Doc-makers pay tribute to New York Times’ David Carr

The media columnist, featured in the doc Page One: Inside the New York Times (pictured), had conducted a live interview with Laura Poitras, Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden hours before collapsing in the Times' newsroom.
February 13, 2015

New York Times media columnist David Carr passed away on Thursday, hours after conducting what would be his final interview, with Citizenfour director Laura Poitras, journalist Glenn Greenwald and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Reaction from colleagues and fans of his “Media Equation” column, including several documentary makers, has been swift, with many taking to a platform he celebrated in his work, Twitter, to pay tribute.

“David Carr was a great journalist & a great person,” tweeted Glenn Greenwald. “He introduced us to his daughter after the event, who he was always praising.”

Alex Gibney tweeted: “David Carr was a great journalist & skeptic without ever losing his empathy. A wicked sense of humor. And he defined the idea of redemption.”

Michael Moore used his official Twitter account to send a link to Carr’s final interview, the live TimesTalk with Poitras, Snowden (who appeared via video link) and Greenwald conducted the evening of Thursday, February 12. That interview can be seen here.

Carr collapsed in the New York Times newsroom later that evening and was taken to St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

The columnist was a central character in Andrew Rossi’s acclaimed 2011 documentary Page One: Inside the New York Times, which chronicled the shift from print to digital media and its impact on the venerable newspaper by following three of its media reporters on their beats – Carr, Tim Arango and Brian Stelter.

Following the news of Carr’s passing, Rossi tweeted: “David can you hear us? We will cherish all that you did for your craft and your family and loved ones. Rest in peace.”

Stelter, now with CNN as senior media correspondent and host of Reliable Sources, tweeted: “I loved David so much. He’s been the closest thing I had to a dad.”

Anthony Bourdain, host and executive producer of CNN’s Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown, also paid tribute via his Twitter account, writing: “There will be none like him again.”

Alex Miller, named this week as Vice Media’s global content chief, tweeted: “Just landed to hear about David Carr. What a man he was.”

Carr joined the Times in 2002, originally reporting on the magazine publishing industry and eventually widening his scope to also cover culture, social media and television. His 2008 memoir, The Night of the Gun, documented harrowing details of addictions to drugs and alcohol as well as his road to recovery.

In a memo to staff, NYT executive editor Dean Baquet called Carr “the finest media reporter of his generation.”

Carr was 58. The cause of death has not been officially released at press time.

According to the Times, Carr is survived by his wife, Jill Rooney Carr; daughters, Maddie, Erin and Meagan; and siblings, Jim, John Jr., Joe, Missy and Lisa.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.