Generation X’s Frustration with Brian Williams

Forget Baby Boomers and Millennials and look to Generation X (ages 34 to 54) for the story behind the story of Brian Williams.

NBC’s ‘Nightly News’ had already been losing ground to ABC’s ‘World News Tonight’ in the coveted 35-to-54 demographic, according to

Brian Williams ‘misremembrance” of his helicopter being fired upon in Iraq exacerbates that problem, particularly with Generation X. This generation has been bombarded by marketing messages all their young lives and they recognize and reject hype and spin. To Gen Xers, trust is critical.

The NBC/Williams’ problem is not going away.

  • The number of memes on the topic are keeping the issue alive and well.
  • The subject is all over the Internet, for example, in the blog entry posted on LinkedIn by Steve Bell which calls for Williams to resign or lose his anchor job: “No reporter or anchor … should be allowed to stay on the job after such an ethics breach.”

Americans generously give people a second chance. That may not be the case this time as the goal for any anchor is to become “the most trusted person in America”.

As one Xer summed up his generation’s frustration: “No one is responsible for anything anymore.”