Note: Haven’t posted anything new to my blog in recent months because like most generation X folks I’ve been too busy living life to take pause and reflect or react in this cyberspace format…until news yesterday hit that Bill O’Reilly lost his job at FOX News.
It was via text that I heard from my husband that “Bill O’Reilly out. Tucker to take his time slot.” My first reaction was indifference and then I just sat back while waiting at a red light in traffic thinking about how long I’d been watching the O’Reilly Factor.
I got married in 2000 and had just left my Palm Beach County for a new life season in Chicagoland only to watch footage of my hometown plastered all over cable news because of the Presidential election results that were contested between George W. Bush and Al Gore, et cetera. It would be the following year that the unthinkable would occur with the attacks of 9/11. O’Reilly was not the end all for me but became staple of sorts in my political news diet through the years, especially as I came to work in the federal government for a number of years.
The Old and the Really New are Moot
I’ve always respected the older generations. Perhaps it was my upbringing or how I was taught to do so by my teachers during my academic career.
Here’s what strikes me about this O’Reilly phase coming to a halt: the Baby Boomer generation is starting to hit a few walls and I’m afraid there’s not going to be a lot of pity generated by the generation X folks. It turns out that most folks in their 30s and 40s have been working non-stop since the Enron company scandal and the 90s Dot.com tech bubble burst, followed by 9/11 and then the recession and housing bubble burst to boot. By the way, this means working jobs that weren’t necessarily part of our plan–for example, after 9/11 there were hiring freeze policies set in place in many companies for a while.
Now we have the millennial generation and surrounding youth who are beginning to get their feet wet in the working world and can risk feeling slighted or entitled in their attitude which tests the patience of generation X people who have already had to serve the complaints and demands of many in the Baby Boom population above them that hardly noticed or valued Xers. Let me pause here to emphasize that these stereotypes that I’m describing do not reflect everyone in these age groups but there is tension that is real between many because of these overall inclinations.
It became apparent and accepted that in the cable news world, most of the respected or “powerful” opinion megaphones were older than the generation X group.
Until now. Tucker Carlson offers a no-nonsense and practical approach to interviewing guests while also retaining the dry humor that is reflective of a generation that has become skeptical of the political and journalism culture in this country–not to mention other big issues in our nation like the job culture and our economy.
Stay True Tucker: Bow Tie Optional
Personally I have enjoyed watching other cable news channel talking head personalities over the years even if I don’t agree with their views–if at least they give different opinions a chance to be aired and have respect for those they interview.
I’m grateful that Tucker already has demonstrated on FOX’s Tucker Carlson Tonight that he can bring on all sorts of people with different viewpoints (not just conservative) and also engage with them in a lively but disciplined exchange.
My hope is that he can retain his unique style of interviewing and moderate his personal reactions on political matters. The growth of bipartisan cooperation in this nation will be able to grow if we can generate more open conversations on all the hot topics that fuel social discourse on social media platforms and elsewhere.