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David Poland

By David Poland

David Carr Exits

David Carr’s magic was that he was the most human person you could imagine. He was far from perfect. But his flaws were gloriously sharp, like the scars that showed, the ones you could hear, and the ones that were not so carefully hidden.

He cheated death, and not only came back to life, but earned the life he absolutely wanted. No one ever loved their kids more, respected wives for being able to put up with we men more, and his love affair with The Times… well… he bled gray.

Loyal to a fault… perhaps beyond. Once he believed something, he believed it. It was personal. Professional faults could be overlooked if he believed in you. And professional success would mean little if he had decided that you were of bad character.

He, like all of us, would get played now and again. But I always felt that his susceptibility was caused, in part, because of his modesty and that he felt—at least when I knew him pretty well—that though he wore the biggest sheriff’s badge going, he was not the sheriff, but Deputy Dawg.

I don’t know if he ever did end up feeling like The Sheriff. I hope he did. He certainly deserved to feel that way. But one rarely, if ever, caught him patting himself on the back.

He was a guy that you just wanted to sit with, as he mulled things over, ideas forming, asking questions when he already knew his answer, throwing out unexpected intimacies as though he was talking sports scores (which we never talked), finding something you hadn’t noticed but that he was chewing up.

He made himself an icon by not doing anything intended to make himself an icon. Just a guy with a job to do… with kids he loved… with a wife he wanted to please… Our Andy Griffith, but with the nasty edge you just knew Andy had to have when the cameras went off… with a deep love of music… of dark, dank rooms where something real could happen… with that crooked neck and that croak and that smile that always seemed to come with a twinkle. A skinny Santa with a bag full of surprises and fun and comfort.

I loved David Carr. I pissed him off on a few occasions and for that I cannot apologize, except for the time I was being a smart ass and had my facts dead wrong, making a meme out of a coincidence. For that I was (and am) sorry. And with that minor infraction, I did feel like I lost my friend and went back to acquaintance. I think he saw this as disloyalty on my part. But there was no conversation. Just a quick written slap and a “noted.” My loss, no question.

But I loved him. And I love him. He was, above all, a mensch. A flawed, sometimes fragile, never boring, unexpected, open, loving, silly, broken, beautiful mensch.

Couldn’t you have fucking waited for double -30- at least?

Sad, sad day.

2 Responses to “David Carr Exits”

  1. Stella's Boy says:

    Sad day indeed. Sad week really. RIP Carr and Bob Simon. Both will be sorely missed. The passing of those extremely talented gentlemen and the announcement of Jon Stewart’s pending retirement, what a week. A sad, bad week.

  2. Dberg says:

    I met him once on a plane to SXSW. Great guy and some great stories….

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