Friday, September 23, 2011
Barbara Morris, R.Ph.
On a recent show, Bill O'Reilly discussed Tony Bennett's belief that the attack on 9-11 was an "inside job." O'Reilly does not share that opinion and sniffed that Bennett should be given "some slack," because, after all, he is 85. Shame on O'Reilly; he should know better than to stoop to ageism.
The "age ax" is a common 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 that the U.S. was at fault for the attack, 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 denigrate competence is condescending and offensive and makes me mad as hell.
O'Reilly owes every competent 80-year-old (including myself) an apology for his pinheaded remark but I'm not holding my breath that a mea culpa
will be forthcoming.
Barbara Morris, R. Ph.