Who was David Carr? Media Vanguard
The only career protected by the Bill of Rights is journalism — its role in society cannot be underestimated. To have a learned, informed citizenry is the only way to achieve real democracy, and without newspapers, pundits, and today, even podcasts, our democracy would be stifled.
The variety of media outlets provides us with an opportunity to remain informed, make intelligent choices about those we elect, and become more open-minded to the diversity in our world (if journalists do their job correctly). Last week, we lost one of the greats, a rare human being who understood what it meant to inform, create meaningful dialogue, and challenge the status quo: David Carr.
The celebrated New York Times journalist will be remembered for his “cynicism tinged with wry wit that also held a caring note of love and affection for this world,” as one NYT commentator laments. Carr’s rise to prominence as a celebrated NYT columnist and author tells a story unlike that of most of his distinguished colleagues. His 2008 memoir, “The Night of the Gun,” details his addiction to crack cocaine in the 1980s — having been living with a woman who was ‘both a drug dealer and the mother of his twin daughters,’ his life was spiraling out of control. By 2008, Carr underwent a treatment program and was on the cusp of regaining his sense of purpose in the world — that inherent purpose was to lead a life of conviction as a storyteller.
They are all we can carry with us from each ephemeral year to the next. Carr was conscious of that notion, evident in both his tireless journalistic form and his contagious thirst for knowledge. Considered to be the “finest media reporter of his generation” by NYT executive editor Dean Baquet, Carr was a ‘collector of personalities and anecdotes’ and a vanguard of the truth.
His in-depth discussions left readers with a comprehensive receipt, and his questioning — his dedication to the role of journalism — made his reporting valiant. Carr embodied the essence of a journalist, an unshakable commitment to truth and justice, and an impeccable way of sharing the world with those around him.
“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.” — David Carr.