Meghan McCain, a 28-year-old conservative blogger with a famous last name, has landed a talk show on Pivot, the new cable network targeted at millennial viewers. Early reviews of “Raising McCain” have been extremely poor, and not just for the host—apparently, the show is so vile as to taint her entire generation. “Until I saw ‘Raising McCain,’ I had thought millennials got a bad rap,” Salon’s Daniel D’Addario writes. McCain valiantly fulfills all the negative media stereotypes applied to her cohort: She is a beneficiary of nepotism who has leveraged her privilege to spew “self-absorbed, entitled and unimaginative” commentary into the world. “McCain’s apparent belief that she deserves a seat at the table—that her thoughts, such as they are, ought to drive the national conversation—shocks the conscience. It is the hauteur that only a millennial could possibly possess.”
Say what you will about the millennial generation—kids today with all their screens and selfies, their “likes” and their “like-likes”—but we did not invent moronic television personalities. Consider Glenn Beck, that morning radio shock jock who once contemplated suicide while listening to Nirvana, then floated into a gig spouting self-serving nonsense on a poorly-organized talk show—typical Gen X slacker! Or Jerry Springer, the bleeding-heart liberal politician who got old and sold out as an orchestrator of televised shitshows—classic boomer narrative. Millennials didn’t carve out this space in our culture for selling offensively stupid ideas to advertisers.
And despite the 20-something face of “Raising McCain,” we’re still not orchestrating these stunts. Pivot is not run by a millennial. Our generation’s nepotist princes and princesses have only risen to prominence because of the actions of powerful people from previous generations, who have handed down money and stature and influence in order to secure their own legacies and help out their friends. Unfortunately for critics who want to pin this all on the youths, unimaginative self-absorbed entitlement is not a generational thing.