Eric Boehlert, a Montclair resident and seasoned media critic, was murdered when a train collided with him.
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 champion of the truth.””
“As a loving husband, father, brother, 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.”
1/oh my goodness: Just got crushing news from Tracy Breslin, wife of @EricBoehlert https://t.co/l0nOnE0Tad Has died in a bike accident, age 57. Adored his kids Jane and Ben, his dogs, biking and running and basketball and good friends, a fierce and fearless defender of the truth
— Soledad O’Brien (@soledadobrien) April 6, 2022
Journalists, media critics, politicians, and enthusiasts grieved his passing on Wednesday, taking to social media to express their sorrow.
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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 has previously written for Billboard and Rolling Stone on the music business.
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 treat; while he was direct and unflinching on social media, he was just as warm, inspiring, 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.
weird to watch writers like Andrew Sullivan and Glenn Greenwald convince themselves that the gay-hating GOP isn’t coming for them — that they’re ‘earned’ their loyalty
they’re going to learn painful lessons
— Eric Boehlert (@EricBoehlert) April 1, 2022
“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 profile, he was a popular cable news pundit who made hundreds of television appearances to debate the media.
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Eric was an ardent advocate of democracy, social justice, and truth in media via 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 writer, 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 intelligent 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.”
— Media Matters (@mmfa) April 6, 2022
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 responsible, and Boehlert did it admirably, he said.
“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 characterized as “tremendously passionate and intelligent — 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 characterized as a “great buddy” by O’Brien in her tweets “in addition
.@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
Rest In Peace Eric Boehlert. Greatly admired his passion and tenacity.
— Jon Stewart (@jonstewart) April 6, 2022
stunned by the news @EricBoehlert has passed away. I was just reading him yesterday and cited something he wrote in my newsletter. we can never take tomorrow for granted. my thoughts are with his family and friends.
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 6, 2022
It was Eric’s frequent appearances on TV that first brought Media Matters to my attention over 13 years ago. He was a potent antidote to right-wing malfeasance and an effective advocate for media literacy and full context journalism. He will be missed by many. https://t.co/xQLRPMreG8
— Angelo Carusone (@GoAngelo) April 6, 2022
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 now 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 hit and killed by a train at the Watchung Avenue station in Montclair on Monday night, according to NJ Transit. NJ Transit has 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.
— David Corn (@DavidCornDC) April 6, 2022
We are devastated by the loss of esteemed journalist and former @Salon senior writer, Eric Boehlert.
Our condolences to Eric’s family and friends during this difficult time. His passing is a huge loss to media criticism and progressive journalism.
— Salon (@Salon) April 6, 2022
This site will be updated when additional information about Boehlert’s life and work becomes available, as well as comments from others who knew him and his work.
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