Millennials Are Great Again

REVIEW: '40 Under 40' by Fortune Magazine

September 7, 2020

Who are the greatest millennials living in America today? Fortune magazine has helped narrow it down by publishing its "40 Under 40" list of influential thirtysomethings working in finance, technology, health care, politics, and entertainment.

There are few lists on which CNN personality Brian Stelter could appear next to Beyoncé, wife of Shawn "Jay Z" Carter, the musical artist behind the 1999 smash hit, "Big Pimpin'." This is one of them. Here are some of the highlights from the politics and entertainment sections.

Joe Kennedy III

Regrettable timing, given the congressman's historic defeat in the Massachusetts Senate primary on Tuesday. He's now the only member of his depraved political dynasty to lose an election in that state. His uncle Teddy, by contrast, won six elections in Massachusetts after leaving a woman to drown in his car.

Fortune, which unironically praised Kennedy's "Beto O’Rourke style of politicking," is certain Kennedy will land on his feet, noting that "top Democratic operatives are already whispering about potential high-level positions in a Joe Biden administration." Sometimes "failure" is just another word for "opportunity." Teddy learned that the hard way; Joe will do just fine.

Brian Stelter

Sometimes referred to as "Humpty Dumpty," the CNN personality hosts the show Reliable Sources. Dan Rather is a frequent guest. Fortune notes that Stelter "has been critiquing the media since college," which sounds exhausting. Stelter's nemesis, Fox News, once enlisted an undercover intern to take part in a mostly unsuccessful "honey trap" operation aimed at undermining the tenacious media critic.

Stelter, who has done more to highlight the spelling errors in President Trump's tweets than any other journalist in America, is also the author of Hoax: Donald Trump, Fox News, and the Dangerous Distortion of Truth. He describes himself as a "shocked and angry" "advocate for factual journalism," which sounds even more exhausting. The book was panned by the New York Times as an "easy-to-digest but unnuanced" screed that relies on "name calling" and "gratuitous gossip."

Taylor Lorenz

A New York Times reporter on the teen culture beat, Lorenz is one of the most celebrated members of a media establishment obsessed with celebrating itself. The Times has published multiple profiles of Lorenz—its own employee—since she started working there in 2019. Her Brooklyn apartment was featured on a lifestyle blog. She made the cover of Meme Insider, whatever that is.

Lorenz was ruthlessly mocked in 2018 after being publicly disappointed about her delivery order of $22 avocado toast. The Greenwich, Conn., native and Swiss boarding-school graduate recently shared an NPR interview with Vicky Osterweil, author of In Defense of Looting. "Very interesting," she wrote.

NPR has since apologized for publishing the interview, which the taxpayer-funded network's public editor said was inappropriate because "a book author with a radical point of view far to the left was allowed to spread false information."

The Pod Bros

Unlike most ex-Obama aides, who took highly paid gigs at morally righteous conglomerates such as Uber, Amazon, and McDonald's, former speechwriters Jon Favreau and Jon Lovett (not a typo) founded Crooked Media, a political podcasting empire.

Lovett is beloved for having mainstream liberal opinions and providing cheeky commentary on the issues. Favreau is also known for having mainstream liberal opinions and giving deadpan descriptions of clever posts he saw on Twitter, the popular social networking website.

Ronan Farrow

The celebrity journalist, who is also Lovett's fiancé, is best known for being Woody Allen's alleged son. Though President Trump deserves much of the credit for forcing media outlets to stop suppressing coverage of powerful Democrats accused of sexual assault, Ronan's reporting in the New Yorker (after NBC News rejected it) played a role in taking down serial predator Harvey Weinstein.

Scooter Braun

The Soros-funded music tycoon, whose hostile acquisition of Taylor Swift's song catalogue sparked a bitter feud with the beloved pop artist, has built a successful business managing the careers of teen sensations such as Justin Bieber.