Yesterday, journalist Soledad O’Brien broke some very bad news for those of us who believe that our country’s journalistic standards are slipping.
1/oh my goodness: Just got crushing news from Tracy Breslin, wife of @EricBoehlert https://t.co/l0nOnE0Tad Has died in a bike accident, age 57. Adored his kids Jane and Ben, his dogs, biking and running and basketball and good friends, a fierce and fearless defender of the truth
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) April 6, 2022
Eric Boehlert was a leading media critic, whose publication, Press Run, was a must-read for those of us tracking the decline overall of political journalism and punditry. For those who might not be familiar, Press Run is a great place to get to know him and his work.
I first got to know Boehlert’s writing from his work in the Daily Kos and Salon, and I was always pretty thrilled to see him pop up on a cable news show. He was one of the few voices calling out the media’s Bush II worship.
He started Press Run in 2020, and it’s never been more important than it is right now as a voice ringing the alarm bell. His focus became laser-sharp on the diseases of Both-Siderism and access journalism that is putting our democracy in grave danger.
I mean…we currently have this stuff going on, a board member of the Society of Professional Journalists promoting an event on journalistic ethics by suggesting that being pro-democracy is somehow a “subjective value judgment.”
Some, like @jayrosen_nyu & @brianklaas, urge journalists to start championing an unapologetic pro-democracy bias. But ethical journalism already seeks truth & reports it, without making this subjective value judgment. Join our talk, "Why Ethics Matter" https://t.co/9zqJkqBNJD pic.twitter.com/awTVF8ke5i
— J. Israel Balderas (@jisraelbalderas) April 6, 2022
From what I understand, Press Run will continue to operate in some form, which I hope happens. And while we as concerned citizens have lost a great voice, his family has lost, by all accounts, a great person. The outpouring of words about Boehlert all had a common theme, that he was a kind, thoughtful, friendly man.
Again, I recommend reading him. Also, read people like Jay Rosen, Dan Froomkin, and Soledad O’Brien. They shine a light on the questionable decisions made by some journalists without tearing down the entire enterprise. We need them.
The last word goes to Warren Zevon, who created what I think was the perfect goodbye, one that Boehlert never got a chance to give.