Pierce's first job was as a forest ranger for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. He wrote for Worcester Magazine in the 1970s, where he covered the Blizzard of 1978. In the 1980s and '90, he was a staff reporter for the Boston Phoenix and, later, a sports columnist for the Boston Herald.
Pierce is currently the lead political blogger for Esquire, a position he has held since September 2011. He also writes for ESPN's Grantland. He has also written for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Boston Globe Sunday magazine, the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Sports Illustrated, The National Sports Daily, GQ, and the e-zine Slate as well as the Media Matters blog Altercation, hosted by historian/pundit Eric Alterman.
Pierce makes appearances on radio as a regular contributor to NPR programs Only A Game and Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!. Recently Pierce has begun making weekly appearances on the Stephanie Miller Show. He represented the Globe on several occasions on ESPN's Around the Horn and often co-hosts with Bob Ryan on NESN's Globe 10.0.
Pierce has written four books:
- Sports Guy (2000)
- Hard to Forget: An Alzheimer's Story (2001)
- Moving the Chains: Tom Brady and the Pursuit of Everything (2006)
- Idiot America: How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free (2009)
Pierce is noted for his 2003 Globe Magazine profile of Ted Kennedy in which he stated: "If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age". The passage was widely interpreted as laudatory of Kennedy; however, others believe the full context makes clear that it was intended as irony. James Taranto, an online columnist for the Wall Street Journal, wrote, "Charles Pierce must really hate Ted Kennedy," and described the excerpt as a "paragraph of pure poison."
The paragraph: "And [understanding how to get things done in Washington is] the key. That's how you survive what he's survived. That's how you move forward, one step after another, even though your name is Edward Moore Kennedy. You work, always, as though your name were Edward Moore. If she had lived, Mary Jo Kopechne would be 62 years old. Through his tireless work as a legislator, Edward Kennedy would have brought comfort to her in her old age."
In an e-mail interview with Dan Kennedy (not related to the senator) of the Boston Phoenix, Pierce stated that he considered his reference to Kopechne as being a harsh observation about Ted Kennedy. Pierce criticized several commentators who had cited the passage as an example of liberal media bias.
- . Worcester Magazine. 2006-04-27 http://www.worcestermag.com/archives/2006/04-27-06/city_desk.html. Missing or empty
- Charles P. Pierce (2008-11-26). "Football, Hold the Stuffing". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- "Charles P. Pierce". Charles Pierce.
- "About the Panelists". National Public Radio.
- Chet Williamson (2008-02-21). "30th Anniversary: Blizzard of '78". Worcester Magazine.
- Look Out, America: Charles P. Pierce Is Coming to This Blog http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/charles-p-pierce-blog-6420453
- The Stupidity (and Sexism) of Baseball's Media Dress Codes http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/7344844/the-stupidity-sexism-baseball-media-dress-codes
- Globe profile
- "Boston Phoenix • Media Log Archives: 01/01/2003 - 02/01/2003". Medialogarchives.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2012-01-29.
- 2004 DisHonors Awards