Another day, another hit piece from the same media that pretends to say we aren’t influential at Gotnews.com. For those paying close attention at home that’s three profile pieces – The Washington Post, Politico, and now the Grey Lady herself. My, my, I’ve been so naughty and yet the media Santas keep bringing the gifts of millions in PR.
This time the Times sent David Carr, a recovering crack addict who admits to having memory problems in his memoir about said life of crime.
The 58-year-old Carr writes the media column for the New York Times because only a 58-year-old recovering crackhead apparently has the wisdom and the judgment necessary to understand the Internet. (For what it’s worth I support Legalizing It—all of It.)
If this sounds bitchy it’s frankly because he presumed to lecture me about how I might become a better journalist with time or some such argument that old men are always giving young men with talent. We discussed my admiration for Matt Drudge, William Randolph Hearst, Conrad Black, and Joseph Pulitzer. For those that complain about young men running media companies let’s not forget that Hearst got his start at age 24, William F. Buckley got his at 30, Rupert Murdoch at 21, Joseph Pulitzer at age 25, and Ben Franklin got his at age 23. At 26, I’m an old married man, especially as I want to build the Facebook for News. I’m not particularly wealthy (yet) but given Pulitzer’s and Franklin’s successes I can’t really use that excuse anymore can I?
Throughout the interview Carr seemed somewhat pleasant but I sensed a kind of tut tutting that was a little odd. Paternalism is a feature of the times and the Times and it’s exactly that kind of paternalism I rejected when I decided that I wasn’t interested in the media hierarchy all those years ago. Most media reporters you’ll find hate their subjects in much the same way that most reporters tasked with covering conservatives hate them. (Exhibit A: Dave Weigel) You can try to teach them things but you know what they say about old dogs.
Carr’s lecture about the Internet came, despite the fact that he admitted he didn’t see the wisdom in the Huffington Post and thought it was a silly little experiment. Those who can’t do I suppose teach and those that can’t teach journalism maybe write for the New York Times. Rolling Stone journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely teaches journalism classes, after all. (Why hasn’t anyone asked those colleges if she’ll teach again?)
Carr and I spoke twice by phone—once when I was on the Amtrak bus going north (recovering from a cold) and then the next day when I was in my office wearing my slippers.
We discussed Shane Smith of Vice (who I exposed here as a liar and a fraud), Carr’s masterful performance in the documentary Page One, why I don’t respect Gawker and other blogs which rip off the New York Times, why breaking news is far more interesting than the right-wing echo chamber which bores me, why I’m not interested in the “penthouse suite of the right-wing ghetto,” why I’m hated by the left and right, and what I’m planning to do with the site next. None of that made it into the profile piece.
Carr next asked me about President Obama and my Twitter musings that Obama is a homosexual. He asked me if I knew where President Obama was born. I said probably Hawaii. (I wasn’t there, were you?) He asked me if I knew who President Obama’s father was and I said I didn’t know. (I strongly suspect it is Frank Marshall Davis, by the way, but I’m only going to publish what I know about Obama when I’m rich or have a 100,000 followers or both.) I also pointed out that there’s a lot about Obama that we don’t know yet and that I blame a lot of the media for failing to vet him.
Carr next asked me if I was a racist (thought not if I was a witch) and I said that I don’t regard the taboos against race, gender, etc., as particularly interesting. I told him how I was inspired by Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s essay “Live Not By Lies,” the artist Ai Weiwei, and an essay by Paul Graham called “What You Can’t Say.” Somehow these rather cultured influences didn’t make the final cut. I have read hundreds of books about media since I was a paper boy, after all.
I explained to him my vision for the media, how I had worked for Andrew Breitbart and the Wall Street Journal editorial page, how crowdfunding is journalism’s future, and how the salary model is going away and being replaced by the click model. He said that he was fascinated in how I dealt with the hate arrayed toward me and compared me to that creature from Ghost Busters II (who is juvenile now?). He said that everyone he talks to about me says that I get a lot of stuff right but that I’ve got some stuff wrong. And I said that a lot of publications get a lot more stuff wrong than I do and that I’m being selectively criticized even though I’m one of the most influential young journalists in the country. He was kind enough to pay me the credit of outing Elizabeth O’Bagy, that fired neocon foreign policy analyst that tried to lie us into war in Syria. (In so doing I severed my relationship with the Wall Street Journal editorial page but I would do it again, I said. In fact, my award from the journal is framed next to the letter I got rebuked me for my honesty from the opinion page editor, Paul Gigot.)
I told Carr that I don’t think I got wrong on the Robert Menendez story (he’s spent over a million in legal bills for his defense from an ongoing FBI investigation) or the Cory Booker one (I actually went to the ghetto homes in question) and that just because BuzzFeed—“the cat pornography site” in my parlance—and Slate’s Journolist David Weigel write something doesn’t make it true and he should know that better than anyone else.
I told Carr I was proud of having published the addresses of Julie Bosman and Campbell Robertson and he launched into a tirade about how their safety was in trouble. He became quite annoyed at me and insisted that there were people who really wanted to harm the reporters and I said that I didn’t really care. I said I’m sorry but I didn’t regard the threats against Bosman as particularly serious and neither did law enforcement with which I was in touch in the Chicago area. He said that the New York Times had to pay for security for the reporters and I said that I, of course, hope no violence happens to the reporters but that they should have thought of that before they published Darren Wilson’s home street address. He said that other publications had done it and I said that the New York Times was the standard. Wasn’t it? And that Wilson had serious, real death threats from the New Black Panthers.
We didn’t discuss the obvious conflict of interest of having Julie Bosman — a former thief with a conviction for high end shopping — cover Michael Brown.
He asked me how I would feel if all of my personal information was available and I said most of it is already around, including a Deadpsin article where they make up me shitting all over the floor. (That comes from an anonymous comment on my old college blog where I exposed fellow classmate Michael Wilner for beating a woman senseless on the dance floor. Wilner is now the Washington editor at the Jerusalem Post.)
I explained to him that I own a gun and believe in practicing all of my constitutional amendments if it comes to it. I also said that Elijah Lovejoy was a great hero of mine for his moral and armed defense of a free press and for giving his life to see it through. (Lovejoy was mentioned in Lincoln’s fantastic Lyceum Address about the dangers of mob rule and tyranny.)
We briefly discussed being co-religionists. We are both Catholics and he had just come back from seeing a piece of the cross on his vacation. I discussed why I became a Catholic convert and that my work is animated by the line from Scripture that you shall know the truth and it shall set you free. He says Italy is quite pretty. I’m inclined to go sometime.
Carr asked me about my strategy of threatening to sue a lot of reporters and I said that that strategy would be revealed in due time and that yes, I planned to sue a few reporters here and there. I’ll have more to announce on that soon.
He asked me about what I do for law enforcement and I said that was between me and law enforcement. He pressed me and I explained that I see it as a duty to help those interested in truth and that oftentimes that’s law enforcement and then I compared myself to Encyclopedia Brown. I suppose all journalists are meant to hate the police or something but I’ve always seen them as the human beings that they are.
Once again Carr didn’t bother to interview my editors at the Daily Caller (or much of anywhere else) despite claiming something about my editors not liking me or some such nonsense and went on a now totally discredited, libelous piece from Politico’s Jacob Silverman.
In the final analysis Gotnews.com is hiring and the Old Grey Lady is laying people off and taking money from the Carlos Slims of the world. In the oldentimes a lady didn’t take that kind of money from Mexican telecommunication monopolists but then the Times hasn’t really been a lady for a long time, has she? And for all the criticisms I get of taking money from my audience it seems like a better idea than living at the whim of some Facebook billionaire, doesn’t it, New Republic?
Perhaps it’s time for a death panel? It’ll be gentle, I promise.
Oh and does the New York Times really want to get into this correction game with me?