On a recent show, Bill O’Reilly disparaged Tony Bennett’s opinion that the attack on 9-11 was an “inside job.” Because O’Reilly does not share that belief, he arrogantly sniffed that Bennett should be given “some slack” for his opinion because after all, he is 85.
O’Reilly is generally fair, but he sure dropped the ball on this one. He’s getting up there in years himself so shame on him; he should know better than to stoop to ageism. What goes around comes around — sooner or later.
The “age ax” is a lethal weapon used in discussions to denigrate an unpopular opinion and perpetuates the myth that once you are of a certain age, you probably are not fully competent.
I don’t share Bennett’s opinion but he has a right to believe whatever he wants to believe and his age should not be used to belittle or dismiss his opinion. Surely, O’Reilly is aware that many younger people share Bennett’s belief – Rosie O’Donnell comes to mind. Should she be given “some slack” for what she believes because of her age?
Using a person’s age to disqualify or diminish the value of another’s opinion or to question competence is condescending and offensive and makes me mad as hell.
O’Reilly owes every competent 80+-year-old (including me) an apology for his pinheaded remark but I’m not holding my breath that a mea culpa will be forthcoming.
What do you think?