How Eric Boehlert: Media Critic and Writer, Died at 57?

Eric Boehlert: From December 6, 1965, until April 4, 2022, Eric Boehlert was an American media critic and writer. Boehlert was a senior associate at Media Matters for America and a staff writer at Salon and Billboard for eleven years.

In the year 2020, Boehlert began sharing his thoughts in a newsletter called Press Run. He described his judgement of the political press in the Trump era as “an honest, impassioned, and shamelessly leftist critique.”

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Eric Boehlert Early Life

Eric Boehlert

Eric Boehlert was born on December 6, 1965, in Utica, New York. Boehlert grew up in Indiana before migrating to Guilford, Connecticut, with his family. Boehlert graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a bachelor's degree in Middle Eastern Studies.

Eric Boehlert Career

“In his study of media hypocrisy and double standards, Eric Boehlert was bold and intelligent, and his contribution was priceless,”.As a music journalist, Eric Boehlert worked as a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and as a staff writer for Billboard. Boehlert then went on to start Salon, a piece of online news and opinion website.

For a series of stories on the radio industry he published for Salon in 2001, Boehlert received the Deems Taylor Award for music journalism from the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers in 2002. The series was also nominated for the Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism.

In 2006, Boehlert became a Media Matters for America member, a content analysis group (MMFA). Boehlert wrote Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush the same year, arguing that mainstream media failed to examine George W. Bush's presidency fairly.

His most recent book, Bloggers on the Bus, investigates the growing role of blogs in American politics. It's a pun on Timothy Crouse's 1973 film The Boys on the Bus, which followed reporters as they trailed presidential candidates during the 1972 US election.

Eric Boehlert was a vocal opponent of Donald Trump and the media's treatment of him. Boehlert worked at MMFA for ten years, moving through the ranks to senior fellow until launching Press Run, his own weekly, in 2020.

 

Boehlert claimed in his thrice-weekly commentary that mainstream media writers, particularly those from The New York Times, unfairly chastised Democrats while grovelling before Republicans.

Eric Boehlert Commentary

Eric Boehlert

Eric Boehlert contended in his three-times-week commentaries that mainstream journalists, particularly those at The New York Times, unfairly attacked Democrats while kowtowing to Republicans. He pushed home his views with a slew of examples, claiming that political reporters are fascinated with clichés like “Dems in Disarray.”

“Signing off on the concept that the Hunter Biden story is a scandal simply because Republicans say so, the press has developed a Whitewater-like obsession with the permanent dead-end story,” he wrote in an April 1 piece criticizing CNN, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post.

Boehlert's commentary, which began in the early 2000s at left-leaning venues including Salon, Media Matters (where he was a senior fellow), and Daily Kos, drew a vast, celebrity-studded audience. “Greatly loved his fire and persistence,” Jon Stewart tweeted after learning of his passing on Wednesday.

Boehlert augmented his journalism with hundreds of speaking engagements on television networks ranging from MSNBC to CNN, as well as two books, “Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush” in 2006 and “Bloggers On the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press” in 2009.

Eric Boehlert: Media Critic and Writer, Died at 57

Eric Boehlert

Eric Boehlert was riding his bicycle near the Watchung Avenue station in Montclair when he was struck by a New Jersey Transit train. Tracy Breslin, his wife, confirmed his death.

Mr. Boehlert, a frequent commentator on television and radio as well as a prolific writer, never shied away from scathing criticisms of mainstream media bias and the cyclical impact of media on politics.

After more than a decade, Mr. Boehlert had created his own newsletter, Press Run, as a forum for his criticism as a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, a left-leaning media monitoring group.

“I'm heartbroken for his family and friends. I'll miss his essential work to combat disinformation and media bias,” Hillary Clinton, a former US secretary of state, wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

Mr. Boehlert was born in Utica, New York, and spent part of his boyhood in Indiana before moving to Guilford, Connecticut with his family. He graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst with a bachelor's degree in Middle Eastern studies.

Eric Boehlertt began his career as a staff writer at Salon, covering the music industry for Billboard and Rolling Stone. He joined Media Matters in 2006.

In a statement issued on Twitter on Wednesday, the group said, “His departure is a profound loss for truth and will leave a vacuum in the broader media environment.”

Mr. Boehlert authored two nonfiction books, “Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush” in 2006 and “Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press” in 2009.

Mr. Boehlert was described as “a ardent defender of democracy, social justice, and truth in media” in a statement from his family supplied to The New York Times by Richard Abate, Mr. Boehlert's literary agent.

“In his probe of hypocrisy and double standards in the media, he was bold and bright, and his contribution was priceless,” the family stated. “As a loving spouse, father, sibling, uncle, and friend, Eric was filled with passionate enthusiasms and interests in life.”

They had been friends for 45 years, according to Mr. Abate, after meeting in eighth grade. “He was the nicest, gentlest, warmest, and most loving person I've ever met, while still being an incredible fierce warrior when it came to battling injustice,” he added.

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Conclusion

Former executive editor of Billboard, Ken Schlager recalls Eric Boehlert as “super-smart, tremendously imaginative, a meticulous reporter, and fanatical about music.”

Eric Boehlert, a fire-breathing music-business investigative reporter and editor at Billboard and Rolling Stone, became a media critic and commentator whose social-media accounts and 2-year-old Press Run newsletter were progressive must-reads and died Monday at the age of 57.

Soledad O'Brien, a journalist acquaintance, broke the story and described him as a “fierce and courageous protector of the truth.” In Montclair, New Jersey, Boehlert was riding when he was struck by a train at a railroad crossing.