The Low Information Voters Will Inherit the Earth

Via Eugene Volokh

Gator Country 101.9 morning deejays Val St. John and Scott Fish are back on the air today after a one-day suspension for an April Fool’s Day joke involving Lee County’s water supply.

The hosts of the “Val and Scott In The Morning Show” on the Bonita Springs-based country music station were suspended Monday after perpetrating the joke that involved telling listeners there was dihydrogen monoxide in the county’s water. Dihydrogen monoxide is another way to describe water.

Some listeners didn’t get the joke, however, and began calling the Lee County Utility asking about the issue....

Tony Renda, 101.9 general manager, said in a message to The News-Press today that suspension of the two deejays remained in effect until the following was accomplished:

“Although the VAST MAJORITY of our listeners got the joke, some didn’t. We needed to ensure that ALL of our listeners understood that there was no problem with the water,” Renda said in the message, adding that the station had to ensure that both the Lee County Utility and Lee County Health Department were both satisfied with the efforts.

After seeing the very funny Penn and Teller episode (where they have environmental activists signing a petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide), I am not surprised that people did not get the joke.  The amazing thing is the fact that the radio station, and society in general, felt the need to pander to this ignorance by actually suspending the radio show hosts.  In effect, they were forced to apologize for the public's appalling ignorance.

This is the society that progressives have been fighting for -- one in which the listener defines acceptable vs. unacceptable speech based on his or her own hurt feelings and ignorance.


  1. obloodyhell:

    Indeed. This is the issue I find with so many of the nutjob conspiracy people out there, of both ends of the political spectrum -- the chemtrail idiots, the anti-vaccination idiots, the 911 truthers, the (more extreme) Obama birthers, and so forth. As Heinlein put it over 50 years ago, "people whose concept of an electron is something much like a small pea"... except nowaday these idiots not only believe their halfwit opinions matter, but they actually have others ACTING as though they actually mattered.


  2. marque2:

    I am glad they got that dihydrogen monoxide thing cleared up. But I hear the city water still has issues with hydrogen hydroxide. What are they going to do about that?

  3. Matthew Slyfield:

    An excellent example of the rampant chemo-phobia in modern western societies.

    To all the chemo-phobes out there, please note the following.

    There is nothing inherently artificial about chemicals. Everything you can see, feel and smell. your body, every plant and every animal on the face of the earth, even the very air that surrounds you is in its entirety made up of chemicals.

    Grow up and get over it.

  4. Dan Terrill:

    I live one county away from Lee, and I can attest that there's lots of dihydrogen monoxide in the water system there. Also, there are more than a few people who aren't smart enough to understand the joke.

  5. marque2:

    I also like when folks film young college girls signing petitions to end Woman's Suffrage. Those poor women are all suffraging, can't have that :P

  6. hunterson1:

    Wow. Disturbing on so many levels.

  7. Corky Boyd:

    In its initial story the Fort Myers News Press didn't mention what the two DJs had said to warrant their suspension, just that it was alarming. It is possible that the reporter and editors also don't know what dihydrogen oxide is. Rush Limbaugh has been using this spoof for years to point out the gullibility of environmentalists and the media.
    Your point that stupidity is taken seriously is well taken.
    Corky Boyd
    A subsriber to the Fort Myers News Press

  8. marque2:

    It has been a joke long before Rush brought it up. These guys have been around forever

  9. Ted Rado:

    One of the unfortunate facts in a democracy is that the village idiot has as much right to speak up as Einstein. It is then left up to each citizen to decide whom to believe. But, there seems to be no better way. Efforts at censorship result in another set of idiots (politicians) deciding what is true, PC, agrees with their own biases, or whatever. All this is a great advertisement for educating oneself on public issues, not just reading the popular press.

  10. jimbeaux:

    I was listening to talk show host Neal Boortz about 20 years ago when he came on the air, alerting Atlantans that dihydrogen monoxide had been found in the city's water supply. He was saying things like, "dihydrogen monoxide was implicated in the shuttle disaster, it kills hundreds of people every year. It's a solvent..." etc etc. The funniest part was when he called the city's water office and spoke with the manager, who vehemently denied there being any dihyrdogen monoxide in the water supply.

  11. mesocyclone:

    This is a remarkably old trick - there have been low information folks around forever.

  12. bob sykes:

    Evolution works by differential reproduction; the prolific inherit the earth. Anything that promotes enhanced reproduction in the current environment is selected for. So, welfare queens are more fit than and superior to Harvard-educated PhDs.

    If you don't have at least three kids, your own gene line go extinct. If your people do not have at least 2.2 kids on average, your people will go extinct.