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Sunday, February 26, 2017

A Legacy Of Truth-Telling: Legendary Journalist Wayne Barrett, 1945-2017

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On January 27, Our Lady of the Presentation Church in Brooklyn’s Brownsville community held a funeral service for the great investigative reporter Wayne Barrett, my cherished friend and longtime colleague at The Village Voice (and later at the Nation Institute). What follows is an appreciation of Wayne that I wrote for the Daily News, adapted slightly and reprinted here by permission. 

When Wayne Barrett died on January 19, after years of debilitating lung disease, someone said that the impending inauguration of Donald Trump might just have been unbearable to him, the veteran investigative reporter who probably knew more about the new President than any other journalist in the country.



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Trump’s Inaugural: A Hostile Transfer Of Power

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Everyone who wondered what Steve Bannon has been doing in Trump Tower now knows the answer: He was drafting the new president’s vengeful and cliché-laden inaugural address, which is certainly the least impressive speech of its kind in memory and likely one of the worst in history.

With its repeated harping on “America First” and the thieving perfidy of Washington, condemning both parties in government, this speech plainly reiterated the same messages formulated by the former Breitbart.com chairman during last year’s campaign. It sounded as if Trump were still on the stump, stirring up his fans, rather than seeking to unify the country and take on the profound responsibilities of the nation’s highest office.



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The Trump Dossier: This “Fake News” Is Real Enough To Investigate

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When Donald Trump denounced the latest hints of his collusion with the Kremlin as “FAKE NEWS!” on Twitter, it was hard not to wonder what he meant, exactly. Having barraged us all for years with fake news about a wide variety of important matters such as Barack Obama’s true birthplace, the charitable work of the Clinton Foundation, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and the dangers of childhood vaccination, does Trump mean we should believe the Russians conspired to help him win the 2016 election? Or does he mean that unlike all of his favorite fake news stories, we shouldn’t believe this one?



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