WHAT THE HELL HAS HAPPENED TO MY HISTORY CHANNELS?

By Jack Jodell, Aug. 3, 2011

A very strange thing happened as I went to post this piece. I had essentially the same piece written, saved, and all ready to go, but when I went to proof it one last time, THE ENTIRE BODY OF WHAT I HAD WRITTEN WAS COMPLETELY GONE, ALONG WUTH THE ARTWORK I HAD ATTACHED TO IT OF THE HISTORY CHANNEL AND HISTORY CHANNEL INTERNATIONAL LOGOS! So I basically have had to rewrite this entire piece, without any artwork or logos. Evidently the moderators at wordpress.com believe it is perfectly ok to discard our writing, WITHOUT NOTICE TO US, should such writing be accompanied by logos bearing a copyright…

Once upon a time (1995 to be exact) the Arts & Entertainment cable TV network blessed us with a brand new creation: THE HISTORY CHANNEL. It was marvelously innovative, in that if featured shows dealing strictly with historical content. There were great documentaries about the World Wars, the old American West, the Cold War, analyses of historical movies’ accuracy with former NBC newsman Sander Vanocur, studies in the lives of various historical figures, plus a marvelous little hour long feature entitled “Year By Year” which featured actual movie newsreels taken of events happening in each separate, specific year from 1929-1967. The channel proved so popular with viewers that it soon spawned a replica, HISTORY CHANNEL INTERNATIONAL, which concentrated mainly on programming dealing with historical events which happened outside our borders. We saw fabulous, nearly-scholarly programming dealing with the Dark Ages, medieval kings and battles, European wars, and the building of nation states like Germany and Russia. Ohhh, for the good old days…

Little by little, both networks began to evolve in a less-than-desirable fashion. Cheap, filler-type programming ;ike “Hidtory’s Lost and Found” and cheaply-produced game shows like “History IQ” gradually replaced most of the exhaustive and well produced British and European documentaries. Rather than presenting and dissecting historical occurrences, we began getting cutesy, thematic fare like “Modern Marvels” which examined the development of various products in use today, only indirectly referencing past history or events. Finally, we have now ended up with a bunch of nonsense which barely has any tie, IF any, to history at all.

Ever wonder why Americans are so stupid when it comes to history, geography, or foreign affairs? Or how we could produce political morons like Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, or the Tea Party? Just look at the state of modern mainstream media newscasting, with its shallow, noninvestigative reporting, its blatant propaganda (Fox “News”), or its fascination with non-news Hollywood types like Lindsay Lohan, Charlie Sheen, and all the rest. And then, consider the catch-all for garbage programming A & E has let their History Channels slip into! Look at this list below of absolute BULLSHIT that has been appearing recently on the two History channels. You’ll soon see there is very little, if ANY, relevance or importance regarding history in these thoroughly pathetic offerings:

1). American Pickers
2). Pawn Stars
3). When UFOs Arrive
4). That’s Impossible: Invisibility Cloaks
5). Ice Road Truckers
6). Ancient Aliens
7). The Real Tomb Hunters: Snakes, Curses, and Booby Traps
8). Meteors: A Fire in the Sky
9). Indiana Jones and the Ultimate Quest
10). Deep Sea UFOs: Red Alert
11). Stan Lee’s Superhumans
12). Star Trek Tech
13). Haunted History
14). Swamp People
15). Only In America: Larry the Cable Guy
16). Ax Men
17). Exorcism: Driving Out the Devil
18). UFO Hunters

Had enough yet, folks? CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS SHIT? And this is just the list for the History Channel! For History Channel International, THESE “gems” have been showing:

1). Haunted History: New Orleans (now what in hell does a bunch of fictional  New Orleans ghosts have to do with international history)?
2). Secret Passages: Drug Tunnels
3). Man, Moment, Machine: Apollo 13 – Triumph on the Dark Side
4). Lost Worlds: Lost Superpower of the Bible
5). Mega Movers: Moving an Airport
6). Modern Marvels: Tobacco
7). The Universe – Time Travel
8). Angels and Demons: Decoded
9). Engineering Disasters
10). Vanishings! The Missing Millionaire
11). The Lincoln Assassination (now THAT had a great bearing on international relations, didn’t it)!
12). God vs. Satan
13). The Legacy of Star Wars

The list of this brain-deadening CRAP goes on and on.

WHAT THE HELL HAS HAPPENED TO MY HISTORY CHANNELS? Why are we now being subjected to such horrible, NON-historical, 10th rate programming on them after what had been such a promising start? Why has A & E networks chosen to dummy down the country with such inferior, unintelligent, downright BAD programming?

The buyers at A & E, along with the writers and producers of nearly all of the abovementioned shows should all be boiled in oil for insulting our intelligence as they have with these terrible selections. I would strongly urge both of these networks to return to some insightful, INTELLIGENT programming. How about some enlightening shows based on some of these topics:

1). A good documentary on the regime of Juan and Eva Peron in Argentina?
2). A week-to-week series on the long history of China?
3). An examination of American labor history, from slavery in the colonies  to the present?
4). A detailed weekly series on the administrations of ALL the American Presidents?
5). The history of Canada?
6). The history of South American wars?
7). An exhaustive study of both the 1956 Hungarian Uprising and the 1968 Prague Spring?
8). An in-depth study of the French Revolution?
9). A look at the wave of revolutionary fever which spread throughout Europe in the mid 1800s?
10). The influence of Otto von Bismarck on German and world history?
11). An exhaustive study on Winston Churchill?
12). The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire?
13). An in-depth analysis of the lives of each of the four assassinated U.S. Presidents?
14). An ongoing study of the history of African countries?
15). The Russian Revolution, from pre-1917 through the end of the Soviet Union?
16). An exhaustive series dealing with the reigns of EVERY medieval European king and queen?
17). The histories of Australia and New Zealand?
18). Islam: From Mohammed to the Present?
19). America and its enforcement of the Monroe Doctrine?
20). Christianity’s Persecutions, from the Middle Ages to the Present?
21). The origin and hostory of the India-Pakistan conflict?
22). The history of Israel and its Arab neighbors, from 1948-now?
23). An overview of British Colonialism and how it has shaped the Modern World?
24). The Complete History of Cuba?
25). The World of Marco Polo?

THAT should keep those programmers and producers busy for the next 5 seasons. Why don’r they get serious and raise the bar a bit?

I WANT MY ORIGINAL HISTORY CHANNELS BACK!!!

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UNTIL THE HISTORY CHANNELS IMPROVE THEIR OFFERINGS, I RECOMMEND THAT ALL READERS START WATCHING KEITH OLBERMANN, AND ALSO “50 DOCUMENTARIES YOU MUST SEE BEFORE YOU DIE” OVER ON CURRENT TV INSTEAD!

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BULLETIN! BOYCOTT ALL AMERICAN CRYSTAL SUGAR PRODUCTS! THAT COMPANY OFFERED ITS UNION A PUNY 2% WAGE INCREASE FOR EACH OF THE NEXT 5 YEARS, AND, WHEN THE UNION REJECTED THE OFFER, THE COMPANY LOCKED OUT 1,300 WORKERS AND REPLACED THEM WITH SCABS ONE DAY LATER! BOYCOTT CRYSTAL SUGAR!!!!
 

About jackjodell53

I am an American Dissident trapped in a country where poor and middle class people are constantly being exploited and lied to by a very rigid and conservative plutocratic elite. I believe in government OF, FOR, and BY the people, not one controlled as it now is by corporations and special interests.
This entry was posted in commentary, Fox "News", History and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

59 Responses to WHAT THE HELL HAS HAPPENED TO MY HISTORY CHANNELS?

  1. I’m surprised and disappointed WordPress’ hosted blog system deleted your work without so much as a warning. I’m sure they’ve been advised by lawyers they could be sued, or something. But they could hold the post aside and give you a chance to remove the trademark or copyrighted material. It’s not as though they don’t know where to contact you.

    Re: History Channel programming, I’m sure they would tell you they have to air programs that draw enough viewers to attract advertisers. I’d love to see a lot of the programs you suggest, too. I think we have very similar preferences. Unfortunately, the medium is such that numbers matter. And American viewers are such that not that many would rather watch the history of Cuba or learn more about the French Revolution than watch Ice Road Truckers or UFO Hunters.

    That said, I must admit to thoroughly enjoying Pawn Stars. I find it fun, entertaining and somewhat educational. Every one in that family is just like someone I’ve known at some time or other. They are intelligent, engaging and downright funny at times. I’ve also enjoyed some episodes of American Pickers, others not so much.

    All you can do is write the History Channel and let them know your preferences. If enough people do that, they might respond. Can’t hurt and might help.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      S.W.,
      I have no problem with Pawn Stars or Ice Road Truckers as shows; they just don’t belong on the HISTORY Channel. Such a loose interpretation of “History” per se is pathetic. It’s akin to tuning into The Weather Channel and seeing a program on military aircraft and justifying it on grounds that it references wind, which is a part of weather. How far-fetched would that be?

      As for their programming decisions being based on the “numbers” game, that is obvious, and a further vtestament to this being a country based on image over substance, entertainment over fact or reality, and profits over integrity and quality. It is also another in a long list of reasons why I am the American Dissident. No wonder we have so many one-issue or low-information voters! It is easy for Tea Party types to emerge, caused by a media that constantly plays to the lowest common denominator and never even bothers to raise the bar. Most revealing and aggravating of all, these channels originally were quite popular as they were. It wasn’t broke, so why the horrible attempt to fix them?

      I WANT MY ORIGINAL HISTORY CHANNELS BACK!

      • “. . . a media that constantly plays to the lowest common denominator and never even bothers to raise the bar.”

        Jack, you’re talking about commercial broadcasters and cable channels. If they don’t draw big enough audiences and thus advertisers, they disappear. If the History Channel doesn’t consistently draw enough viewers, it will be history. We have an alternative that to a remarkable extent is free of all that. PBS offers high-quality programming on all sorts of things. And for those interested in government, politics and public policy, there are the C-SPAN channels.

        “. . . these channels originally were quite popular as they were. It wasn’t broke, so why the horrible attempt to fix them?”

        Probably in an attempt to boost their ratings and thus the rates they could charge for ads, and thus the money they have to spend for new and additional programs.

        Maybe you’re right about the channels’ popularity, but without actual ratings stats it’s impossible to tell. I’m not trying to be contrary. Like you, I think the general quality of programming across all channels, movie channels included, is lackluster. I just put myself in a programming director’s place and realize that Job 1 is survival.

  2. Lisa G. says:

    I would love to see some of the shows that you wrote about. But as everyone said above, it’s all about ratings.

    As for wordpress deleting your post – well, that’s unacceptable. I would write them and express you displeasure or move to a different format. You could write it in word and then post it – at least word auto saves.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      S.W. and Lisa G,
      LINK TV is another alternative. It is completely viewer-funded and totally free of corporate influence. .TV, like many major American institutions, showed a great deal of promise at its outset.It actually set a high bar in many cases.It is too bad the medium has devolved to the sorry state it is in today, with its lack of investigative journalism, its overabundance of pretty boy/pretty girl babbling magpie talking heads which collectively say little, and its obsession with pandering to the lowest common denominator in an insane desire to obtain greater ratings. Network AND cable TV has largely become a farce.

      I WANT MY ORIGINAL HISTORY CHANNELS BACK!!!

  3. Darlene says:

    This is a case of which came first, the egg or the chicken. I use that comparison to ask, which came first, the TV shows that cater to the commonest denominator or the ignorant viewers that keep the ratings high? Never underestimate the stupidity of the viewing public.

    If the viewing public wants entertainment over educational shows that’s what we all have to watch . (or not) PBS is still relatively untainted, but I notice that the need for the station to survive by selling commercials is resulting in lower standards, too.

  4. I think I can shed some light on how TV got to where it is. At it’s beginning as a viable mass medium in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, the major TV stations and then networks were largely dominated by businessmen who had achieved considerable success and stature in other media and businesses. They were anxious for TV to be accepted by a mass market accustomed to movies, radio and, in New York, Broadway and off-Broadway shows. Adult admission to major Hollywood movies in those days was 25 to 45 cents on weeknights in those days. Radios were cheap and everywhere. TVs were relatively expensive and much of the programming was live and often kind of rough at the edges. There was a lot of spillover from Broadway and nightclubs, lots of Vaudeville veterans and lots of cheap filler like boxing matches, government documentaries, cartoons and movies from the the 1920s and 1930s.

    A somewhat picky and at times critical and skeptical FCC was involved.

    Network tycoons wanted to raise the quality and appeal, even if some of the programming drew small audiences and was unprofitable. The major networks ran their news operations for prestige and to fulfill the FCC requirement to demonstrate they were operating in the public interest. So network brass didn’t expect news to be a profit center. There were cultural uplift programs aplenty, including the Firestone Musical Theater (or something like that) that presented opera stars, symphony and pops orchestras. There was Playhouse 90 and Studio 1 doing adaptations of hit Broadway dramas, Shakespeare and the like. There were excellent documentary series like CBS White Paper, CBS Reports, ABC’s Project XX, Murrow’s See it Now and You Are There. There were fantastic specials with giants like Fred Astaire, Benny Goodman, Frank Sinatra and so on. There was the famous conductor of the N.Y. Philharmonic doing a Saturday afternoon music education series for children. There was live coverage of U.N. debates and congressional hearings, like the Army-McCarthy hearings.

    Over time, industry pioneers like David Sarnoff retired. Big-money corporate interests and investors moved in. ABC made its sports division major domo Roone Arledge head of its news division, with orders to make news shows profitable or else. That started a trend toward puff stories, letting correspondents go and to infotainment that brought network news to its current, greatly diminished state. Live programming gave way to more and more made-in-Hollywood filmed series.

    Soon, mass-market acceptance wasn’t an issue. Neither was prestige. Nearly everyone had a TV or access to one. Networks changed management and changed ownership hands over the years, and with each change the pressure increased for higher ratings and more profitability. What we have today is the result. Probably an inevitable result.

    BTW, it’s different in the U.K. There are commercial stations doing what commercial stations always do. But the BBC, quirky though it sometimes is, chugs along with incredibly diverse and usually very high quality programming.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      S.W.,
      Thank you for the time you took to put all this together. Great reporting and great accuracy, my friend! One need only look at vintage quality TV series (I have the available DVD set of the Routee 66 series as an example) and you can see how the plots, subjects, and characterizations were MUCH better and MUCH more developed in the old days than much of what we are fed today. And they were STILL able to work in romance, adventure, HUMAN INTEREST, and even fistfights, too! I also fondly remember Mike Wallace doing a fabulous job on the half-hour CBS “Biography” series, which, unlike today’s very inferior A & E/Biography channel’s version, wasn’t devoted almost exclusively to Hollywood personalities, music stars, or murderers, but instead featured world leaders and premier scientists, athletes, and other public figures of the time. No doubt about it: once corporate America gets involved, it all goes straight to hell. Their influence has not only ruined TV, but radio as well.You mentioned the UK. It is interesting to note that there commercial stations are permitted to operate, but the amount of commercials permitted to be shown each hour is but a tiny fraction of the vast overabundance we are subjected to here.We could learn a lot from the Brits, AND the French, AND the Germans, AND the Dutch, AND most every other country in the world, where corporations are not allowed to dummy down the public, run lying political ads on issues or specific races for months on end, and oversaturate the market the way they do here…

  5. John Myste says:

    OK, as for the history channel, I completely agree. It was my favorite channel and now it is virtually unwatchable. I have often lamented its decline myself. MSNBC is not much better. I don’t care about what people in prison think and do and I have no interest in glorifying gang violence.

    The one non historical show on the history channel is Pawn Stars. While I am convinced it is somewhat scripted, I am almost OK with that. it is not history, but it is close, and it just entertains me.

    As for WordPress deleting your work, you should always write locally and paste into WordPress. I am shocked that you could lose work based on pasting into a website.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      John,
      Yes, the History channel now bites big time, and the non-political side of MSNBC is pretty putrid, too. Even the political side can be a bit iffy at times: Alex Witt is an absolute airhead; Joe Scarborough can be a bit irritating in that he runs roughshod all over Mika B and often lets that blabbermouth mean old man Pat Buchanan talk too much; Dylan Ratigan is ok; Chuck Todd is nobody’s fool; Chris Matthews is hit or miss (but when he’s on he’s quite good); Lawrence O’Donnell is ok, too, but the real stars of that network, in my book, are Rachel Maddow and Ed Schultz. THEY do their homework!

      • John Myste says:

        Ed Schultz mixes facts with unsupported declaration of truth way too much for my taste. It makes me question his homework (and I am certainly not qualified to check it). I like Rachel Maddow. I like Christopher Hayes even more, not because he “does his homework,” but because the way he expresses himself makes the right look so foolish. I liked Keith Olberman best of all, but unlike most liberals, I do not think he is always rational. He would sometimes decide how bad an action was based on who did it and that bothered me. However, he made up for with the rest of his performance.

        As for Chris Matthews, I totally agree: hit or miss. However, he ranks the same as Rachel Maddow in my world.

        I cannot stand ALL THOSE shows glorifying gang violence! I would rather switch to FOX than to watch them, and I do. I hate everyone on FOX, needless to say.

  6. infidel753 says:

    Ghosts? UFOs? Invisibility cloaks? Exorcism? Good grief, what total dreck. If that’s what they’re broadcasting, they’ve lost all right to call themselves “The History Channel”. They should change their name to “Tabloid TV” or something.

    (I like all your suggestions except the one about every medieval monarch. Some like James I and Louis XIV were genuinely historically important, but most were just nonentities born lucky, the Lindsey Lohans and Paris Hiltons of their day, but with the power to chop heads off.)

    British TV does do some good-quality material and sometimes PBS shows it over here. Until someone in the US starts a real history channel, that may be the best we can hope for.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Thanks for your input, Infidel753.I agree with you. Britain does an infinitely better job with history than we do here!

  7. mudrake says:

    Jack- thanks for the ‘deleting’ info with WordPress. I did not know that they censored postings so carefully. That’s a real pain when you put so much time and energy into a piece!

    Regarding the History Channel, it is all about ratings. It is clear to me that the average American no longer is interested in what they call, ‘boring history.’ The common denominator is, sadly, entertainment. History is not slick enough to maintain the interest of today’s ‘common man.’ They go to their TV’s to escape their idiotic lives. They want to forget the troubles of the day. Boob-tube.

    Of course, I need not preach to you or to your regular commenters of the damage that this has done and continues to do to our political system. Morons like Michele Bachmann and Sarah Palin become ‘star’ of the political world because they are bizarre, entertaining, absurd.

    God help us, one and all!

    • jackjodell53 says:

      mudrake,
      Thank you for your very true comment about the sad state of the current American psyche and for the disastrous effect it has had on our politics. In this country, it seems that a sucker is INDEED born every minute!

  8. ranch chimp says:

    Good posting Jack! … This shit has puzzled me recently on what show’s they been showing … too much fiction stuff.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Thanks, ranch chimp.
      Alas, it’s not only the fiction that makes me upset, but also the downright non-historical nature of crap like Deep Sea UFOs and Stan Lee’s Superhumans. Those types of programs simply belong on a different channel than the History channel – another type of channel I won’t be watching either.

  9. Tommykey says:

    I no longer refer to it as The History Channel. Instead, I call it The Interesting Job Channel.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      tommykey,
      I WANT MY ORIGINAL HISTORY CHANNELS BACK!

    • Patsy Parkin says:

      I call it the Reviled Redneck Rinky Dink Revolution channel now and think that big shot producers think they’re targeting shows out to the ignorant masses (all of us peon watchers who would love to see a boat sink, a truck crash, an airplane go down or delight in show participants screaming and cussing at each other) because we’re too stupid to understand or get involved with any meaningful topic that might stop and make us consider our own lives. PLEASE HISTORY CHANNEL, you must have lots of meaningful and well-done documentaries in your storage vaults. I used to watch them all the time. Is there any way that we could have access to some of those beautifully written and evocative stories? Please, please, I MISS THEM. Watching TV to learn something is a fading concept, but still such an important one, don’t you think? I’m dying here. One more southern accent, one more screaming fit between father and son, one more guns, ghosts, boars, or junk collector show and I won’t be able to take it .PLEASE BRING BACK SOME OF YOUR VALUABLE HISTORY. Even if you have a start another channel like :Authentic Documentaries for Those who are tired of boaters, bombers, bikers, booger eaters, garbage buyers, ghosts and UFOs. There are some mind-expanding topics out there. PLEASE get them back into circulation. Please, please, pleas

      • jackjodell53 says:

        Patsy, I’m with you all the way on this. Sorru ot’s taken me so long to respond; I just noticed this. Now, of course, they’ve gotten even worse with their J1 and H2 iterations featurung such total GARBAGE as “Swamp People” and their slogans being “history made every day” and “more 2 history.” It is enough to make thinking people vomit, and their program developers and directors should be rounded up to spend 20 years or better in the nearest mental institution!

  10. Mr. Underground says:

    This page had me agreeing until it suggested I watch Keith Olbermann. Let us just say Keith would fit in perfectly with the current History Channel flavor.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Thanks for your response, Mr. Underground, although it is 7+ months late. I must respectfully disagree with your comment. While it is true that one gets a great deal of opinion on Olbermann’s show, it is nonetheless based on fctual, empirical data and is often supported by leading experts in the field and credible sources in academia, which is in stark contrast to the blatant lies and distortions one gets when watching the commentators over at Fox :News.” There, the only buttressing which is done is done by plants from right wing think tanks or other disreputable, far-right sources.

  11. David Piccolo says:

    I agreed with everything until you brought up Jack until you idiotically alienated half of us by your stupid Olbermann comments, Which makes me question your whole article now, Olbermann is based on fact like Michael Moore is a history teacher. You can’t be serious that all the vile junk is spewed from the right, George Soros, moveone.org and Michael Moore are fine examples of what’s destroying this country.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Mr. Piccolo,
      You are entitled to your opinions, but in this comments section, I will NOT put up with personal insults, ESPECISLLY WHEN THEY ARE SNUCK IN THROUGH THE SIDE DOOR A FULL 10 MONTHS AFTER THIS POST FIRST OCCURRED! You, pal, can hate Olbermann all you want; that is your perogative; but to call me, who reads widely and thoroughly researches before I write each post, “narrow-minded,” is WAY out of line! As a consequence, any further comments you make to this website will be ignored and remain unapproved, unless they are presented in a less insulting and more factual tone.. Have I made myself perfectly clear to you?

  12. David Piccolo says:

    By the way Olbermann made a fine exit from the news business. How could someone as seemingly smart as yourself, who brought up such a fine and legitimate topic, be so narrow minded?

  13. R. Vest says:

    Here, here Mr. Odell! Today, we have at least 4 derivatives of Pawn Stars. I refuse to watch shows where the people are caricatures of real people. I could watch “Weird Weapons of WWII” 20 times and not be bored. But the drivel that is on now is insulting at the very least. I can’t imagine the people that like to watch alligators being killed. Oh, wait… I don’t know anything about this, but I have a buddy that I’d like to call to come take a look… So I just watch the old shows on Netflix or Fios on demand… zap through the commercials, and long for real History. Of course the parent company A & E used to actually be about arts and entertainment, now look what’s on that network. It is time for a-la-carte cable or satellite!

  14. jackjodell53 says:

    To rapetrain,
    I meant EXACTLY what I said, buster, and I stand by it!!!!! Those shows are GARBAGE which feature only the barest amount of historical information, and even that is glossed over and often only partly accurate at best. YES, i HAVE watched those pathetic shows. As far as this being a poorly written piece, YOU are the one who is full of shit. Don’t even bother coming here again. I’ll trash every comment you make and will never allow it to be printed here. I don’t put up with bullshit on this site. So go get a life, you ignorant, insulting piece of shit!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  17. Hunter says:

    I’ve recently moved back from Australia after 6 years, thinking I’ve come back to some greater level of civilization. I was unpleasantly disappointed to find that while the History Channel’s programming was going strong with all the actual history I so profoundly love back in Melbourne, our local “History” channel had withered into some realty nightmare. I’m not trying to put down anyone’s enjoyment of such shows as Pawn Shop, etc. I just feel it should be on a different channel if it is called The History Channel. If not, The History Channel should re-brand itself to be more reflective of its current content, as it’s actual historical content does not exist. I don’t know if it was a case of losing viewers or if the “owners” decided to grow into a larger audience market. I would imagine that it is one channel of many that are owned by the same company, so if the viewership hadn’t faded, why could they not have left it alone? Why couldn’t the channel grown in terms of creating more of it’s own productions? HBO had ROME, Starz has Spartacus. Why not become a leader in programs such as those that are “history” focused and yet entertaining? Why not mix more Hollywood “History” based films with a panel of “historical minds” to debate each film in terms of entertainment vs historical accuracy and present some of history’s lesser know gifts? They could have a field day with Kingdom in Heaven and Gladiator, both Ridley Scott films. It would be interesting to hear their lesser known historical bits not seen in such films as Becket, Lion in Winter, The Bunker, Gettysburg, Gods and Generals or Valkyrie . What a great channel this was. Hopefully I can find some of the content that I truly miss on DVDs or streamed on the internet somewhere. Are there any sites one can recommend? So disappointed, The Huntsman

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Hunter,
      I agree with you 100%. The current version of the History Channel is atrocious and is designed to appeal only to ignorant, easily entertained no-minds. I hope it will soon return to its former state and that you’ll be successful in finding DVD copies of the truly decent programming you seek, A name or network change is definitely in order here!

  18. TexasRevolt says:

    I’ve been curious to find opinions on what the history channel has degraded itself to over the past years. I knew this for a while what to expect from the reality based “sell out” of History channel but there was one station that I knew that I could at least count on and had substance and that was…”History International”. Its really disappointing that now that seems to be long gone. It’s now referred to as H2? I can’t remember the last time I even saw History International,..do they even run any of the old docs anymore? I use to love watching the in depth documentaries over Roman history, Spanish conquest, mesoamerica, Egyptian history, WWII (Hitler’s Rise), Weapons, Pirate’s (Black Beard), Wild West, Crusades, Stories of the Bible.. etc. Instead now all you see in the forefront is Pawn Stars scripted bull shit show featuring four pathetic know it all porky slobs! American Restoration is another show that needs to go, so focused on his family and their bull shit antics. Rick looks like a raging alcoholic and now his trailer trash meth head looking wife is being featured, they don’t even show the restoration process. I don’t even want to get started on counting cars and American pickers. The bottom line is the history channel has become a total joke, and is not respectable. They have lost me as a viewer and hope many more follow suit and boycott lame reality based shows.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Thanks for your comment and for stopping by, TexasRevolt. As you know, I very much share your angst regarding the degradation of the History Channels. NEITHER runs anything worth watching anymore (except only very, very rarely), and the old documentaries are seen very seldom, if at all. Whoever is responsible for degrading these once great channels should be sentenced to a life term at Guantanamo, without parole. H1 and H2 now overlap a few shows like “Modern Marvels”, but their once-excellent programming has all but disappeared. That is what prompted this post. Like you, I am boycotting their current trash.

  19. Robert Coates says:

    What has happened to the History Channel? Insipid, boring programs like Pawn Stars, Ax Men, Ice Road Truckers and American Pickers seem to have taken over. What trash!!!!

    Lets get back to the interesting and fascinating history of mankind. There are so true stories to be told.

    The History Channel used to be my most viewed station. These days I hardly ever turn it on.

    Robert Coates
    San Diego

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Thank you, Robert, for backing me up on this. I agree fully with everything you said here. I, too, have largely abandoned the History Channels until they abandon the current penchant for childish, shitty programming and renew their commitment to presenting solid historical shows. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to present your viewpoint. You are welcome here anytime.

  20. Timothy says:

    What can we do to get the History channel back???????????????????????

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Timothy,
      Outside of a coordinated, MASSIVE emailing, letter-writing, and phone-calling campaign (or an almost total avoidance of watching them as I have been doing), I don’t see the History channels EVER returning to good programming, regrettably. 😦

  21. Sand says:

    I couldn’t agree more. Before, i used to have tons of programming in the history channel set for recording in my DVR on a daily basis. One day, I went to schedule more recordings and coldn’t find anything other than those cheap shows they run now. I actually thought there was something wrong with my satellite provider! In time, I learned that was just the direction the channel decided to go on. No more history for us, History Channel viewers. Instead, we now have sensationalistic, ridiculous, trashy shows that probably attract more audience of the non-educated type. it must be all about ratings now. Same thing goes for Discovery Channel, Nat Geographic, etc. A shame really…

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Thank you for that comment, Sand. The way that neywork has deteriorated is an absolute disgrace. Unless they return to their former quality, I hope they fold altogether.It doesn’t say much for our country that such total shit has been allowed to proliferate.

  22. Agree with your assessment 100%. The History Channel has become White Trash TV. To be fair however, THS still airs some programming of a historical content, you just won’t be able to watch it until 3a.m. or thereabouts assuming you don’t have the ability to DVR it. Further, I bought a DVD series about the Roman Empire produced by THS, and, the fascinating thing about the compilation is that you can see just how far historical content has been dumbed down in this series alone. It starts out with a few episodes that were obviously aired when the channel debuted, and, as the series progresses to other episodes aired over a ten year span, it is evident that the gist of the same subject matter became less about historical content and more about glitz and empty-headed glamour. It’s sickening. No wonder the US has become a nation of idiots.

  23. Socrates says:

    We are experiencing an INTENTIONAL BLACK OUT OF HISTORY IN OUR COUNTRY. We can see it in the so called History Channel. ALL the other channels have wiped out almost all programs AND movies about our HISTORY. They are hundreds of movies on our presidents, and our history in general. They fail to run these movies. Each holiday, for weeks, before the holiday we would see programs & movies that related to the holiday. At one time we would have Christmas programs & movies for a month before Christmas. For weeks before presidents day we would see all the movies AND programs about the presidents. And so it went.

    What we are running into is a form of psychological attack on AMERICAN CITIZENS by wiping out our history.

    Going back thousands of years the people in power would erase, wipe out the names of those people in their history that they did not want remembered. And this is what is happening now too.

    The History Channel, (H C) has turned into a “hodge podge” of Horse Crap, that barely resembles history. I am motivated, today, to search for angry & discussed people who see “the H C” Horse Crap, station as I now do.

    When H C had a ph # listed I called and complained vehemently to the top brass, a FEMALE. She had little to say except that they do play history programs. I told her they where not playing history. Pawn Stars is not history. I explianed to her that they need to run re-runs of all the history channels that they use to have. After all Direct TV is full of constant reruns.

    I went on to accuse her & the H C of INTENTIONALLY working to wipe HISTORY out of the consciousnesses of American Citizens. And this is what is happening. Just as the corporations/government are attempting to wipe the bible out of our minds to allow them to gain more consumers.

    The H C does not want us AMERICAN CITIZENS to be continuously enriched by the power of our history. And they do not want the dirty savages they are allowing into our country, to feel small in the presents of our history.

    As for the points made about all the NAZI history. I recall as myself “what the hell is the H C doing”? What they were doing is guilty using these NAZI programs, and giving minorities the power to point at us and say, ‘see, your just a NAZI. The corporations have resorted to using the media as a PROPAGANDA MACHINE to include to whole world into our country and our lives. After all they profit by cheaper labor, & more consumers at the same time.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      oeet it’s taken me so long to respond, Socrates -completely unintentional on my part. I believe you are right to assert that we are deliberately being dumbed-down and that we are being denied true history. How else can the rise of a completely ignorant and anti-intellectual, reactionary Tea Party be explained?

  24. John Q. Public says:

    The real problem with the channel as I see it is the constant recap. Specifically the Oak Island show It has 15 minutes of commercials. A full 10 minutes of telling us what the island is even though this is episode 3. Recap after comming back from commerical. Guess I have ADD or Alzheimers. Worst of all is the entire show was about draining a swap which they never did. Instead they went into a 20 minute recap of the people who died in the swap which if you watched show 1 or 2 you already knew. 1 hour show maybe 10 minutes of content and that is being gernerous. Tried to write History channel my displeasure and they really hid any way to comunicate with them. Done with Oak Island wont ever watch again.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      John Q.,
      Thank you for sharing this. It shows how this once-quality channel has sunken so low it is no longer worth tuning into. I WANT MY ORIGINAL HISTORY CHANNEL BACK – NOW!!!!!!!!

  25. Christopher O. says:

    The final straw with me was Oak Island, Lost Giants and worst of all Devils Graveyard. H2 may like to buy a show from me about me looking for fake ancient reptilian archeology in my back yard, I do live on an interesting 1/4 acre in the suburbs, but I will never watch any of the History channels again.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      That pathetic channel has fallen so fat that iy will never be able to dig it’s way out. Thanks for the comment, Christopher O.

  26. Delta says:

    I must say that I agree with you on all these points. Over here in the UK we had a whole section of our satellite TV dedicated to documentary shows. Out of all the channels available there there was one that always stood out for me. Military History, it was a great channel and aired lots of interesting TV shows like Dogfights which recreated air battles from as far back as the First World War to as recent as the Late Cold War, they’d always show the aircraft taking part in the battle side by side and give and overview of their strengths and weaknesses. I loved it and got up every morning to see the latest episode.

    So imagine my horror when I came downstairs one day only to find that my beloved Military History channel had been replaced with History 2, gone were all my interesting war documentaries, no longer could I see the evolution of the Assualt Rifle or Shotgun through the ages, no longer could I see a CGI recreation of The Battle of the Bulge or The Blitz, it was all replaced with crappy UFO ‘documentaries’ and what seemed to amount to Reality TV. I am still so angry that they got rid of such a great channel to try and deliver more garbage to me.

    • jackjodell53 says:

      Delta,
      Thank you for your comment. Rest assured, I share your anguish.It is absolutely infuriating how these channels have disintegrated into mere “Reality RV” style channels, full of mindless spectacle and chatter. I strongly suspect that multinational corporations are behind this effort to stupidize the mass public. Regrettably, it will definitely become worse once the Trans Pacific Partnership and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership take hold. That is why I am so strongly opposing these sordid pacts here in the U.S.

  27. chuckmartel says:

    Although you are right in slamming the History/H2 channel lineups transition to white trash reality tv ,silly alien shows, etc, the H2 channel still occasionally shows some of the legacy serious shows (civill war, Roman empire, Einstein) , History channel very rarely. The H2 channel also sometimes
    airs some decent science shows,although that may not be considered history. Soon H2 will be some flaky (vice?). channel I will miss the science shows.
    Regarding other countries, I have noticed they have similar lineup problems.
    Kieth Obermann? Inbred white trash ancient aliens would be better,

    • jackjodell53 says:

      It shows how low we have sunk as a nation to consistently feature such moronic trash on cable TV, although you are correct about the occasional good stuff featured on J2 (I enjoyed the Civil War in color feature they had on last night, for example). As for Keith O;hermann, you are entitled to your opinion, but I strongly disagree. Though he was often sarcastic and definitely slanted left, he rarely sunk to peddling outright, unfounded lies the way that O’Reilly, Hannity, or Fox and Friends nearly always does, and, unlike the Fox “News” crowd, Olbermann often presented sound, logical arguments based on empirical fact, and that is why he is sorely missed and was far superior to the horrible “white trash reality tv” you described

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