News & Politics

New York Alt-Weekly Publishing Legend The Village Voice Is No More

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An original is gone:

The legendary alternative weekly newspaper The Village Voice has been shut down for good. Co-founded by Norman Mailer in 1955, the Voice went digital only last year in an effort to keep up with changing realities in the newspaper publishing world.

Vox reports that “staffers found out the paper was being shut down” on Friday. The paper’s owner — Peter Barbey — told the staff that it would no longer be published “due to the business realities.” Barbey — who bought the Voice in 2015 — also said, “I bought the Village Voice to save it, this isn’t exactly how I thought it was going to end up. I’m still trying to save the Village Voice.” His intention is to sell it to someone else which, according to him, couldn’t be done until it was shut down.

Although I am a staunch conservative who has spent years writing about liberal media bias, I have always been a fan of the alt-weeklies, especially in big cities. I am also an entertainer, and they tend to be the best sources for entertainment news and profiles of artists.

There’s also the fact that alt-weeklies are open about their bias. They aren’t pretending to be objective journalists. I have always maintained that I have no problem with reporters who are upfront about their political leanings. It’s galling to see MSM journos feign objectivity. I have respect for anyone who doesn’t play that game.

Some of the best journalism about local issues that I saw in 20 plus years in Los Angeles happened in the LA Weekly, another alt-weekly that was purchased and gutted (but is still being published).

I am also a huge Norman Mailer fan. I’ve recently been reading a volume of his essays titled “The Mind of an Outlaw” and marveling at the pre-blog days of long-form political commentary. I almost never agree with anything Mailer had to say about politics but I admire his thinking and writing so much that I don’t care. Much of what is in this book was originally published in The Village Voice.

In recent years I would occasionally be drawn to the Voice after getting a Google alert about myself. They would frequently like to complain about conservative bloggers’ takes on a certain story:

Stephen Kruiser of PJ Media claimed second sight, intuiting that “the boorish lack of self reflection from the left is already changing some minds. Republicans who didn’t support Trump this year are starting to realize what a bullet the country dodged by not letting the hysteria-mongers cement a foothold in the White House and are beginning to warm up to him before he ever gets in office.” Kruiser did not provide any links to any polls that supported this claim, nor did he even cite the traditional Cab Driver Who Agrees With My Rightwing Sentiments.

I’m going to miss those scamps.