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200px-Fonzie_jumps_the_sharkI first discovered the Discovery Channel around 1996 or so when I was traveling, visiting my cousin.  Her 6 year old son was glued to it.  So was I.  Today, though, if I had a kid under 18, the channel, because of it’s new content, would be blocked. Yep, it’s that bad.

Now days, my favorite channel seems to be Animal Planet.  No, I’m not all that into animals, but the programming doesn’t insult my intelligence. One of the most useful shows on is My Cat from Hell.  I swear the only reason I was able to integrate Miss Leontyne Price, AKA Precious Little Baby Kitten, AKA Baby into the family was by watching that show.  For some reason River Monsters is turning into a chick show.  Don’t ask me why – oh, heck we all know why.   And – my really guilty pleasure is Finding Bigfoot. Okay, I admit it.  It also interests me that Animal Planet seems to be one of the few networks where women are getting a fair shot.

I live for Shark Week, which basically tells you that I have no life. Unfortunately, after what I saw on Sunday night, don’t expect me to ever watch it again.  What happened afterward, with their shark week after dark drinking and shark porn joking comedy show, I don’t plan to watch it, again.  That’s a shame, because Mythbusters is one of my favorite shows.

“…Part of me is furious with you, Discovery, for doing this. But mostly, I’m just deeply saddened. It’s inexplicably depressing that you’ve gone from “the world’s #1 nonfiction media company” to peddling lies and faking stories for ratings. You’ve compromised your integrity so completely with this special, and that breaks my heart. I loved you, Discovery, ever since I was a child. I grew up watching you. It was partly because of you that I became transfixed by the natural world and pursued a career in science. I once dreamed of having my own Discovery Channel special, following in the footsteps of people like Jeff Corwin. Not anymore. This is inexcusable. You have an obligation to your viewers to hold to your non-fiction claims. You used to expose the beautiful, magical, wonderful sides of the world around us. Now, you just make shit up for profit. It’s depressing. It’s disgusting. It’s wrong….”

Storage Wars is one of the worst programs on television.  It is all about taking advantage of people who have lost everything, with their life’s treasures in storage.  In this day and age, when people have lost their homes, many have put things in storage.  When they can’t afford to pay, the predators step in and basically trash their lives.  It should be taken off television.  The same thing is true about the house flipping shows, where people make money off tragedy.

If what is happening on the science and learning based reality channels is any indication of how the world is viewed, women are about as useful and valued as viewers as the GOP thinks we are as individuals.  Once upon a time, up to a year ago, the Discovery Channel was one of my favorites.  Then they dumped Mike Rowe, who is just a really good example of what a barihunk should be.  I can’t stand watching the gold rush stories.  I don’t like the naked and afraid storyline.  Let’s have naked and at the spa, but I’m sorry, watching people debase themselves like that is just as bad as being forced to watch Survivor (which I have never really been able to comprehend).

Then, I noticed an article from Ad Age, about how the Discovery Channel was rebranding itself.  Sure, it is rebranding, to be more “character” driven, with shows that aren’t worth watching.  I don’t care about watching the Amish dealing with life.  That needs to be on a channel about overcoming spiritual abuse, not ‘character’ driven.  Besides, if they are real Amish, there’s no way they’d allow television coverage of their lives, and expose the fact that they are the most abusive parents in the country (per capita).

The Discovery Channel’s programming is becoming more and more male oriented, as is that of so many other formerly ‘learning’ based channels.  And, no I don’t consider Honey Boo Boo viable television.  Is that what is considered programming for those of us who aren’t male, extreme right, survivalist, he-man, woman-hating, scared little white men?  And, yes, a heck of a lot of their program is lily white, all over the place. Is Mythbusters the only show on the Discovery Channel where women are not treated like idiots, or walk around naked and afraid? Do they think just because Oprah Winfrey has a network, programming can be completely white male oriented?  I don’t watch Discovery Health because I don’t want anything medical.

There is a new channel called 3D Discovery, with limited services.  Not to worry, it’s all about guys, and reruns of other science shows. I’m not really in to the Military Channel. Why do we need all those car shows if there is a channel based on just cars?  Velocity?

Have you noticed that most of the cooking shows are male oriented?  Most of the women who ‘host’ the cooking shows are insulting stereotypes.

What’s with the white guy hillbilly trend?

  • Hillbilly Handfishing
  • Snake Man
  • Honey Boo Boo
  • Hillbilly Blood
  • Hatfields & the McCoys White Lightening
  • Swamp People (just plain stupid)
  • Duck Dynesty
  • Porter Ridge
  • Moonshiners

In order to

  • Sons of Guns (white men & glorification of the NRA)
  • Fast n’ Loud (more white men bonding over cars)
  • Backyard Oil (white men playing Jed Clampett)
  • Gold Rush (more white men pissing, spitting, and cussing)
  • Last Car Standing (more white men and cars)
  • Wild Alaska (white men hunting)
  • Auction Kings (white men selling stuff)
  • Deadliest Catch (white men fishing)
  • License to Drill (white men looking for oil)
  • Naked and Afraid (white men looking at naked white women in a survivalist mode)
  • Sisterwives (white men with a bunch of women who shack up with him)
  • Cougar Wives (insulting white women)
  • 19 Kids & Counting (white, far right, man, Quiverfull, anti-women)
  • Toddlers & Tiaras (monster kids being abused by moronic mothers)
  • Ice Cold Gold (spoiled white men bitching about life)
  • Treehouse Masters (more white guys)
  • Wild West Alaska (more white men)
  • Velocity Channel (white men and their cars)
  • Military Channel (white guys doing stuff with guns, planes & war)
  • Ghost Twon Gold (more white guys and gold)
  • Top Guns & Automobiles (really nasty white guys, cars, guns, ultra right)
  • Top Shot (usually only white guys with guns)
  • Counting Cars (white guys and cars)
  • Mountain Men (scary white men killing Bambi)
  • The Legend of Shelby the Swamp Man (white man)
  • Ax Men (redneck white men)
  • Doomsday Preppers (scared little white men terrified of the world)
  • Duck Dynasty (redneck white men)
  • Buying Alaska (more white men)
  • BBQ Pit Masters (white men cooking)
  • Porter Ridge (redneck white man doesn’t wear shirts)
  • Moonshiners (redneck white men making illegal booze)

What do we women want and who do we like?  Let’s put it this way, we don’t like to be insulted.  Maybe we need to admit that women are more drawn to Investigation Discovery?  These are shows where women are treated as equals, or are not belittled or degraded.  They are not all about scary right me.

  • Mythbusters where women are treated as equals
  • Mike Rowe even when dirty
  • River Monsters (sure it is a white guy fishing, but he’s a Brit)
  • Ice Road Truckers where women are treated as equals
  • The Science Channels has good stuff – not insulting to the intelligence
  • Cake Boss (white man not insulting to women)
  • Tanked (white men bossed around by a strong woman)
  • Hoarding: Buried Alive (just scary)
  • Extreme Couponing (weird women who make us all look good)
  • My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (at least we are learning about a minority culture)
  • Finding Bigfoot where women are treated as equals
  • Fatal Attraction where women are equal opportunity idiots
  • Infested where women are equal
  • ANYTHING on Investigation Discovery where race & gender don’t matter
  • Mountain Monsters is equal for men and women
  • A Haunting is equal
  • Monsters & Mysteries is equal
  • American Pickers
  • Pawn Stars
  • Haunted History
  • Ancient Aliens
  • America Unearthed
  • Monster Quest
  • UFO Hunters
  • Top Chef (all genders, races, no favoritism only the best)
  • Top Gear (British white men with cars – which is okay)
  • Gordon Ramsey

If we are women, I guess we get stuck with Bridzillas who are so stupid they will spend ten thousand bucks on a wedding dress, gushing over baby, Honey Boo-Boo, what we aren’t to be wearing, and so forth and so on.  Let’s face it some of this stuff is just plain insulting.  Not every woman is stupid enough to be caught up in dream weddings.  The women involved are so nasty…!  I will watch Say Yes to the Dress if nothing else is on.  I just don’t get the whole pit-bull thing.

I don’t know where to begin discussing the whole 19 Kids and Counting problem.  This show is deplorable, advertising a truly unhappy and miserable life-style where women are nothing, and men are everything.  If you don’t know anything about the Quiverful movement, then you need to learn abut it.

  • Breaking Amish
  • Cupcake Wars
  • Honey Boo Boo
  • wedding dresses
  • perfect weddings
  • anything gold mining

I’ve left out many things, including H&G, Bravo, the misc. cooking networks, and a few others.  I think this proves a point.  When you include ‘reality based programming, and excluding science and paranormal programming, things are starting to appear gender specific.  The programming for men is manly.  Things for women emphasize cooking, cleaning, marriage, having babies, and keeping a home.  Unless a woman is being a psycho bride, slutty TV star, or realtor, if you watch reality television, the only thing women are good for are cooking, baking cupcakes, keeping a home, having dozens of babies, and smiling as she worships the little man.

Men, on the other hand, are he-men.  They have cars, guns, spit, chew, piss, belch, mine for gold, and do guy things.  They are in control, have fun careers, get to go out in the world and get dirty, do the more exciting cooking, get the glory, then go home to the little woman who is watching how to bake cupcakes.

A few years ago, I read something about certain reality shows being watched by conservatives, and shows that are watched by liberals.  The programming that is primarily Discovery based had a tendency to attract conservative viewers.  If this is the case, the GOP war on women is having a greater effect that we once thought it did.  If you watch what were once my favorite channels, you know a good little woman’s place is in the home, baking cupcakes.

Every once in awhile you start thinking, there’s got to be a Koch in the woodpile and not appear to be paranoid or obsessed.  Or, maybe I am paranoid and obsessed.  I’ve been writing so much about the far right agenda that I’ve lost my mind.  Maybe I’m just ticked because I don’t like the programming that I am seeing – everywhere.

Granted, television is nothing more than the art of imitation and the Biblical red-necks of Duck Dynasty are hot right now, so their show must be duplicated, endlessly.  I comprehend that – and why we are being subjected to an endless supply of truly annoying rednecks.  Rarely does one fine a truly unique moment in television, with unique ideas.  When it happens, if those ideas are a success, they are imitated, time and time again.

Well….. Guess what?

I love it when I’m right.

It seems like the brains behind the Discovery Channel, Discovery Communications went public with 45% of their stock available on NASDAQ.  The Newhouse family is the largest share holder with about 31% of the stock through Advance Publications. (The Sporting News, Conde Nast, Woman’s Wear Daily, Parade Magazine, etc.  They also have a stake in Religion News ServiceThe Newhouse family has a tendency not to get involved in politics and let the editorial staff of their various publication do their own thing.  They have a tendency to be liberal when pushed for political affiliation.

The Pink Flamingo has been told that, once Discovery Communications went public, there was a little Great White Koch in the megalodon woodpile, buying up stock.   Something has profoundly changed the way Discovery Communications is approaching the world, and it isn’t just about ruining Shark Week.  The same thing is going on through out the ‘reality’ based television world.  It is all about white men – only, with women being put into their place as baby makers, brides, and cupcake bakers.  If this is a reflection of our new American society – we’re screwed.

Reading the ratings for Shark Week, it became apparent that women are the big loser.  The prime target are men aged 19-45.  They are watching the new version of Red Neck TV.

I guess it’s still a man’s world.

 

 

 

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5 Comments

  • FJV says:

    It’s insulting to me that they call this utter stupidity male oriented.

    There is stuff I thoroughly hate about discovery channel.

    One of them is the frequent health and safety violations on that channel presented as “the manly thing to do”. I see no reason to promote unsafe work practices as being “manly”. Even with regulations in place too much accidents happen. This ruined dirty jobs for me.

    Then there are shows like storage wars, which are a complete insult to my intelligence. A normal person will not leave a 8000 dollar item in storage if they cannot pay the 100 dollar storage rent.

    And then the bad hardrock everytime an angle grinder or welder is used. What is that all about?

    Maybe videos like this on the internet arethe future.
    (cat behavior)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fgpZH5JaFo
    (welding course)
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rxo5SLrnFF0

  • SJ Reidhead says:

    Evidently males ages 18-45 are more valuable for ratings than women. Guess that puts us in our place.

    SJR

  • unknown jane says:

    What I find troubling is the way in which “hillbillies” are portrayed — in other words, poor rural white people are what? Ah yes, idiots to be laughed at…untermenschen that one needs subtitles to understand.
    Kind of the way colored folks have been considered…

    (I will admit to actually enjoying Duck Dynasty the few times I’ve watched it — that show appears to have been initially created to follow lockstep with the whole hillbilly genre thing, but the individual characters subverted it pretty well; the women aren’t exactly wilting wallflowers either — so it came out more like a Dirty Jobs type show than a Hillbilly Hand Fishin’ one, which by the way I miss the former greatly and detest the latter)

    And I don’t think this is necessarily “white guy” programming — more like really low brow shows for people who think they are superior (my husband and son are men, and hardly fans).
    The Military Channel used to have some great history documentaries — watched one on Napoleon’s Winter Campaign that I’d love to find again — of course, the halfway decent stuff is on in the morning/early afternoon weekdays…when there’s no audience :/

  • SJ Reidhead says:

    There is only one logical answer to the entire conundrum. Duck Dynasty is a rating’s hog and a money making machine. I grew up in rural South Carolina where no one acted like that. As people grew in ‘sophistication’ and worldliness they came to truly enjoy, treasure, and exploit the whole redneck thing, but there weren’t even hillbillies in the rural NC Appalachian mountains where my family brutally (nah, I just hated the mountains there) to spend every miserable summer until I was grown. It took thirty minutes of back roads to reach the house they had, and like Gilligan’s Island, it was primitive as could be with no phone, and only 2 television channels. The families who lived there, year round may have been country, but most of them sent their kids to college, had money in the bank, and enjoyed their lives. But – it wasn’t what you see on these reality shows today. I grew up in the rural south, in the foothills. There were no people like this!

    Reality? All the way to the bank!

    SJR

  • unknown jane says:

    I think the DD folks are hamming it up, and it seems to be done very tongue in cheek — but they’ve done so in such a way as to sidestep the “we need subtitles to be understood” group (and while I have heard some Texarkana and Louisiana accents that were difficult to understand for anyone not acquainted with them. they do not represent the entire rural south/midwest, nor are they even completely indecipherable as they are made out to be), and they\ DD folks have mentioned on more than one occasion that all but one of them is college educated (and the one who isn’t served in the military, so it wasn’t like he was sitting on a porch swillin’ shine) and outside of the beards (an affectation) and the being hunting mad (ok, that one I believe: I grew up around hillbillies and for more than a few hunting, fishing, gardening, the works were some of their great joys in life…and those aren’t necessarily bad joys to have when you think about it; I certainly prefer them over the TX millionaires who come in, buy up all the land where I’m at, and then turn it into canned hunt clubs where exotic animals are brought in so these guys can shoot things 365, and everyone else has to keep out…had a relative who worked as a guide for one of those places; he had some stories to tell!) — which sort of does away with the whole ignorant cousin kissers stereotype (I heard on an interview with the wives that A&E originally wanted them to really “hillbilly” it up, and they refused and got rather po’d by the assumption).


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