Saturday, February 26, 2011

We Won't See Their Likes Again

Former Village Voice reporter Wayne Barrett and former Screw magazine publisher Al Goldstein, couldn't be more different. 

One is a deeply respected journalist who shone a bright light on the dark doings of New York's political world. The other is an infamous pornographer who published a very filthy magazine and hosted a really dirty cable show here in NYC called Midnight Blue. Love or hate this saint and sinner, they were both amazingly good at what they did, and both made a real impact on the worlds of politics and sex in NYC.

Now they are both out of work. 

Wayne Barrett is no longer with the Voice (as I blogged about here last month) and Al Goldstein's magazine and TV show folded up a few years ago. Both in their golden years, the times have changed and conspired to pass them by. Part of it is the decline of print journalism and the rise of the web (devastating both to newspaper and porn finances), and part of it is the fact that NYC is no longer the gritty, dirty city it once was -- and Wayne and Al were most certainly gritty New Yorkers. Instead, guys like this have been superseded by the likes of Gawker and Burning Angel, slick sites that are more representative of this increasingly slick city.

It's hard to believe how long these guys practiced their respective trades in this town. For thirty-plus years their work was read and consumed by New Yorkers of all ages, races, colors and backgrounds. Now they've been replaced by a new generation who owe them a debt they probably don't recognize. And NYC is a little the lesser for it.

We'll probably never see their likes again.

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