THE VOICE: Life at the Village Voice by Ellen Frankfort

THE VOICE: Life at the Village Voice

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Given the plethora of young journalists with a muckraking bent that the Voice has spawned, the only truly surprising thing about this exposÉ is that someone didn't do it sooner. For two years Frankfort contributed a column on health to the paper. Her association spanned two changes of ownership--the sale by founders Ed Fancher and Dan Wolf to Carter Burden and lawyer Bartle Bull in 1970, and the sale to Clay Felker of New York magazine in '74. It also took in an overflow of factional fights, office politics, causes cÉlèbres, salary disputes, and backstairs scuttlebutt. A disenchanted daughter, Frankfort devotes an entire section to other women writers who she claims were underpaid, manipulated, and exploited. She charges that the Voice pleaded penury long after the paper had transcended its shaggy shoestring beginnings. The writers, ""sons"" as well as ""daughters,"" were mesmerized by the Voice's libertarian aura: because they lacked the courage to stand up for themselves, the paper was taken over by a slick entrepreneur, its original bohemian-radicalism gradually made chic and commercial. Frankfort's perspective is narrow, partisan, and aggressively feminist. Her compass excludes some of the Voice elders (Nat Hentoff, Andrew Sarris, Jill Johnston, and Jules Feiffer) whose views would have been invaluable. Charges of hypocrisy and rumors of who was sleeping with whom are scattered freely. Part history, part gossip, part mudsling, it'll make large waves in a small pond.

Pub Date: June 23rd, 1976
Publisher: Morrow