Why Bill O'Reilly is Irrelevant
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This commentary originally appeared on the Huffington Post.
Here's a startling number. The average age of Bill O'Reilly's audience is 71. You didn't see that wrong -- 71 years old!
If you've been retired for several years, you're still several years younger than the average Bill O'Reilly viewer.
I don't have anything against old people, really old people, but it's hard to say that O'Reilly's audience is the future. Half of them would be lucky to make it past the decade.
So, it turns out this big, bad, powerful O'Reilly is basically doing a show at a senior citizen's center. Are O'Reilly's viewers going to determine where this country is heading? We can't even tell where they're heading because they won't turn off their left blinker.
I think the formative years are between the ages of 14 and 24. That's when people set their worldview and form most of their conceptions. When Bill O'Reilly's audience was going through their formative years, it was 1949 to 1959. I'm not kidding, do the math.
Some could argue that some of the people of that era grew up in a different world than we did. Some in the South and other regions grew up with a certain ideology that might predispose them to listen to what O'Reilly spews today. I'm not saying anything, I'm just saying. You do the math.
My dad is 68, making him younger than the average O'Reilly viewer, but within the ballpark. He is as sharp as anyone I know. He is smart, engaged and an incredibly productive member of society. So, this is not a diss on our older generation. But he grew up in a house that didn't even have electricity (granted it was in southeastern Turkey). If he is several years younger than O'Reilly's average viewer, it's hard to argue that O'Reilly's views are going to shape where this country is going in the future.
Given these facts, it's not hard to see why O'Reilly is losing viewers. They're not dying to watch him, they're dying while watching him. His audience is so old Barbara Bush was jailbait when they were growing up. His audience is so old they remember how hot Betty Rubble was in high school. His audience is so old they don't remember when Iraq was like the Garden of Eden, they remember when Iraq was the Garden of Eden.
Let's get real, O'Reilly's audience has fallen and they can't get up.