Chris Hayes is a liberal intellectual journalist, or what conservatives call the “media elite.” And so what? We are in the middle of a tsunami of half-baked, “I heard somewhere he was born in Kenya,” widely-spread faux-facts that are skewing and morphing our collective dialog. We are being stoked, prodded and pushed by the current media establishment and need someone who can think through, and explain the complex truths of today—rather than dumbed down half-truths that the media thinks our society wants.
Consider Hayes the anti Glenn Beck. Hayes is someone that is willing enough to challenge his own notions, and to learn from “both sides of the aisle” and to educate and inform, rather than to propagandize through misinformation.
Hayes is currently host of Up w/ Chris Hayes on cable network MSNBC and Editor at Large of The Nation. His credentials include being a fellow at Harvard University’s Edmond J Safra Foundation Center for Ethics, a Bernard Schwartz fellow at the New America Foundation and a Schumann Center Writing Fellow at In These Times. He writes about political culture and political economy in The NewYork Times Magazine, Time, The Nation, The American Prospect, The New Republic, The Washington Monthly, The Guardian, and The Chicago Reader.
But it is perhaps his generational credentials which will prove most effective in changing the conversation. Hayes is 34 years-old. He grew up in the Bronx, graduated from Brown University in 2001 with a BA in Philosophy and now lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with his wife Kate and 15 month old daughter. He is bespeckled and has what’s been called “a chirpy voice.” He has a slight speech impediment and peppers his arguments with multi-syllable/ Google-worthy terms. Still he comes off as an affable geek and someone you’d want to share Sazeracs with at any urban pub.
I call that Gen Y Smartster Cred. Or in the words of The New York Times, he’s Generation Y’s wonk prince of the morning political talk-show circuit.
And now, as he takes over as the youngest host of a prime-time show on any of the country’s major cable news channels (his show is moving to 8PM ET), Hayes –I believe, has an opportunity to shift our collective conversation away from innuendo and gossip—of ill-informed and deceptive skewing of the truth, to a more thoughtful, introspective, fact-based conversation that fits much more comfortably with the beliefs of Generation Y’s social-conscious, inquisitive, collective-minded psyche.
So, as our population swells with Generation Y, and Baby Boomers become a smaller and smaller minority of the population, media leaders like Hayes who speak to this generation will become more powerful and valuable to the country’s collaborative mindset.
Now don’t get me wrong, I haven’t abandoned all hope for the Baby Boomer generation to join a more thoughtful, unbiased way of thinking, I’m just of the belief that we need leaders like Chris Hayes, to galvanize the next generation, create a movement, and lead all of us to the next--whatever that may be.
Yes, it seems like we need to all get Up w/ Chris Hayes.