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The View has become TV's most important political show

  • "Now that reality TV has become comedically scripted, The View remains one of the few places on TV where audiences can watch authentic human drama," says Amanda FitzSimons in a New York Times Magazine profile of the ABC daytime talk show. The key to The View's success as a political show that -- like Real Time with Bill Maher and Morning Joe -- "fuses entertainment with news and thrives off its ability to be unrehearsed" is the audience's fascination with each co-host, says FitzSimons, pointing out that viewers notice every time Meghan McCain rolls her eyes when Joy Behar speaks. FitzSimons adds: "The View has hosted politicians almost since its start, but until recently it was not taken seriously by them. When Barack Obama went on the show in 2010, making history as the first sitting president to appear on a daytime talk show, Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania, a Democrat, blasted the decision by saying there 'should be a little bit of dignity to the presidency.' In the past few years, however, The View has become a place where Democrats and Republicans alike go to introduce themselves to a national audience, an essential campaign stop. Twelve of the 26 people who have announced that they are running for president in 2020 have already been on the show, with one more, Senator Elizabeth Warren, already scheduled. Although ratings for The View are up — last season’s were its highest in four years, and it now averages a respectable three million viewers an episode — the numbers aren’t high enough to explain why politicians consider the show an essential stop. The View has become an influential political talk show because it isn’t one. The panelists ... are invited into viewers’ homes every day for an hour, and in between interviewing candidates about the distinction between socialism and democratic socialism, they share intimate details of their lives: how many times a week they step on a scale, how long it was until they slept with someone else after their divorces. The show also has an off-the-cuff-ness that the panelists and producers take seriously — part of what they know viewers tune in to see."

    TOPICS: The View, ABC, Abby Huntsman, Joy Behar, Meghan McCain, Sunny Hostin, Whoopi Goldberg, 2020 Presidential Election, Daytime TV