The PJ Tatler

What We're Fighting Here is Total Ignorance

This morning I was out in the car for an errand and I was listening to 101.5 FM. It’s Austin’s alt-rock station, which these days means too many songs with mandolins and folk singers, ads for strip clubs and DJ’s who are not quite as funny as they think they are. What can I say? Alt-rock used to be good before someone decided to castrate it and make it conformist schlock. I keep hoping they’ll play a good song. Sometimes they surprise me.

The DJ, Deb O’Keefe, was on about the TSA. She read a media story verbatim about how the TSA is predicting long lines at airports thanks to the sequester. Then she jumped to the story about the TSA now allowing knives, golf clubs and other things that can be used as weapons back onto aircraft. Then she made the illogical and ill-informed leap that the decisions to allows knives etc. back onto aircraft is meant to distract from the delays that we’ll supposedly encounter at airports. She was serious. Keeping your pocket knife would distract you from noticing that you’re standing around in line forever, somehow. And in her way of thinking, the Obama administration really wants to distract people from the pain that it is banking on inflicting, to get its way in the sequester fight.

It made no sense at all, and in the context of the Obama administration’s scaremongering on the sequester (which O’Keefe admitted that she didn’t even understand), really made no sense. There was no mention of the USDA memo in which the administration pushed agencies to make the sequester hurt, to keep the administration from looking bad. There was no real counter from the other DJ, who was as ill-informed as his comrade. It was a hot mess from start to finish. But they have microphones and ample time to misinform, and a decent sized audience in the Austin area.

Now, this sort of thing is about what I expect from the likes of your average morning radio show. They’re there to entertain, not really inform. It’s nearly a miracle that they cover any real news at all. But a whole lot of people do get their news on stations like 101X. Those people and these DJs aren’t paying one second’s worth of attention to Sen. Rand Paul’s filibuster to fight Brennan and Holder on drone attacks or really analyzing what’s behind the TSA threat — made a day after it splurged $50 million on new uniforms — or anything else. This station’s audience votes. Or some of them do, anyway, and chances are they’re not voting for sane or limited government. They’re voting based on what they hear in the media, which is deceptive on a good day. I doubt that most of them would vote to surrender so much control over their daily lives to government bureaucrats if they knew that’s what they were doing when they vote for Democrats.

We have to reach these people. How do we do it? I puzzled over this problem the entire time I was at the state GOP and still haven’t figured it out. They’re not getting their news here or Drudge or Breitbart or Hot Air or anything similar. It’s a TMZ world we’re dealing with. How do we break through?