The Education of David Carr

Photo by Brian Lambert
David Carr
In the early 1980s, decades before David Carr became David Carr — the New York Times' authority on all things media, brash star of the documentary Page One, author of the drug-fueled memoir The Night of the Gun — he was an ambitious journalism student who had to talk his way into reporting classes at the University of Minnesota because he couldn't pass the 40-words-per-minute typing test. Over the next fifteen years, Carr, who died tragically of lung cancer in the Times' office February 12, became a Minneapolis institution as a reporter and editor of the Twin Cities Reader, an alternative weekly that competed fiercely with City Pages until it shut down in 1997.

As a reporter, Carr brazenly investigated the darkest corners of the city: police brutality on the North Side, murders in gangland, and downtown politics. He had the gift of sight — the ability to see clearly the stories others could not — and the power of synthesis that allowed him to churn out long, complicated stories in one sitting at a typewriter. Carr influenced and later hired many young talented journalists, some of whom would go on to be among the best known in the Twin Cities.

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Princess Diana Covers Newsweek Because Tina Brown Said So; David Carr Pisses Off America

The newish editor-in-chief of Newsweek is the very famous and talented Tina Brown, who took over when her floundering web project The Daily Beast partnered with the floundering newsweekly. During her editorship, Brown famously made both Vanity Fair and the New Yorker sharper and flashier, and even more famously she wrote a big book about Princess Diana, and so as Newsweek continues to clamor for relevance, Brown made a big sandwich of all her interests and expertise, sticking Diana (strong woman, check!) on the cover with Kate Middleton (topical celebrity, check! British, double check!) for a story that imagines Diana "If She Were Here Now" (kind of controversial, check!). The art is felonious and the writing is... not news. More inside Press Clips, our daily media column.

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Did Michael Wolff Set This Media Panel on Fire?

firepeople outside.jpg
We recently reported on I WANT MEDIA's Media Person of the Year discussion at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Institute of Journalism that took place earlier today, which ended with the building being evacuated by New York's Bravest, the good people of FDNY. But what's wrong with the picture we saw when we got downstairs?

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Who Is the Media Person of the Year? (or 'This Discussion Panel Is On Fire, A Play in One Act.')

At 12 p.m. today at NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute -- less than a block away from the Village Voice offices -- a panel discussion sponsored by I Want Media convened to discuss their 9th Media Person of the Year award. The panel -- featuring the New York Times' David Carr, Mediaite's Rachel Sklar, Business Insider's Henry Blodget, and The Daily Beast's Lloyd Grove -- ended with the building being evacuated. We've got the highlights. Press Clips, Day 26, The Best Media Panel Ever Edition, right here.

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Must-Reads: Is Technology Bringing Us Down? Zadie Smith and David Carr Discuss

This weekend, essays in the New York Review of Books and the New York Times tackle giant questions about the hold technology has on our daily lives. Zadie Smith's "Generation Why?" is ostensibly a review of David Fincher and Aaron Sorkin's The Social Network, but it is much more. It is a discussion of People 2.0 and technology's role in the evolving sense of self. David Carr's "My Own Private (Rental) Island, in the Bahamas" is on the surface a travel essay, but addresses similar questions as Smith's, but from a different place. That's what makes juxtaposing the pair's writing interesting.

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Old Man Addict David Carr Tackles Young Man Addict Bill Clegg in NYT Book Review

Generally kick-ass New York Times media writer David Carr wrote a book detailing his experience with addiction and he called it Night of the Gun. But according to fellow Times writer Dwight Garner, Carr is too ugly -- too potato-shaped -- to sell well as a writer with himself as a subject. Enter Bill Clegg, the comely literary agent-slash-crack head and author of the new Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man. This guys looks like a "J.Crew catalog model." The press loves him! This weekend's New York Times Book Review makes an especially clever play: Carr, the old and ugly former addict dissects Clegg, the newer model of addiction memoirist. How is it?

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NY Times Glosses Over Their Own Free Money While Slamming Condé Nast, Financial Industry

Today's New York Times features a fascinating look into big-money New York and the constant reach-arounds given by local government to the corporations that make this city what it is, for better or worse. "Companies We Keep, and Pay For" describes the subsidization process, in the form of giant rent and tax breaks, handed on bended knee to mega-corporations, specifically in media and finance -- also known as the city's bread and butter.

Illustrious publishing company Condé Nast gets the brunt of the article's intro, based largely on rumors that Si Newhouse is considering relocating his company to the new One World Trade Center from their decade-old Times Square digs. But the Times itself is equally complicit in somewhat shady dealings of this sort, to the tune of $26 million. Seems worth noting, no?

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