anything, come back, type up their stories, edit the tape. That’s not gonna retire your loans as quickly as it should, and it’s not going to turn you into a person who’s worried about what kind of car they should buy, but that’s kind of as it should be. I mean, it beats working.”
The first thing I read every Monday morning in the New York Times was David Carr's column, "Media Equation." I'm going to miss it enormously.