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@Discovery Channel’s #SharkWeek Kicks Off On July 5th, Let’s Hope New Management Doesn’t Pull Any More Faux “Sharkumentaries” Like “Megalodon!” Jumping The Shark Is No Laughing Matter

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Dear Discovery,

I’m an avid viewer of your intelligent programming and true reality shows. What ruins your channel for me are your “faux-documentaries” and reality shows. Your History of credible scientific programming is undisputed, yet you tarnish that image with series like “Alaskan Bush People” and specials you will never be forgiven for such as Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives, Megalodon: The New Evidence, and “Mermaids:The Bodies Found”

faux shark

The Daily Beast wrote a scathing critique of The Megalodon fiasco in 2014.

Though it appears convincing, the “evidence” presented in these Shark Week documentaries is not real. It consists of interviews with witnesses and experts who are actually actors, as well as photoshopped imagery. Both documentaries are completely fake, continuing a recent disturbing trend in educational television. In short, Shark Week is lying to you, and it isn’t the first time.

After 2013’s “documentary” aired, the Discovery Channel received strong criticism from scientists, media critics, and the business world. In response, Discovery issued a half-hearted and dishonest defense, with phrases like “there’s still debate” and “who really knows?” In reality, according to Megalodon researcher Meghan Balk at the University of New Mexico, “there is no doubt in the scientific community that Megalodon is extinct.” These sharks lived approximately from the middle Miocene (~16 million years ago) to the early Pliocene (~1.5 million years ago), Balk told The Daily Beast.

There are a few ways that scientific experts know that megalodon is no longer alive. First and foremost, no one has ever seen one, and no evidence that they are still alive has ever been produced. Out of the countless megalodon tooth fossils that have been found around the world, none have been dated at less than 1.5 million years old. “Their fossil teeth are found until the Pliocene, with no fossil evidence beyond this time,” Catalina Pimiento, a megalodon researcher at the University of Florida, said.  Some species of sharks can go through tens of thousands of teeth in their lifetime, which means that if these animals were still alive, someone would almost certainly have found a tooth younger than 1.5 million years old.

Instead, the Discovery Channel chose to lie to their viewers, actively spreading fear and promoting misunderstanding about one of the most threatened groups of animals in the world. Again.

Researchers have also found no evidence whatsoever of prey animals killed by sharks larger than a great white in the last 1.5 million years; and no, the recent viral news story about the 10-foot long great white whose tag was eaten is not evidence of a Megalodon. That shark was simply eaten by a larger great white shark.

While some claim that scientists haven’t seen any evidence of Megalodon because they live in deep water, Pimiento’s research shows that these sharks in fact lived in shallow coastal seas. “Megalodon fossils appear in shallower marine sediments,” Balk said. “Plus, most large sharks occur in the upper 500 meters of the water column, probably due to productivity. The deep is much too nutrient poor to support such a large animal. “

Megalodon was an impressive animal, and it’s no surprise that they capture the public’s imagination. A fact-based documentary about what scientists know about these fascinating animals could have been both educational and entertaining. Instead, the Discovery Channel chose to lie to their viewers, actively spreading fear and promoting misunderstanding about one of the most threatened groups of animals in the world. Again.

New Discovery CEO Rich Ross stated the following when asked about Discovery channel’s faux documentary programing.

“It’s not whether I’m a fan of it,” Ross said, which critics let slide. “I don’t think it’s right for Discovery Channel, and think it’s something that has run its course. They’ve done very well… but I don’t think it’s something that’s right for us.” The following link outlines Ross’s plans for the network without touching on specific programming.

https://bitchbybravo.com/2015/06/13/alaskan-bush-people-discovery-channels-not-so-real-reality-continues/

I really used to love Discovery channel and enjoyed countless programs with my younger children. We still tune in to Deadliest Catch EVERY week. It’s a great format without engineered plots and scenes and is still extremely popular after 11 seasons. The same can’t be said for the ridiculous “Alaskan Bush People.” Every move the Browns make is scripted and paid for by Discovery. It’s giving the true hard-working people who live in that vast, rugged country a bad name. With that said I go into #SharkWeek2015 with trepidation. Let’s hope Rich Ross makes good on his claim to no longer let the Discovery channel “Jump The Shark.”

Shark week Programming Schedule on Discovery Channel:

Sunday, July 5

8 p.m. PDT – “Shark Trek”

9 p.m. PDT – “Island of the Mega Shark”

10 p.m. PDT – “Monster Mako”

11 p.m. PDT – “Shark After Dark”

Monday, July 6

9 p.m. PDT – “Return of the Giant White Serial Killer”

10 p.m. PDT – “Alien Sharks: Close Encounters”

11 p.m. PDT – “Shark After Dark”

Tuesday, July 7

9 p.m. PDT – “Bride of Jaws”

10 p.m. PDT – “Tiburones: Sharks of Cuba”

11 p.m. EDT – “Shark After Dark”

Wednesday, July 8

9 p.m. PDT – “Super Predator”

10 p.m. PDT – “Ninja Sharks”

11 p.m. PDT – “Shark After Dark”

Thursday, July 9

9 p.m. PDT – “Shark Planet”

11 p.m. PDT – “Shark After Dark”

Friday, July 10

9 p.m. PDT – “Sharks of the Shadowland”

10 p.m. PDT – “Shark Clans”

Saturday, July 11

9 p.m. PDT – “Sharksanity 2”

Sunday, July 12

8 p.m. PDT – “Shark Island”

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About bitchbybravo (369 Articles)
Blogging under an alias so I don't have to kill you after reading....

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