Laissez-Faire | In Love & Free Trade

The Carpetbagger has a past
July 22, 2008, 12:07 am
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , ,

david carr

Photo: Ryan Pfluger


If anyone has followed the Times’ Oscar coverage, you’ve probably encountered The Carpetbagger, also known as David Carr, the paper’s animated and often engaging reporter. Turns out his past is as colorful as his reportage. In this week’s Magazine, Carr vividly writes about his former drug abuse in Minnesota while the father of newborn twin girls. The article is in lieu of his upcoming book, “Night of the Gun”, which will be published in August. The feature reads as a stream-of-consciousness, an account of redemption from a singular perspective that is at once brave and harrowing, but by no means politically correct.

However, two points about race, class and gender arose, which I found insightful and disturbing as they illustrate just how deep the lines for such issues run in this country.

First, Carr describes the double standard between him and the mother of his children while in a fight for custody.

When a woman, any woman, has issues with substances, has kids out of wedlock and ends up struggling as a single parent, she is identified by many names: slut, loser, welfare mom, burden on society. Take those same circumstances and array them over a man, and he becomes a crown prince. See him doing that dad thing and, with a flick of the wrist, the mom thing too! Why is it that the same series of overt acts committed by a male becomes somehow ennobled?

Regarding race and social class, reader Tom.S (NYC) had this to say:

I find this article very disturbing.

I think that it is wonderful that Mr. Carr turned his life around…

I have not read the book but the role of race and class seem to figure prominently here. Mr. Carr, you should thank God that you were white, male, and had a upper-middle class (John Cheever) background. I get the sense that for you the world is your oyster and this is one big game. You began taking drugs not in response to major problems. Rather, it seemed fun. This led to an addition. But hey, no problem. Mom and dad will take the kids, I will go to rehab, the police will cut me some slack, etc.

Mr. Carr, I admire you success with your addiction but there still seems to be some character issues… 


1 Comment so far
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Your blog is interesting!

Keep up the good work!

Comment by AlexM

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