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Wayne Barrett

WNYC News

Corruption Arrests Turns Spotlight on GOP Nominating Process

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

The arrest of six people for conspiring to sell a spot on the GOP ballot for mayor is focusing new attention on the Republican nominating process. 

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The Empire

From The Brian Lehrer Show: Wayne Barrett on Hugh Carey's legacy

Monday, August 08, 2011

Former New York Governor Hugh Carey (D-NY) attends the Inner Circle Awards March 3, 2001 at the New York Hilton and Towers Hotel in New York City. (George De Sota/Getty)

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The Empire

Barrett and Robbins, live

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

See them interviewed by 1010 Wins Juliet Papa, live, next week. (newyorkpressclub.org)

The New York Press Club will host the two iconic journalists next week. What would you ask them?

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The Empire

Barrett to Daily Beast, Robbins aims at the rich

Monday, January 31, 2011

Jeremy Peters has the story about Barrett's new job. He was let go from the Village Voice because of budgetary reasons. In a sign of solidarity, colleague Tom Robbins said at the time he'd leave the paper too.

Speaking on New York 1 on Friday, Robbins said his last column for the Voice will be about the millionaire's tax debate brewing in Albany.

The topic is classic Robbins: the middle class and poor fighting against the rich through the sometimes comically arcane world of politics.

It has not yet been announced which news outlet will snatch up Robbins.

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Transportation Nation

Au Revoir, Tom Robbins

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation) One of the most generous reporters in journalism is leaving the Village Voice. When I wrote of Wayne Barrett's departure from the Village Voice yesterday -- I didn't know that Tom Robbins was leaving also -- in his case, voluntarily, to protest the loss of Wayne.

Tom and I collaborated on a series of reports (here and here) about New York City's former Deputy Mayor, Dan Doctoroff, and his stunning commitment to secure the 2012 Olympics even as he was in charge of rebuilding the World Trade Center Site.  As every economic decision in a broken city came before him, Doctoroff was vigorously raising funds for the Olympic committee, in many cases from the same companies that were seeking city contracts.

Working with Tom was an exhilarating experience -- his knowledge of the city was vast, his perspective refreshingly long.  But mostly, I was struck again and again by Tom's kind heart.  In a competitive profession, he has an unusual generosity of spirit.   I learned today he'd donated a kidney to a friend. No surprise -- that's the kind of man Tom is.  The Voice loses two voices -- but whoever gains Tom's will be ineffably blessed.

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.


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The Empire

The Wayne Barrett Era

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

My story:

Barrett, whose weekly column was a staple in the alt weekly, said Tuesday that he was surprised when he was told he was being let go. Venerated reporter and colleague Tom Robbins will follow Barrett out the door at the end of the month.

“All he said to me as that I was being laid off for budget reasons,” Barrett said, referring to his editor at the Village Voice, Tony Ortega. “I was given a severance package that went beyond the union contract, and I’m very grateful for it.”

He added, “It certainly was a surprise to me.”

The announcement was made in Barrett's column published on the Voice's Web site Tuesday morning.

Barrett cut a striking figure in New York’s political reporting scene: tall, often smiling, and shamelessly letting his long hair tickle his shirt collar. His reporting was just as distinct. Barrett was decidedly New York-centric. And, since this is New York, his local characters were national: Giuliani, Sharpton, Cuomo -- all of whom came under close and relentless examination as their profiles were raised nationally.

“The reporting I do I believe is very objective,” he said. “After I’ve reported a story, I am allowed, unlike people at dailies, to frame the reportage in a piece that contains opinions. But it’s the reporting that shapes the opinion. It’s not the opinion that shapes the reporting.”

[skip]

Barrett said working for an established news outlet still matters, even for him.

“I think being associated with a media enterprise is still extremely important because if you’re trying to reach people who are influential people in public or private sectors, the chances of them responding to someone whose name they don’t recognize and who is not associated with a media enterprise is virtually nil,” he said.

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Transportation Nation

Goodbye, Wayne

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

(Andrea Bernstein, Transportation Nation)  There is no reporter I learned more from than Wayne Barrett.

He writes today:

"When I was asked in recent years to blog frequently, I wouldn't do it unless I had something new to tell a reader, not just a clever regurgitation of someone else's reporting. My credo has always been that the only reason readers come back to you again and again over decades is because of what you unearth for them, and that the joy of our profession is discovery, not dissertation.

(snip)

"It was always the conduct that prodded me to write, not the person. And that is what I lived for, a chance to say something that revealed and mattered. To me, the story will always be the thing. It is all I can see."

Wayne, who was let go from the Voice today at 65 1/2, worked harder at reporting than anyone else I know -- again and again.  I was constantly startled by what he managed to unearth, even when his subject area had already been thoroughly combed through.

In 1996, the two of us were arrested together, trying to cover a George Pataki fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria.  It was my first (and only) arrest -- though for the record, Andrew Cuomo's staff once threatened to have me arrested, too.

It wasn't Wayne's first arrest.

For Wayne every closed door was just a chance to walk up a back alley.  The shoe industry owes him a lot.  If you haven't read his magnificent books,  City for Sale, Rudy!, and Grand Illusion, your life is less rich.

Goodbye, Wayne.

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