CHRIS HAYES (HOST): That was media critic Eric Boehlert doing what he did best during his last appearance on this very show just a few months ago. Eric Boehlert had an incredible career, coming to prominence at a really crucial time in the development of progressive media. He began monitoring right-wing misinformation during the George W. Bush years, especially after 9/11 and in the run up to the Iraq War.
It was when the virulence and destructive force of Fox News was married to a larger, insanely un-critical media apparatus, all marching us towards a horrible war. And in the beginning, it felt there was no pushback. But over time, a new media ecosystem grew up on the blogosphere, as it was called at this time, on this network, in this hour and with the founding of the nonprofit group Media Matters, all working to try to rebalance the scales away from that lockstep monoculture.
And one of the most prominent people to come out of that world was Eric. Eric Boehlert, writing first for Salon and then for Media Matters. Boehlert's method began simply by just watching Fox News and talking about what he saw. These are some of the early pieces rebuking Fox for dishonest coverage and close ties to the Bush White House. And Boehlert regularly shared his prescient insights as he foresaw much of what we have seen come from the right in recent years.
We often benefited from his thoughts and expertise when he joined us on this show. And I, along with so many others, were just shocked, gutted, and saddened to learn that he passed away this week at the age of 56, when his bike collided with a train in his hometown of Montclair, New Jersey.
The tributes have poured in, including from former Daily Show host Jon Stewart. He said he "greatly admired his passion and tenacity." And Hillary Clinton who wrote that she will miss "his critical work to counteract misinformation and media bias. What a loss."
In addition to his insightful work, Eric Boehlert was also just unfailingly kind, gentle, sweet person, beloved by those who worked with him knew him, those who admired his work, and, of course most of all, by his wife and two children he leaves behind. I learned a lot from him and he is going to be deeply, deeply missed.