Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Surprising Media Problems

I am not surprised that the national news media aren't particularly interested in My Brother Ron: they have their own agenda, and discussing the role of deinstitutionalization in causing most of these mass murders wouldn't serve that agenda.  What disappoints me is how completely uninterested local conservative talk radio shows seem to be.  

There were, until recently, three different conservative talk radio programs here in Boise.  The guy that was on in the afternoon on KIDO?  He was talking about the Aurora massacre, so I called up, and started to explain a little about my book, and suddenly they decided that my phone connection wasn't very good.  So I offered to drop off the book at the station.  I did, that evening.  No response.  Next thing I know, he doesn't have a radio program there anymore.

I emailed Nate Shelman at KBOI.  No interest.

I dropped off a copy of the book for the morning conservative talk radio program, Kevin Miller at KIDO, at the suggestion of his producer.  The topic is still hot, of course, and Kevin Miller is talking about the mass murder problem just about every day.  But when I called this morning, the producer indicated that yeah, the book went into Miller's box, but he didn't know if he actually had looked at it.

Fortunately, Boise Public Radio does care about this topic, and they are interviewing me on Thursday.


  1. Clayton,

    You need a healthy dose of cynicism. Talk radio is entertainment and nothing else. You live in a society that lusts for entertainment. A book like yours has some basic requirements: literacy, reading comprehension, and the ability to perform the hard work of thinking.

    C'mon lad, take a hard look at the society around you. Do you really think that those attributes are waxing?

    When one speaks of "College" or "University" in Idaho, the first thought that comes to many if not most minds is who is playing, who played, and what was the score.

    Its over, and even the time for crying is gone.

  2. Clayton,
    A lot of the smarter folks on the conservative/reactionary side of the fence recognize that deinstitutionalization of the mentally ill had a significant price in terms of crime and the homeless. However, most don't want to talk about it in public because we also have less than zero trust in the present mental health apparatus to not go full Stalinist. But yes, if you plot total institutional control vs aggravated assault, you see a very striking correlation. I recently did a little series on my own blog on how improvements in trauma medicine have masked a lot of our homicide problem.

  3. The left doesn't like institutionalization because it's not politically correct. The right doesn't like it because it smacks of government run health care. Libertarians don't like it because they think you have a right to be crazy.

    You're kind of screwed any way you go, except maybe to populists. I think of all the groups, you'd have the easiest time convincing religious conservative, and possibly religious lefties, like Quakers.

  4. I agree with the comments above. I've tried to participate a couple of time in other blog's comments. Those on the left want to talk about guns or about how the real mental illness issue is that more neighborhood clinics need to be built and on the right they think I am advocating locking up everyone who might be the slightest bit "abnormal". I think unless you've had direct personal experience with this issue no one wants to deal with it.

  5. Great comments and spot on! Another issue where nothing gets done because of the political polarization.