Eric Boehlert, Montclair resident and veteran media critic, struck and killed by train
Eric Boehlert, a Montclair resident and experienced media critic, was killed after his bicycle was slammed by a NJ Transit train on Monday, according to his wife, who spoke to various media sites.
Boehlert is survived by his wife, Tracy Breslin, and their two children, Jane and Ben, according to journalist Soledad O’Brien, who announced his death on Twitter. Soledad claimed she first out about Boehlert’s death through Breslin and described him as “a bold and ardent fighter of the truth.”
“As a loving husband, father, sibling, uncle, and friend, Eric was filled with bright enthusiasms and interests in life,” according to a statement from his family supplied to Montclair Local. “We will always miss him.”
Journalists, media critics, politicians, and enthusiasts grieved his passing on Wednesday, taking to social media to express their sorrow.
Former Secretary of State and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton called Boehlert’s death “devastating” for his family and friends, adding that she “would miss his essential efforts to challenge disinformation and media bias.”
Boehlert was the creator and editor of PressRun.media, which provided political media criticism, analysis, and reporting.
He’d been “watching right-wing disinformation for years, first as a staff writer for Salon, then for ten years as a senior fellow at Media Matters for America, and most recently as a media critic at Daily Kos,” according to his profile on the Press Run website.
Boehlert had previously written for Billboard and Rolling Stone on the music industry.
Media Matters Communications Director Laura Keiter told Montclair Local that Boehlert’s “sharp wit and piercing insight shined through in his furious writing.”
“His death is a profound loss for truth and will leave a hole in the greater media environment,” said Keiter. “We are better off for knowing and working with such a knowledgeable, courageous, and passionate media critic.” Eric’s visits to the D.C. office were always a joy; although he was blunt and unflinching on social media, he was just as pleasant, motivating, and helpful to his coworkers.”
Boehlert’s sharp and often scathing comments was regularly mirrored in his tweets, which were sent out to his over 229,000 followers.
“Lapdogs: How the Press Rolled Over for Bush” and “Bloggers on the Bus: How the Internet Changed Politics and the Press” were both written by Boehlert.
According to his PressRun bio, he was a popular cable news pundit who made hundreds of television appearances to debate the media.
Eric was an ardent advocate of democracy, social justice, and truth in media through his journalism, social media, books, and appearances on CNN and MSNBC, according to his family’s statement. “In his probe of media hypocrisy and double standards, he was bold and clever, and his contribution was invaluable.”
Jonathan Alter, a Montclair resident and journalist, told Montclair Local that he met Boehlert in the 1980s while working as a media critic for Newsweek. Beohlert’s work as a media critic was “almost a calling,” according to Alter.
“Eric was a really good and thoughtful man who was also one of America’s greatest media critics,” Alter remarked. “He might be harsh with his criticism, but it was well-founded.”
Being a media critic may be challenging; individuals might become critical when the camera is turned on them, according to Alter. However, the press must be held accountable, and Boehlert did it admirably, he claimed.
“We need critics to keep the press responsible to the way it should be,” Alter added, “and this is a horrible loss for them.” “I wish I had spent more time with him since he was a lovely, caring, and pleasant guy.”
David Folkenflik, a Montclair resident and writer, told Montclair Local on Wednesday that he was not close to Boehlert but that they were cordial.
“I remember him [as] a keen critic who followed those views and analyses against what he viewed as dishonesty, sloth, and unaccountable authority in the press and beyond,” Folkenflik said.
Boehlert was characterised as “tremendously passionate and thoughtful — as polite and easygoing in person, and as loyal to his family, as he was unrelenting in pushing the media’s feet to the fire for their inadequacies” by journalist Michael Rapoport, also of Montclair.
“He was really concerned with the truth, honesty, and justice,” Rapoport added. “His voice will be missed much, and I will mourn the loss of a close friend.”
Boehlert was also praised as a “wonderful friend” by O’Brien in her tweets.
He struggled to save journalism and democracy, both of which were in desperate need of preservation,” she wrote. He was “brutal to negative media on twitter [and] the loveliest man in real life,” she stated.
Councilman Peter Yacobellis stated in a statement to Montclair Local that Bohelert’s work “has never been more vital than it is today in this day of unrelenting disinformation.”
“Knowing how painful this loss is for Eric’s family and friends, as well as the whole Township of Montclair, my heart hurts. But there’s also the loss for America and the First Amendment’s credibility to consider “Yacobellis expressed his thoughts.
A biker was struck and killed by a train at the Watchung Avenue station in Montclair on Monday night, according to NJ Transit. NJ Transit had not announced the identify of the biker as of Wednesday, but Breslin told the Daily News and NorthJersey.com that her husband was killed in the collision.
This site will be updated when more information about Boehlert’s life and work becomes available, as well as comments from others who knew him and his work.
.@EricBoehlert’s death is terrible news. I’m devastated for his family and friends and will miss his critical work to counteract misinformation and media bias. What a loss.
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) April 6, 2022