Hi there,

The climate crisis, war, attacks on reproductive rights, book bans—these threats aren't looming. They are here now. If you think Democracy Now!'s reporting on these issues is essential, please sign up for a monthly gift of $10 or more. Right now, a generous donor will TRIPLE your gift, making your donation 3x as valuable. We don't have a paywall or run ads, which means we’re not brought to you by the oil, gas, coal, or nuclear companies when we cover the climate catastrophe or by the weapons manufacturers when we cover war. Democracy Now! is funded by you and that’s why we need your help today. This is a challenging year for news organizations and nonprofits across the board, so please don’t close this window before making your gift. We're counting on you more than ever to sustain our reporting. Start your monthly donation of $10 or more right now and help Democracy Now! stay strong and independent all year round. Thank you so much.
-Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Legendary Muckraking Reporter & Trump Biographer Wayne Barrett Dies on Eve of Inauguration

Web ExclusiveJanuary 20, 2017
Media Options

Investigative reporter Wayne Barrett has died at age 71 of complications of interstitial lung disease in Manhattan.

News of Barrett’s death broke as thousands protested near Central Park against the inauguration of Donald Trump, a man he began covering in the 1970s. His 1991 biography of Trump was republished last year in paperback with the title of “Trump: The Greatest Show on Earth: The Deals, the Downfall, the Reinvention.”

Barrett continued to cover Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign even though he was largely homebound due to lung cancer. Above, watch part of our 2016 interview with him about how Trump profited from public subsidies and political favors.

“I think he represents not just a danger to America, but because we are such an influence in the world, it’s really a shocking threat to the world,” Barrett said in another part of the extended interview on Democracy Now!. “And so, you know, I’m in a sick bed a lot, but he gets me up out of it.”

Most recently Barrett reported for the New York Daily News and The Daily Beast, and before that he worked for nearly four decades at the Voice before he was laid off in 2011. At the Voice he exposed corruption and broke stories on New York’s elected officials, including former mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani. His also wrote books on the two men: “City for Sale: Ed Koch and the Betrayal of New York” and “Grand Illusion: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11.”

The prolific writer was also a beloved mentor to hundreds of young journalists. “I tell the young people still drawn to this duty that it is the most honorable one in America, and that I have never met a corrupt journalist,” he wrote in his final column for the Voice.

“It makes you live and breathe, a good story,” Barrett told Democracy Now! in 2011.

See all of Wayne Barrett’s interviews on Democracy Now!

Watch more of Barrett’s interviews about Donald Trump:

'A Classic State Capitalist': How Donald Trump Profited from Public Subsidies & Political Favors

Trump’s 'Greatest Mentor' was Red-Baiting Aide to Joseph McCarthy and Attorney for NYC Mob Families

How Donald Trump Threatened an Investigative Reporter, Attempting to Bribe Him with a Free Apartment

Wayne Barrett on Donald Trump’s Broken Promises, Tax Returns & Potential VP Pick Chris Christie

As Workers at Trump’s Taj Mahal Casino Go on Strike, a Look at Trump’s Long History of Labor Abuse

Trump’s Unofficial Biographer Wayne Barrett: 'The Way He Has Treated His Wives is Just Deplorable'

Related Story

StoryAug 22, 2023Meet George Chidi, the Journalist Subpoenaed for Uncovering Secret Meeting of Fake Trump Electors
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation