Carr sneers, semi-apologizes

Mickey Kaus Columnist
Font Size:

Defective Sneering: David Carr–NYT media writer and master of the humblebrag–has seemingly retreated from the egregious Kaelism in his profile of Andrew Breitbart:

For good or ill (and most would say ill), no one did it like Mr. Breitbart.

“Most”? How does Carr know? He doesn’t. Since this sentence serves the purpose of a “nut graf”–the graf at the end of the intro that effectively summarizes the rest of the piece–it’s a sentence that would normally attract close editorial attention, one reason why William Kristol suspects the famously meddling mid-level NYT bosses actually wrote it in. But Carr takes them off the hook in a mildly s–t-eating tweet exchange:

Graham Nickel (@gdnickel) The word “most” in “most would say ill” is what rankles. Most of whom? Like a papal index warning the NYT faithful of heresy.

David Carr (@carr2n) yer probably right. and the worst part is I thought it through. should have thought some more.

OK. You, the reader, can decide whether Carr was trying to please his editors, fellow reporters and/or readers with the gratuitous “most.” Remember: He can’t speak for his subconscious! … Most feel he embarrassed himself …

P.S.: What’s wrong with “many”? “Many” is a great fudge word. Was “many” not anti-Breitbart enough for the cocoon? …

P.P.S.: Here’s a recent episode of public radio’s “This American Life” on money and politics. It opens with a surprisingly blunt voice mail from D.C. congressional Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton in effect attempting to shake down the representative of a government contractor for campaign contributions. Host Ira Glass interjects:

This tape first surfaced on the Andrew Breitbart site, Big Government. The source was the lobbyist … This voicemail of a US congresswoman sounding a lot like a telemarketer is a peek behind a curtain that usually we don’t get a chance to peek behind. It’s a part of our political process that we all know exists– the money gathering part– but we usually don’t get a chance to witness.

Is Glass one of the “most” who think Breitbart did ill? Without Breitbart he wouldn’t have had the opening for his show. Just by creating an alternative news outlet to the herd-like MSM, Breitbart opened a channel for more information to come to the surface that “we usually don’t get a chance” to see. …

This is why what Matt Yglesias wrote, that

The world outlook is slightly improved with @AndrewBreitbart dead.

is much worse than what Carr wrote, because it’s prospective. What the fuck does Yglesias know about what Breitbart would have accomplished if he’d lived longer?

Mickey Kaus