Dear David Carr

by Categorized: Uncategorized Date:

You are one of my favorite journalists.

And this is a very good column.


(a)  Don’t begin a column with a Led Zeppelin “quote.”

(b) In this instance, it was indecent to pretend this song was not written by black Americans. Specifically, Memphis Minnie and Kansas Joe McCoy.

(c) If  you need a quote for a New Orleans column, please consider getting it from a New Orleans  musician. I’ve heard they have some there. Chris Thomas King’s “Baptized in Dirty Water” would have been a nice choice.



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2 thoughts on “Dear David Carr

  1. BKDad

    How many newspapers are failing due to diminished advertising and readership? How many are failing due to crippling debt from various media purchases?

    Maybe it’s hard to separate the two, since paying the debt often leads to cutting in other areas to save cash, which in turn makes the paper less popular. Lower advertising revenue follows, etc.

    Just curious…

  2. Anne Domenico

    You are awfully smug and condescending to slap down David Carr like that. I’ve been reading you for a bit now but I’ve been reading him for years, and I’m sure you are aware of what he’s overcome in his life and of the integrity and purpose and tremendous skill he brings to his journalism. He certainly doesn’t take cheap shots or aim at easy targets; he REPORTS, and puts an enormous amount into it. I don’t see much in the way of reportorial rigor in your columns, but there’s an awful lot of opinionating (bloviating?) and self-regard. Be that as it may, I was somehow struck by a recent New Yorker obituary, as you probably were, of George W. S. Trow, who apparently died, unwept, unhonored and unsung I guess, in “a shabby room in Paris.” This was really upsetting to me, because as a baby boomer I remember reading a lot of Trow’s writing, especially his visionary profile of Ahmet Ertegun and his visionary book “In the Context of No Context.” I’m sure you’ve read these things and I would imagine you admire them also, and I wonder if the facts of Trow’s demise really touch you the way they touch me. How a writer and reporter of such gifts and rigor can end up like that. I don’t equate David Carr with him, because David Carr overcame probably a lot of what Trow could not, finally attaining a life of some comfort, security and clarity. But writers come and go, some triumphantly, some tragically, and the best of them, like Carr and Trow, enrich our lives, often self-sacrificingly. Why dump on Carr with a cliched admonition about a stolen blues lyric? I think the larger point is that Led Zeppelin made that old blues song their own, universalizing the sentiment and earning some credit for transforming it and keeping it alive for subsequent generations. Maybe Carr got it right, or not so wrong.

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