Wayne lives around the corner from me. He's a long time Village Voice editor and journalism professor at Columbia and Hunter. I know him from Ocean Hill Brownsville teacher rookie days. Wayne was so committed to the cause that he lived in Ocean Hill for a while. He left teaching after a few years to go into journalism full time. Coincidentally, the star of the movie "Local Hero," Peter Riegert, taught as well in Ocean Hill in 1968-9. Wayne is one of the few NYC journalists who is not afraid to take on the powerful and tackle taboo subjects. Unfortunately he is so anti-UFT that
he chooses the Bloomberg/Tweed faction over them. They both reek, but the UFT reeks less. Years ago when I came to teach on the LES I was going to approach Wayne about having some prospective journalism students intern at the Voice. I was told by a "clubhouse principal hack" (the other Lenny) whose pal Shelly Silver was stung by Wayne, that Wayne was strictly off limits. Hopefully the books that he co-wrote on Giuliani will help hurt his Presidential chances. Here's a blurb on his latest called, "Grand Illusion": Rudy Giuliani emerged from the smoke of 9/11 as the unquestioned hero of the day: America's Mayor, the father figure we could all rely on to be tough, to be wise, to do the right thing. In that uncertain time, it was a comfort to know that he was on the scene and in control, making the best of a dire situation. But was he really? Grand Illusion is the definitive report on Rudy Giuliani's role in 9/11-the true story of what happened that day and the first clear-eyed evaluation of Giuliani's role before, during, and after the disaster. While the pictures of a soot-covered Giuliani making his way through the streets became very much a part of his personal mythology, they were also a symbol of one of his greatest failures. The mayor's performance, though marked by personal courage and grace under fire, followed two terms in office pursuing an utterly wrongheaded approach to the city's security against terrorism. Turning the mythology on its head, Grand Illusion reveals how Giuliani has revised his own history, casting himself as prescient terror hawk when in fact he ran his administration as if terrorist threats simply did not exist, too distracted by pet projects and turf wars to attend to vital precautions. Authors Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins also provide the first authoritative view of the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, recounting the triumphs and missteps of the city's efforts to heal itself. With surprising new reporting about the victims, the villains, and the heroes, this is an eye-opening reassessment of one of the pivotal events-and politicians-of our time."
Here's part of a recent NPR interview with Wayne and co-author Dan Collins