overheard in the newsroom

David Carr Puts Vice Founder in His Place

In the Times, reporter David Carr was politely respectful, even complimentary of Vice magazine’s The Vice Guide to Liberia, which aired on CNN, calling the film — which depicts a feces-strewn beach, among other things — “pretty rugged, pretty wonderful” when he wrote about it in February of last year, despite the fact that in the film, Vice magazine co-founder Shane Smith takes a swipe at Carr’s profession, saying smugly, “Most of the time when the mainstream media reports on something, it never tells the whole story.” But in Carr’s interview with Smith, which was caught on film as part of Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times, reveals the media reporter was a little bit sassier in person.

CARR: If you’re a CNN viewer, and you go, “Hmmm. I’m looking at human shit on the beach …”

SMITH: Well, I’ve got to tell you one thing: I’m a regular guy and I go to
these places and I go, “Okay, everyone talked to me about cannibalism, right?
Everyone talked about cannibalism.” Now I’m getting a lot of shit for talking
about cannibalism. Whatever. Everyone talked to me about cannibalism! …
That’s fucking crazy! So the actual — our audience goes, “That’s fucking
insane, like, that’s nuts!” And the New York Times, meanwhile, is writing about
surfing, and I’m sitting there going like, “You know what? I’m not going to
talk about surfing, I’m going to talk about cannibalism, because that fucks
me up.”

CARR: Just a sec, time out. Before you ever went there, we’ve had reporters there reporting on genocide after genocide. Just because you put on a fucking safari helmet and looked at some poop doesn’t give you the right to insult what we do. So continue.

Well! Score one for Carr and the Times. And actually, score one for Smith, too, who was apparently quite right: The mainstream media doesn’t always tell the full story.

David Carr Puts Vice Founder in His Place