Contributor and friend of the site Eric Boehlert passed away as the result of a bicycle accident on Monday night, April 4th. He was the founder of Press Run, his media criticism newsletter, a 10-year veteran of Media Matters, a former Salon, Rolling Stone and Daily Kos staff writer, husband, father, and all around good person.
I never met Eric but I felt like I knew him. So well, in fact, that his Press Run was always the very first thing I read in the morning whenever it was waiting in my inbox. Press Run, then the rest of my email. Always, because I knew his bulls-eye media criticism would put me in the right frame of mind for the rest of the day, and the music he recommended would carry me through the night and into the next day.
Eric always treated me like an old friend. When he made the leap from Daily Kos staff writer to his Substack newsletter Press Run, I wrote to ask him if he would consider letting us continue to post some of his pieces on our site because they were always so incisive and smart. His answer? Yes, you may post whatever you want, but just put a plug for the newsletter at the top, which we always did. Otherwise no strings attached.
That was his generosity and kindness at work. In my years blogging about politics, it's so rare to know someone who would immediately say, "Of course you can re-publish my work!" His commitment to the task of pushing media to be honest and fair in their reporting was more important to him than keeping his work exclusive.
As I said on Twitter last night, he wasn’t just great at what he did, and he wasn’t just passionate. He was kind, and funny, and generous. Even to people like me, who were not nearly as high-profile as others mourning him yesterday.
Eric was a friend of our site for years. He featured John Amato in his book, Bloggers on the Bus in 2009. While at Media Matters, he would offer encouragement to me for what we did here. But far more importantly, he spoke for all of us with his clear, strong voice calling out media for their biases and blind spots.
Democracy will miss him. I will miss him. And I think I speak for every one of us at Crooks and Liars when I say we are much poorer for his loss. His generosity, clarity, and sweet spirit were a gift we will never be able to duplicate. Our hearts go out to his wife, Tracy Breslin, and his children, Jane and Ben. His memory is already a blessing and will continue to be.
UPDATE: Here is Chris Hayes' lovely tribute to Eric, with many great clips of his media appearances through the years:
Video at top: Eric Boehlert's last appearance on CNN's Reliable Sources.