We’ll miss David Carr more than we know
He departed the madcap media beat prematurely when he died tonight at the tender age of 58, collapsing in the newsroom of New York Times. I am sure he was in no hurry to leave his beloved wife and daughters, but you can bet he was proud to die with his boots on.
David was a generous friend and colleague, who readily carved time out of his blistering schedule to dope out a story or shoot the breeze over a stack of lemon-curd pancakes. For a skinny guy, he could eat an amazing amount.
Last year, I persuaded him to fly across the country for the weekend to give the commencement speech at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.
“I am David Carr and I am an alcoholic,” he said in opening a humorously serious and seriously humorous talk (video below) that delighted and inspired the graduates, my colleagues and the assembled families. He even dropped the f-bomb a couple of times, a word that normally doesn’t come up at graduation ceremonies.
But that’s who he was. Silly, smart, sincere, self-effacing and selfless. And he knew how to tell a story.
With journalism imperiled these days at home and abroad, we need the likes of David on the beat more than ever.
Now, we have lost him. Without David on the job, it is hard to know what we won’t know. But I am sure it will be a lot. What the f-bomb are we going to do?