SBN Newsmakers Interview: James Steele, Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author

In this episode of SBN Newsmakers, News Director Steve Lubetkin chats with James Steele, co-author with Donald Barlett of the book, America: What Went Wrong? The Crisis Deepens (affiliate link), the 2020 updated version of their award-winning 1992 report on how Congresses and presidents of both parties repeatedly choose to favor the few at the expense of the many, creating a transfer of wealth of colossal proportions. Now, new policies are launching a fresh assault on the middle class.

You can watch the interview in the player below.

About the Guest

Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele are the nation’s most honored investigative reporting team. Their work has received two Pulitzer Prizes, two National Magazine Awards and upwards of 50 other national journalism awards. Two of their eight books have been New York Times bestsellers, The Betrayal of the American Dream and  the first edition of America: What Went Wrong? They began working together at The Philadelphia Inquirer, and their writing has appeared in Time, Vanity Fair, The New York Times and The Washington Post. The American Journalism Review has called them “almost certainly the best team in the history of investigative journalism.” They live in Philadelphia.

Barlett and Steele also pioneered in the use of reporting methods now standard in the profession. In 1972, they used a computer to analyze more than 1,000 cases of violent crime in Philadelphia. “Crime and Injustice” was the largest computer-assisted project of its time and was widely replicated by other journalists for years afterward.

Steele was born in Hutchinson, Kansas, on January 3, 1943, and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. A graduate of the University of Missouri at Kansas City, he began his journalism career at the Kansas City Times, where he covered labor, politics and urban affairs before moving to The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1970. After 27 years as an investigative reporter at The Inquirer, he joined Time in 1997. In 2006, he became a contributing editor of Vanity Fair. Steele is married and has a daughter.



About the Author

Steve Lubetkin
Steve Lubetkin is the news director for Steve’s journalism background includes print and broadcast reporting for NJ news organizations. In May 2019, he began anchoring and reporting for the new weekly podcast, "The CRE News Hour," a news and features program focusing on the commercial real estate industry. From 2014 to 2019 he was New Jersey and Philadelphia editor for and filled in covering Chicago/Midwest and Atlanta. He has won numerous awards for his audio and video news reporting from the Garden State Journalists Association, and he has also been recognized for video by the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. He has produced audio podcasts on CRE topics for the NAR Commercial Division and the CCIM Institute. Steve has also served (from August 2017 to March 2018) as national broadcast news correspondent for, a news website focused on practical advice for senior executives in small- and medium-sized companies. Steve also reports on-camera and covers conferences for, a public policy news coverage website focused on New Jersey government and industry; and for clients of, a division of The Lubetkin Media Companies LLC. In March 2021, he was elected to the board of directors of the New Jersey Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Steve has been the computer columnist for the Jewish Community Voice of Southern New Jersey, since 1996. Steve is co-author, with Toronto-based podcasting pioneer Donna Papacosta, of the book, The Business of Podcasting: How to Take Your Podcasting Passion from the Personal to the Professional. You can email Steve at