After nearly 40 years of service, The Village Voice’s Wayne Barrett is leaving his post as the weekly newspaper’s leading political reporter. Barrett published his farewell post on The Village Voice’s website and, according to a tweet by The New York Times’s Jeremy Peters, he was fired by the Voice. Fellow political columnist Tom Robbins has reportedly quit in protest of Barrett’s firing, however he will remain with the paper until the end of the month.
Barrett, who has served under 14 different editors at the Voice, offered a long goodbye in his final column and waxed poetically on the tenets of journalism:
There is also no other job where you get paid to tell the truth. Other professionals do sometimes tell the truth, but it’s ancillary to what they do, not the purpose of their job. I was asked years ago to address the elementary school that my son attended and tell them what a reporter did and I went to the auditorium in a trenchcoat with the collar up and a notebook in a my pocket, baring it to announce that “we are detectives for the people.”
UPDATE: Village Voice editor-in-chief Tony Ortega denies that Tom Robbins resigned from the paper in protest of Barrett’s firing:
For [Times reporter Jeremy] Peters to say that Robbins quit in protest without even calling me and asking me about it is really irresponsible. I really enjoyed working with both of these guys. There are no hard feelings between either of us.