February 13, 2015 Last Updated 3:47 pm

NYT’s David Carr dead at 58 – nation’s leading media critic and columnist

The media critic for The New York Times, author of the Media Equation column for the paper, David Carr, collapsed and died at the office last night. Carr was 58.

david-carr-200Carr had earlier in the day moderated a conversation at The New School’s John L Tishman Auditorium with filmmaker Laura Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald to discuss CITIZENFOUR, the documentary on Edward Snowden, nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.

“David Carr was one of the most gifted journalists who has ever worked at The New York Times,” said Times publisher Arthur Ochs Sulzberger Jr. “He combined formidable talent as a reporter with acute judgment to become an indispensable guide to modern media. But his friends at The Times and beyond will remember him as a unique human being — full of life and energy, funny, loyal and lovable.”

David Carr was a great journalist & a great person. He introduced us to his daughter after the event, who he was always praising. So sad-RIP — Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald)

“He was our biggest champion,” said Times editor Dean Banquet, “and his unending passion for journalism and for truth will be missed by his family at The Times, by his readers around the world and by people who love journalism.”

Carr was born in Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota, majoring in psychology and journalism. He joined The Times in 2002 as a business reporter where he cover the magazine industry. His column in the Times, Media Equation, appeared on Mondays.

In his last column for the NYT, Carr wrote of the announced departure of Jon Stewart from The Daily Show and the suspension of Brian Williams from his anchor chair at NBC News.

“Both men spent more than a decade on top of their businesses for good reasons. Mr. Stewart had a remarkable eye for hypocrisy, found amazing writers and executed their work and his own with savage grace, no small feat. Mr. Williams managed to convey gravitas and self-awareness at the same time while sitting atop one of the best television news operations in the business. They were kings of their respective crafts,” Carr wrote.

“But now they are both done, at least for the time being. Mr. Stewart, who said Tuesday he would leave “The Daily Show’’ sometime this year, leaves on top, on his own terms. For all the cynicism assigned to his approach, Mr. Stewart is at heart a patriot and an idealist. Again and again, his indictment of politicians and media figures was less about what they were and more about what they failed to be.”

For a while, the NYT appeared packed with popular and talented reporters who spoke about the media, tech and politics. During the last presidential election cycle, the NYT had Nate Silver driving web traffic with his analysis of polling, David Pogue writing about electronic gadgets, and David Carr analyzing the media. Silver, though, left soon after to join ESPN, and Pogue left for Yahoo. Both men probably made a mistake in making their exits.

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