Monday, June 9, 2008

The `Village Voice' Alternative Media Monopoly's Hidden History--Part 6

(Most of the following article originally appeared in the October 9, 1996 issue of Downtown/Aquarian Weekly. See below for parts 1-5.)

By the end of the 1960s, according to The Underground Press In America by Robert Glessing, “most underground editors, particularly the political radicals,” now found “the Voice timid, if not downright traitorous to their cause.” Jeff Shero, the then-editor of the now-defunct Rat newspaper (another Lower East Side-based counter-cultural newspaper of the late 1960s and early 1970s) told the now-defunct Evergreen Review in 1969, for instance, the following:

“I don’t think it’s sins of commission so much as sins of omission that’s the trouble with the Voice. Like the 21 Panthers now in jail on these trumped up charges. The Voice hasn’t said a word about it, not one word.”

Lesbian and gay male activists were also dissatisfied with the Voice’s coverage of the Gay Liberation Movement, when the Lindsay Administration’s cops in New York City raided the Stonewall gay bar and provoked the Stonewall Rebellion of June 28, 1969. In November 1969, about twenty-four Gay Liberation Movement activists picketed the Voice’s editorial office and representatives went inside to speak with then-Voice publisher Fancher. The gay liberation activists “told Fancher…that they wanted free ad space in his paper, a gay community news section, a gay editorial slant, and gay writers hired on staff” but “to none of this would Fancher give in,” according to The Great American Newspaper: The Rise and Fall Of The `Village Voice’.

(Downtown/Aquarian Weekly 10/9/96)

Next: The Village Voice Alternative Media Monopoly’s Hidden History—Part 7