Exactly two months ago, Toronto Globe and Mail media reporter James Bradshaw outlined what it was like for him to meet the dean of his profession. His column, “David Carr: All The Views He’s Fit To Print,” is a wonderful way to remember the late journalist’s spirit.
Bradshaw actually did lunch with Carr at Casa Nonna many months earlier. The benefit of that print-delayed mid-August encounter was that it afforded him the opportunity to ask about the dismissal of New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson while the dismissal was still fresh:
“It was incredibly unseemly how it all happened,” Carr tells me. “And it was a very difficult topic to cover from inside the paper.”
Mr. Carr would just as soon have kept the topic out of his column, “but we just thought, optically, that would be too weird. So, I wrote what I thought, including being fairly critical of our publisher [Arthur Sulzberger Jr.], and I saw him the next day. He came into the media editor’s office.”
“We don’t see him much on our floor, and we both kind of sucked in breath. He said: ‘I want to thank you for the story you did yesterday.’ I said: ‘I’m glad you feel that way – I think it was a little rugged, saying you had failed in your choices.’ He said: ‘I don’t care. Good for the readers, good for the paper, I’m happy you wrote it.’”
High praise, delivered under extremely trying circumstances. Last night, upon hearing the terrible news of Carr’s passing, Bradshaw tweeted:
I knew David Carr only briefly. And he was lovely. And he was utterly unique. And he was a parent, fretting about one of his daughters.
P.S. The Globe and Mail article includes a wonderful cartoon illustration of Carr by Montreal-based artist Rachel Idzerda and the hilarious bio that Carr put together for Boston University. View those elements here.
[Photo courtesy: ESquared Hospitality]