Remembering Matt Walcoff of Bloomberg News
Luisa D’Amato, a columnist at The Record in Kitchener, Ontario, writes about Bloomberg News reporter Matt Walcoff, who died unexpectedly earlier this month and had worked at the paper.
D’Amato writes, “Matt was in his late 30s, but he easily could have been 10 years younger or older. He was a brilliant journalist with a laser-sharp eye for detail who seemed to know everything. He fearlessly tussled with Jim Balsillie and Research In Motion. At the same time, he was kind and shy, somehow an easy target for verbal bullies. I felt deeply protective toward him.
“If the bullying happened in a work context, Matt pushed back. He went down to Caledonia in 2006 and took some pictures of the Six Nations protesters standing at the barricades. A few of them forced Matt to temporarily give up his camera, then deleted his pictures. Meanwhile, Ontario Provincial Police officers stood and watched the whole thing without moving a muscle.
“Matt was outraged, and struck back the way a writer does, by telling the world about it. ‘What is going on in Caledonia is not a noble struggle of members of an oppressed minority asserting their civil rights,’ he wrote. ‘This is not a 1960 sit-in at a Georgia Woolworth’s lunch counter. This is a gang of militant thugs victimizing the law-abiding citizens of Haldimand County, emboldened by the timidity of a province and country paralyzed by political correctness and the fear that one of the occupiers might get hurt.’
“I loved his quirks, like the way he went on and on about the time he lived in Prague and went crazy because he couldn’t find a box of Honey-Nut Cheerios anywhere in the entire city. Once he came to my house for a New Year’s Eve celebration and everyone started discussing the origins of the word ‘handicapped’ in much more detail than it deserved. (Understand that for word nerds like us, this was a great party game. And yes, we’re all a bit quirky.)”
Read more here.