Seriously. Here’s how The History Channel works: Launched in 1995, The History Channel spent quite a bit of time on World War II, leading to “The Hitler Channel” as a sarcastic moniker. Realizing Nazi Germany can only be so profitable, The History Channel began expanding its chosen topics. The shift to reality TV came in 2007, as they began airing Modern Marvels. That show spun off Ice Road Truckers. The History Channel also changed their slogan to “History made every day” – perhaps realizing they were beginning to ignore their original mission of actual history. In 2008, The History Channel simply became “History”. As The New York Times explains: Its biggest show for the last two years has been “Pawn Stars,” about a family that buys and sells watches, necklaces and artifacts. Just last week, History scheduled a spinoff, “Cajun Pawn Stars.” But the channel is also considering shows that may seem suited for TNT or even ESPN, like a “Hatfields and McCoys” mini-series and a jousting competition. The goal, it seems, is to steal market share from the other big boys. History has been able to declare its “best year ever” for five years in a row because it took what could be seen as a radical turn away from its brand nearly five years ago. Summary from Cracked: Nat Geo, owned by the News Corporation, launched in 2001 with lofty goals. A news release from National Geographic proclaims “the 21st century would prove to be the real age of discovery as the pace of scientific research and technology accelerates” and that the new Nat Geo channel would bring these discoveries to life. The new channel originally planned to recap science news in an “All Things Considered” format, and to produce shows in-house using the National Geographic Society’s explorers-in-residence. Sounds pretty sweet, right? Well, in order to keep up with History, Nat Geo began adding reality television shortly after its launch. This included programs like Border Wars, Swamp Men, Rocket City Rednecks, and Knights of Mayhem. Instead of the quality illumination of scientific discovery, in its quest for ratings and keeping up with The History Channel, Nat Geo is morphing into a knock-off of History. The latest tragedy taken up by Nat Geo is Killing Lincoln, Bill O’Reilly’s book about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination that is so riddled with factual inaccuracies, the Ford Theater’s in-house bookstore refuses to carry it.  So thanks, History. See what you’ve done? History is choking the life out of history, science, and whatever else it can set its grubby corporate hands upon. And this, kids, is why we need PBS.
This pisses me off so much because when I was growing up, I used to watch it along with Animal Planet and Discovery Channel. I loved that stuff! It really peaked my interest in other cultures and history and other places. To see it change so much in the past years is just upsetting and depressing. Slightly OT, but when I went to Wiki to see what year it aired, I laughed when I got to this:  For some unknown reason the History Channel rarely airs shows actually relative to History, rather many programs compare contemporary culture and technology with the past, while some programs have an unfortunately more esoteric focus such as conspiracy theoryreligious interpretation, UFO speculation, or reality television. EVEN WIKIPEDIA SAYS IT, YOU GUYS. EVEN WIKIPEDIA. AUUUGH.
YES! It drives me inSANE. I used to watch The History Channel, NatGeo, & Discovery all day and LOVED the educational programming. Now it’s all “Finding Bigfoot” (deceptive title) and “Ancient Aliens”. Fuck that crap. Fuck that crap RIGHT IN ITS STUPID FACE.

Cognitive Dissonance: History is destroying history


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