Since the start of the News International hacking scandal, the other David Carr has shown up and written some tough things about Murdoch. In one column, he even ate some crow, noting that “Mr. Murdoch was hailed as a visionary when he bought MySpace—by me among others—but that did not end up working out so well.” Carr did not draw the obvious lesson, though—that the market often errs, that all those shimmery deals that now seem so brilliant could turn out looking just as bad, and that in the end it’s content that matters most.
Carr’s career has followed a remarkable arc. He began at the Twin Cities Reader, an alternative weekly in Minneapolis, and later spent five years editing Washington City Paper, another alternative. Along the way, he became a coke addict who sold drugs, beat up women, and lost his kids to foster care. (He wrote a best-selling book about his days as a junkie).
At the Times, he began as a grunt on the media beat, but he quickly rose. In 2005 he started the paper’s Carpetbagger blog, in which he handicapped the Oscars and interviewed stars on the red carpet. Since then, he’s been lionized in a documentary, been interviewed by Aaron Sorkin, and written a column that allows him to mix with the famous and powerful. He’s become, in short, the very type of insider that the hard-hitting David Carr would gleefully expose.