Hoover Media Fellows’ Seminar Features New York Times Reporter Matthew Bai

Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Hoover media fellow Matthew Bai
Hoover media fellow Matthew Bai

Hoover media fellow Matthew Bai discussed “How Baby Boomers Ruined American Politics” at a seminar September 22. Referring to President Barack Obama’s inauguration speech, in which he cited scripture, “the time has come to set aside childish things,” Bai said he believed that was a comment on the baby boomer generation, which he believes has failed to meet the challenges set before it.

An audio recording of the event is available here (24:29)

Bai, who writes on national politics for the New York Times, noted that baby boomers who helped create two enduring and remarkable social and ideological legacies—Goldwater conservatism and McGovern liberalism—have failed to translate either into lasting political change.

In addition, a defining characteristic of the baby boomer generation is that of an outsider, whether a conservative or a liberal, said Bai. Using Gary Hart as an example, Bai discussed how the former senator and presidential candidate failed to live up to his initial promise.

The Edwards Media Fellows Program allows print and broadcast media professionals to spend time in residence at the Hoover Institution. Media fellows have the opportunity to exchange information and perspectives with Hoover scholars through seminars and informal meetings and with the Hoover and Stanford communities in public lectures. As fellows, they have the full range of research tools Hoover offers available to them. More than 100 of the nation's top journalists have visited the Hoover Institution recently, interacting with Hoover fellows on key public policy issues. They include

  • Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review (in residence September 7 – 11)
  • Jack Leonard, Los Angeles Times (Aug. 31 – Sept. 4)
  • Steve Chapman, Chicago Tribune (September 14 – 18)
  • Anne Applebaum, Washington Post (July 20-25)
  • Maria Recio, Fort Worth Star Telegram (June 23-27)
  • Michael Judge, Freelance (June 1-5)