When I caught up with Jason Sattler last week, it was just hours before the Republicans’ debated for, by my count, the 561st time. When I asked Sattler what his debate prep entailed, he deadpanned, “Drinking.” That’s the brand of wit that has made his LOLGOP Twitter account a must-follow for any political junkie, or even for someone who just wants to laugh at the whole damn circus. He spoke to me from his base in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where he also writes about politics for various sites.
When I ask Sattler how he gets most of his news, he doesn’t exactly give daps to the networks and their nightly programs. “When they have a USB jack for Twitter for my brain, I think I’ll use that. But for now, Tweetdeck is the closest thing,” he says. “I’m pretty much on Twitter all day. Reddit Politics is another big source for me.”
So what’s up with non-work-related media consumption? “I do Netflix to keep up with the shows I’m supposed to watch,” he says. “Whatever the big show is that everybody has already watched that I’m behind on, that I have to catch up on. Now, I’m finishing up House of Cards and Narcos.”
Then, Sattler gets a tad unexpected. “When it comes to watching TV, I don’t really watch any politics at all: just junk reality. Andy Cohen kind of curates my reality TV existence,” he says of the Watch What Happens: Live host. “I watch a ton of Bravo. The many varietals of Teen Mom and Real Housewives would be at the top. I don’t know if I would have sought them out, but my wife and I both enjoy them. It’s a happy medium to kill some brain cells before we go to bed.”
As for the written word, Sattler can’t stop, won’t stop. “I read a lot during the day to keep up, so I’m reading One Nation Under God, which is a great book about Christian Libertarianism,” he tells me. “At night, I tend to try to stick to fiction. I’m finishing — just like with TV, catching up on stuff — The End of Vandalism, which is an old book from Tom Drury. It’s fantastic and hilarious. I’m from California and I live in the Midwest, so Tom Drury writes about the Midwest in a way that Californians can really start to understand it. I appreciate that.”
“I love short stories even more so than novels,” Sattler says. He name-checks Lorrie Moore, Grace Paley, and Tobias Woolf as some of his faves. “The New Yorker Soundcloud channel is the most amazing thing there is,” he goes on, saying that he subscribes to that legendary mag as well as The New Republic “and anything else with ‘new’ in the title, I probably get that as well.” But about that Soundcloud page: “I don’t know if people understand how great The New Yorker channel is because it’s poems and short stories and podcasts and all this content that they now put up for free. I just listened to a Zadie Smith one. She wrote a story about Michael Jackson, Marlon Brando, and Elizabeth Taylor escaping New York during 9/11. I was just listening to that during a dog walk, which was awesome.”
For filmgoing, Sattler and his wife are members of the Ann Arbor arthouse, Michigan Theater. “They just screened Casablanca again: They do that the first day of every school year, and that’s always fun.” As for popcorn flicks, he caught The Martian, which he equates to a “a big Disneyland ride.”
If you’re familiar with Sattler’s particular brand of humor, you might not be surprised to hear that he listens “to every minute of Howard Stern.” But that’s not the only thing that floats into his eardrums. “Probably the quirkiest thing is every night when we go to bed, we listen to The Thomas Jefferson Hour, which is a podcast. It’s a guy pretending to be Thomas Jefferson being interviewed by a friend of his and it’s pretty hilarious and informative. The guys have great voices, which help you go to sleep, so it’s great.” LOL, bro. LOL.