After Putin successfully installed TFG in 2016 with generous assistance from news media, we needed *somebody* to speak truth about what happened.

Eric Boehlert was there.

“If the main lesson being taught in the Times’ newsroom is is that the paper was too tough on Trump, too mean to his supporters, and readers thing the paper’s ‘liberal’ bias is evident, guess what kind of coverage that produces?”

Eric was referring to NYT public editor Liz Spayd, who spilled a lot of ink (intentionally NOT linking to her piece) on how her paper failed donald’s cult followers, not America. From Eric’s piece for Media Matters:

Yet not a single reader whom Spayd chose to include in her post-campaign analysis expressed any concern about the daily’s Clinton coverage. Nor did she feature any complaints that the paper’s coverage of Trump may have been insufficiently rigorous. Instead, criticism from the left of the paper’s general election coverage was entirely absent.

You could easily make the argument that New York Times—more broadly, all media—left dozens of stones unturned about TFG, which allowed him to get installed in ’16 in a squeaker. (Note: forensic audit of 2016 would show criminal fraud, much like the sweeping conspiracy we witnessed in 2020.)

As we saw from failed Robert Mueller coverage, Big Media has learned, and will learn, nothing about their own abject failures.

Soon after 2016’s Hillary Email Debacle at NYT, the paper eliminated Public Editor role entirely. At which point nobody but Dean Baquet was minding the store, since Margaret Sullivan left and was never replaced.

NYT is still without an editorial gatekeeper.

Career like no other

“Prolific” doesn’t even begin to cover how seasoned Boehlert was. From award-winning music journalism at Billboard and Rolling Stone to founding and later, he was an outsized force wherever he was. George W. Bush, Ticketmaster monopoly, and later trump, all got the business-end of Boehlert’s commentary.

I became a loyal reader/follower of his after becoming a “StephHead”—listening/watching Stephanie Miller’s show every Monday, and all week. Both of them are in my Trusted Newsers section below for obvious reasons.

For the first time, I will have a “Posthumous Trusted Newsers” section, with Eric as founding member. Because wherever he is he’s definitely challenging someone powerful.

Eric Boehlert is survived by his wife of 29 years, Tracy Breslin, and 2 children, Jane and Ben Boehlert. 😥

Banner image credit: MSNBC screengrab via Room Rater on Twitter


Will Pollocksideways is a perpetually cranky New York City escapee based in Midtown Atlanta. He’s a freelance multimedia journalist, media analyst and author of two books (award-winning Pizza for Good & Leaving Triscuit), with more on the way.

In 2001, Will earned his Masters from The Medill School of Journalism, graduating with highest honors from the magazine sequence. As permanent member of Journalism’s National Honors Society, he’s been active in monitoring, writing and blogging about media and journalism ever since he graduated.

Obsessed with good storytelling and journalistic excellence, Will uses snark, humor and reason to distill dumb shit and make it fun. He’s a seeker/maker of non-consensus news, and helps you cure crankies by finding the nut in every story.

As for-profit media continues to fail us, it’s more important than ever to find reliable sources. Authentic storytelling exists—you just have to look for it. On this blog you’ll get ideas, not ideology. Sass with class. Reporting with rapport. Evidence with a touch of evil. You get the idea.

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