My current column in the paper version of TIME looks at what the “respectable” media can learn from “soft” media like The View. No, seriously. That View.
I can imagine people thinking that I’m another liberal journalist who only started giving credit to The View because they were mean to John McCain, so I should note that I was saying many of the same things about the show in a long feature I wrote about it in 2000. As cringe-inducing as The View can be—and if you care about it, I probably don’t need to give you examples—I’ve always thought there’s something intriguing about its the-personal-is-political approach to discussion. (An outgrowth, I wrote back then, of its debuting just before the Lewinsky scandal.) It has a distinctive place between fluff talk and political argument, and since Tuned In is all about making the connection between the stupid and the serious, I’ve got a soft spot for it.
If you’re interested in reading more, be sure to check out this excellent Aaron Barnhart post on why The View and late-night shows do, in fact, influence opinions, whether anyone admits it (or even knows it) or not.