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Friday, June 5, 2009

What Happened to the History on the History Channel

I was thrilled when the History Channel went on the air. History is one of my great loves and to have an entire television channel devoted to history was divine. Unfortunately, I believe that the History Channel and its parent company A&E have lost their rudder. They used to have great programs and now a lot of it is schlock.

My husband says that reality programming is cheap and seems to be what the public wants. What in the heck is wrong with the American public? But to get back to the History Channel, I was appalled when for Memorial Weekend, with all the programs they have achieved from the days when they actually were a history channel; they chose to have a “Monster Quest” marathon. A part from the fact that I would argue that a program devoted to the mythology of monsters in various cultures hardly qualifies as history in the first place, I cannot imagine why the History Channel would devote three days to showing it 24/7 for something like Memorial Weekend.

I would also argue that “Axe Men,” a program about present day loggers, and “Ice Road Truckers,” about truck drivers who drive big rigs over arctic ice for a living, is not history. A little of it is interesting, but it is not history. Their new “African Expedition” is also interesting, but only a half-step up from “Survivor” and “The Great Race,” two more programs I do not watch. The only reality programming I found engaging had a beginning, middle and end. Those were some BBC and PBS series that set volunteers into situation meant to recreate various periods of history and follow how they dealt with it. Watching people have to build dwellings from scratch on the American plains or deal with the class structure of Victorian England was compelling to me, but it didn’t drag on forever.

The anniversary of D-Day is tomorrow. I’ve checked and the History Channel has some little programming devoted to it. Maybe the email I sent then on Memorial Day had an effect. I may actually turn on the History Channel this weekend, but judging by their line up, I won’t be going back to being a regular viewer any time soon. Thank goodness for books!


Lorraine Hart said...

We watched some really good programs on the history of this planet...I mean the physical history of the planet's making...on this channel and really enjoyed it.

Stephanie Frieze said...

I've seen some really good programs on the History Channel, but things like Monster Quest and Ice Road Truckers don't have anything to do with History. They had some good things on Saturday and also Monday.

Anonymous said...

I think that whoever is running the History Channel has a religious agenda, because most of their programming now deals with 2012 Hysteria, Nostradamus, end times, what if asteriods strike and etc.
The unspoken underlying them is, "The end is coming; come to Jesus. Total Crap now

Anonymous said...

The History Channel and Science Channel were sold to a right wing religious group that’s why the programs are about religion.

Their trying to pass it off as fact, like it really happen.

Anonymous said...

Mad props on the anonymous posting without the "sogn in" or "account"!!

I have noticed that the History channel has seriously skewed their programming of late. I am finding more and more programs that cast environmentally questionable activities; I.E. swap land (the protrayal of hunting in the evergreens), Logging shows (the destruction of old growth forests), coal mining (associating with the B*&^S@#T that coal mining and usage can be safe), Taxidermy (hunting for trophy sake), ETC. I am even watching a show now trying to claim diamonds are "rare" and not actually a controlled market (something I learned from this same channel not too long ago).

What has changed that this channel has become a propaganda machine for the "MAN"? Is "Clear Channel" the impetus? Where's the lie?

I, for one, is ready to boycott The History Channel altogether.

Anyone else noticing this trend?

Anonymous posting but you can send your thoughts to me directly at bmccool1969 at yahoo dot com. I am open to both pro and con.