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You Go Girls: “The View” as Distaff “Crossfire”

Amy DePaul

Feminists have long lamented the lack of women writers in newspaper opinion pages and on magazine staffs of influential magazines like The New Yorker and New Republic.

And women are certainly outnumbered as guests and panelists on the Sunday issue shows, where the likes of Robert Novak, Patrick Buchanan and other Lord Vader types duke it out.

But wait a minute: according to a recent L.A. Times article, the political discussions that now take place on “The View” – ever since Rosie O’Donnell came on board – have won the show some 500,000 new viewers, an incredible 17 percent spike.

And it’s not just Rosie who is throwing punches; fellow “View” hostesses are joining in the fray, including Elizabeth Hasselbeck, a conservative. Could it be possible that women enjoy watching political debate as much as men? Or that they prefer women’s voices in political discussions?

Whatever the case, if women are being shut out of high-profile political commentary in newspapers and “Crossfire”-type shows, perhaps “The View” is serving as an alternative showcase for female-led debate that would not have found an audience otherwise.

Director Spotlight: Alfred Hitchcock

Alfred Hitchcock helped to create the modern horror genre, the modern thriller, and the modern black comedy. He changed film, even as he was inventing new ways to approach it. Stay tuned through October as we present our collection of essays on the Master of Suspense.

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'Psycho': The Mother of All Horrors

Psycho stands out not only for being one of Alfred Hitchcock's greatest films, it is also one of his most influential. It has been a template and source material for an almost endless succession of later horror films, making it appropriate to identify it as the mother of all horror films.

Francesc Quilis
Film

The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti (By the Book)

With discussions of characters like Leon Ray Livingston (a.k.a. "A-No. 1"), credited with consolidating the entire system of hobo communication in the 1910s, and Kathy Zuckerman, better known as the surf icon "Gidget", Susan A. Phillips' lavishly illustrated The City Beneath: A Century of Los Angeles Graffiti, excerpted here from Yale University Press, tells stories of small moments that collectively build into broad statements about power, memory, landscape, and history itself.

Susan A. Phillips
Books

The 10 Best Indie Pop Albums of 2009

Indie pop in 2009 was about all young energy and autumnal melancholy, about the rush you feel when you first hear an exciting new band, and the bittersweet feeling you get when your favorite band calls it quits.

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