NPR's On The Media

Bad TV, made every day

I’m glad On The Media tackled the issue of the dumbing down of educational channels. As an avid viewer of crap television I noticed a significant uptick in commercial fishing, logging, and mining shows. I don’t understand why people want to use their time off from their jobs watching other people work. If you really wanted to watch fishing you should get in a boat and fish.

The On The Media story was about the National Geographic channel and specifically a show about mining for historical artifacts. This is how most of these shows work. They hide behind a sliver of educational value, but at the end of the show you’ve learned about as much about from the show as you learn about medicine from an episode of house. My favorite excuse is the History Channels tag line “History, made every day” which to me translates to History, now playing reality TV.

It’s sad to see this erosion of educational television, but not surprising. Educational channels have to compete for advertising dollars just like all the other channels. I wonder if there is any way around these shows. My suggestion is more Cash Cab.

Leave a Reply