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Not Just Sharks -- The Junk That Passes for Science on the Discovery Channel

Fire in the Mind
By George Johnson
Aug 7, 2013 12:23 AMNov 20, 2019 1:08 AM


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I dimly remember when the Discovery Channel was a place to learn about science and to enjoy the creative ways it could be presented on TV. Or maybe I am imagining that. Christie Wilcox did a great job yesterday on her blog debunking the pseudoscience that Discovery is foisting off on the public in what purports to be a documentary: "Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives” (the problem being that it doesn’t). The backlash from viewers has been an encouraging sign that there is a demand for quality, and the fallout from the scandal led me to check out what other fare is currently offered. Here are some of the shows Discovery is promoting: Airplane Repo, Amish Mafia, Auction Kings, Naked Castaway, Pot & Cops, Texas Car Wars, and Warlocks Rising. Meanwhile on the History Channel, another once reputable source, the lineup includes Counting Cars, Pawn Stars, God, Guns & Automobiles, and Swamp People. This plunge in quality comes at a time when television drama is experiencing a renaissance that began with The Wire and encompasses brilliantly written and produced shows like Deadwood, Six Feet Under, Mad Men, Breaking Bad, House of Cards (both versions), and The Killing. The Discovery and the History channels aren’t even producing good fiction. @byGeorgeJohnson

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