One of the most memorable moments in the New York Times documentary Page One took place in the offices of Vice magazine, when Vice co-founder Shane Smith, while being interviewed by David Carr, compared The New York Times coverage of Liberia with that put out by his own outfit.
“And The New York Times, meanwhile, is writing about surfing,” he said, “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.’”
“Just a sec, time out,” Mr. Carr interrupted in his authoritative rasp. “Before you ever went there, we’ve had reporters there reporting on genocide after genocide.”
He went on. “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.”
Having once made the mistake of criticizing The Times before the self-admittedly “tribal” Mr. Carr, Off the Record couldn’t help but cringe watching the exchange.
It would have been worse had we known then what we know now: Mr. Smith is the boss of Mr. Carr’s daughter Erin Lee Carr, an associate producer for Vice’s VBS.TV, the same outlet that put out The Vice Guide to Liberia!
We were tipped off by a recent Carr tweet: “Take w/grain of salt but this @erinleecarr chick can really write,” the proud papa wrote, linking a story about cyborg eyes.
Off the Record reached Ms. Carr at Vice’s Williamsburg office to find out what her bosses thought about her dad’s strong pro-Times advocacy. Ms. Carr wasn’t working at Vice when her father wrote about the company and the scene was shot, though she was when the movie came out.
“We thought it was funny,” Ms. Carr said. “Everyone took it with a grain of salt.”
Idioms, like journalistic prowess, tend to run in families.
“Her whole take away on the movie was ‘You’re always yelling at people,’” Mr. Carr said. “Well, why should work be any different than home, really?”
Mr. Carr said his daughter has inherited his company loyalty, and that he himself thinks Vice is “totally gangster.”
Gangster?! Oh my god, David, no one says that anymore.