Longtime conservative columnist Betsy Rothstein died on Sunday after battling cancer, prompting a heartfelt obituary published on the Daily Caller by the site’s co-founder, Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson.
“There was nothing prurient about her interest in other people’s personal lives,” he wrote of his friend. “She didn’t care what kind of underwear you wore, or what you did after midnight.”
Carlson went on to describe Rothstein as a private person with friends who “had no idea where she’d grown up or how many siblings she had.”
“Truffle dog for duplicity”
Nevertheless, she maintained a “gossip column because she loved exposing lies,” Carlson wrote, describing the writer as a “truffle dog for duplicity.”
Rothstein’s death elicited tributes from others in the media, including New York Magazine reporter Oliva Nuzzi.
“I’m sorry that she didn’t get to stay long enough to share more of herself with the world,” she wrote.
For CNN reporter Nathan McDermott, however, the race and occupation of those mourning Rothstein seemed more important than her death itself.
“I didn’t know Betsy Rothstein and only read her occasionally, and I am sad that she passed away, but there’s clearly a divide in values political journalists hold when (almost) everybody mourning her online is a white reporter who covers DC,” he tweeted on Tuesday.
“Grieving my friend right now”
McDermott noted what he concluded believed to be “the irony that occurs when provocateurs who disdain sanctimony die and people get outraged when you don’t say they were perfect.”
His take on the matter, however, appears to represent a small minority. A number of his colleagues — including CNN executive Matt Dornic — stressed that he did not speak for the network.
“I’m grieving my friend right now,” Dornic tweeted in response. “All I’m asking is that you don’t generalize it as a CNN position.” He praised her for being “fearless, fanatical, and funny.”
The Daily Caller replied with a tweet urging McDermott to “log off forever.” Decent people of all political stripes can take a moment to step outside of their partisan boxes to send thoughts and prayers to those who loved Rothstein and appreciated her impact.