The sudden and shocking death of David Carr on Thursday night shook an already-fragile media industry, in a week that saw some of TV's most influential newsmen pass in a car crash (Bob Simon), announce their leave (Jon Stewart) and be suspended (Brian Williams). Carr's death was all the more painful for its abruptness — just hours before he collapsed in the New York Times newsroom and rushed to the hospital, Carr interviewed whistleblower Edward Snowden about the film "Citizenfour" — which documents Snowden and the NSA spying scandal — as well as journalist Glenn Greenwald, who helped the former NSA contractor bust open the agency's surveillance tactics, and the film director Laura Poitras.
But perhaps what Carr was most loved for — besides his dogged reporting and insight — was his unyielding honesty and his ability to tell it exactly as it is.
His disarming personality and refusal to tolerate idiocy in any manner was treasured by his colleagues and admired by budding journalists alike. And Carr's personality — brash, astute, sincere, often blunt — was evident in the many opinions he voiced and advice he doled out. Among his other qualities, he was an incredibly quotable person, sometimes more compelling than the people he interviewed. Here are some of Carr's best quotes.
On Mainstream Media
howtoplayalone on YouTube
This was the scene in a 2011 documentary, Page One, about the Times' struggles with a future within the Internet, that further propelled Carr to endearing fame — Carr shot down Vice founder Shane Smith, who repeated in an interview about Vice's coverage in Liberia that the mainstream media "never tells the whole story." Annoyed by Smith's arrogance, Carr brilliantly shot him down:
UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism on YouTube
At a commencement speech at the University of California, Berkeley, Graduate School of Journalism, Carr told graduates that although journalism won't help pay off their loans as quickly as they'd like, it kind of shapes them into decent human beings. He said:
Long before he became one of the pre-eminent journalists at the Times, Carr was an alcoholic and a crack cocaine addict — a past he has been open about. During the Reddit AMA, a user asked how difficult it was to be a "sober journalist," especially given the temptation. He replied: