After Christine O’Donnell knocked off Mike Castle in the Delaware GOP primary this week, there’s been a lot of focus on her long history of TV appearances in her 20’s, where she covered a wide range of topics. Much of this has been in the context of “how did this strange person manage to win a Senate primary battle?”, but that’s not what I find most interesting about all of this.
What I’m more curious about is why Christine O’Donnell was ever on television so much in the first place. A lot people in their 20s have strong personal and political views, and many of them go so far as to dedicate their lives at that time to some particular cause. But it’s exceedingly rare for any of those people to successfully get such high-profile media platforms to air their views. O’Donnell was clearly motivated in her causes, but her media ascension at the time seems oddly out of place with the actual substance of her activism. She was talking about the evils of masturbation for fuck’s sake. I was alive in the 90s, and I don’t recall that being a particularly pressing problem in our society at the time. Why was this young woman showing up on various high-profile television shows so often, when her only qualification appeared to be that she screwed around in college and later regretted it?
UDPATE: Commenter rhp6033 shines some light on this with a good comment that I’d missed from earlier this week.