How We Watch TV, According to David Carr

By Karen Fratti 

david-carr-dead-social-media-For anyone interested in news media, this has been a heartbreaking week. First, it was a figurehead and a “fake” news anchor. Then, it was Bob Simon and David Carr.

Carr had an ability to talk about journalism, Netflix, and the silliness of social media all at the same time and make it seem important. Anyone who’s been to any media-related conference or event in the past few years has heard him speak seriously on those topics and laugh at himself and at our industry. Following him on Twitter made the whole platform worthwhile.

Here are just a few of our favorite bookmarked pieces because we always knew we would need him someday to back us up somewhere online. There are too many good ones to actually list.

On stressing over what you were watching with the TV Twitterati:

Television’s golden age is also a gilded cage, an always-on ecosystem of immense riches that leaves me feeling less like the master of my own universe, and more as if I am surrounded.

On “House of Cards” and Netflix’s crazy use of Big Data:

Netflix’s command of data, including mine, isn’t foolproof. It thinks I like “The West Wing,” which I don’t, and it thinks I am a sucker for every quirky little indie movie that floats in, which I am not. But when it came to guessing if “House of Cards” might appeal to me — politics, media and Mr. Fincher are all hot buttons — the deck was stacked in its favor.

Not long after the series became available, I found myself in a dark room, surrounded by empty food wrappers and unmet deadlines, wondering when the second season was going to start. I never had a chance.

On appointment viewing, from 2012, that now reads a bit “the Times in on it,” though he has a great punchline at the end, if you click through:

Outside of the professional football season or some breaking national news event, the television at our house has become uncoupled from the commercial-driven environment that drives the broadcast and cable business. We haven’t cut the cord so much as kinked it in a way that commercials rarely sneak through.

On Aaron Sorkin maybe having the key to CNN’s survival:

My idea? CNN still makes $600 million a year and should be happy that it gets a premium on cable systems because its global news resources are still seen as essential. Leave the Tot Mom to others and stick to coming up with a well-cooked, nutritious news diet. Why not ride through the news cycle with some dignity and feed a loyal, reliable audience, standing by for when the world threatens to blow apart and ratings skyrocket?

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