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The 7 - Movies & TV - When Did the History Channel Become the Junk Theory Channel Register and log in to post!
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redsoxnation
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#1 Posted on 9.3.05 2135.16
Reposted on: 9.3.12 2136.17
Considering the abundance of history that could be discussed and analyzed on the History Channel, why the hell has it become the 2 steps beyond the Sci-Fi Channel station? Hardly a night goes by when either a: wacky JFK/Abraham Lincoln assassionation theory is brought about, Nostradamus is dragged out of the cellar, the Bible Codes get broken down, or UFO TV takes over the History Channel. The occassional bone to the crackpots I can understand, but to pander to that audience robs the network of credibility when it broaches serious historical subjects.
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Deputy Marshall
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#2 Posted on 10.3.05 0051.27
Reposted on: 10.3.12 0055.54
I saw that UFO special you're specifically referring to, and I couldn't agree more. It, and the other programs you mentioned, seem better suited for channels like A&E. Not for the History Channel, whose straightforward historical documentaries are what drew people there in the first place. Quite irritating, and one of the main reasons I very rarely watch that channel anymore.
Tenken347
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#3 Posted on 10.3.05 0654.20
Reposted on: 10.3.12 0654.27
I've been watching the History Channel for years, and I can tell you even their serious shows were often broadly inaccurate. Back when Gladiator was in theaters, they had two History Channel produced programs about Roman gladiators, with contradictory facts.
DrDirt
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#4 Posted on 10.3.05 0726.49
Reposted on: 10.3.12 0727.48
Unfortunately, I think you will find the "crackpot" shows are drawing bigger numbers than real history.
AWArulz
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#5 Posted on 10.3.05 0806.27
Reposted on: 10.3.12 0809.15
    Originally posted by DrDirt
    Unfortunately, I think you will find the "crackpot" shows are drawing bigger numbers than real history.


Probably. Let's face it - "history" is rarely that. It's the story the victors wish to publish. While we go back and look at some physical evidence about, say, Alexander the Great, we absolutely must depend on the historians and social commentators of the day (and after), who were often beholden to the powers that be. In the case of AtheG, Seleucid kings more or less censored his entire history. And of course, for years, the "Naughty Bits" (Tm: Monty Python) were left out of most histories.

But take even the United States' recent history. We have a president who was assasinated and that assasination was carefully investigated. But almost everyone agrees that, even if their conclusions were correct, they hurried through the material and didn't fully investigate. So it makes sense that independent historians (or, as they have so charmingly been described here, Crackpots) would continue to investigate. The true nature of the conspiricy against the Union that culminated in the assasination of President Lincoln didn't come out for many years and is still underinvestigation by many of those same "crackpots".

Ok, I kind of agree about the who UFO thing, but who really knows? Maybe there really is compelling evidence out at old Area 51? History's weird - it changes as it gets away from the people who control it and into the hands of the uncontrolled and uncensored.
brick
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#6 Posted on 10.3.05 0914.21
Reposted on: 10.3.12 0916.07
History Channel seems to have gone the way of MTV, and Discovery Channel. MTV used to play videos, now you have to go to MTV2, and now that MTV2 is playing less videos, MTV3 can't be too far away.

Discovery used to have all kinds of interesting science programs. Now its 30 variations of building a chopper/hotrod. But the Discover channel offshoots still have the interesting programing.

History Channel started this more than a year ago. And guess what, they have a second channel as well. History International. Although every other program there seems to be about Hitler in one way or another.

It seems to me that the channels you get with Basic cable in most areas (MTV, Discovery, History) have to put whatever tripe on that gets the highest ratings. While the Channels you either have to pay a premium for, or aren't available in all markets can get away with the lower ratings and the higher content shows.

Damn that last paragraph sounds elitest. I better go home and watch some American Chopper, those bikes are sweet.
RYDER FAKIN
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#7 Posted on 13.3.05 0212.09
Reposted on: 13.3.12 0213.38
It is interesting to note that 3am EST Sunday morning, "More Sex and The Civil War" is playing..."Salacious Tales of Soldiers and Civilians". Seems Reality TV is everywhere!

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ShotGunShep
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#8 Posted on 13.3.05 1011.08
Reposted on: 13.3.12 1011.38
I love Histories Mysteries, and the big specials they do, but that's about it.
Roy.
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#9 Posted on 13.3.05 1217.45
Reposted on: 13.3.12 1220.15
I've always found that the shows on during the daytime are much less "sensational" than the shows on prime time (and late night prime time reruns). Of course, a few times a month they seem to have "all UFO all the time" day. I really dig "Deep Sea Detectives" and "Modern Marvels".
Nag
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#10 Posted on 13.3.05 1439.24
Reposted on: 13.3.12 1441.00
The answer to the question is when they started to create there own programming. Back in 95, when they started off, it was a mixture of primary source footage, old BBC documentries, old 70's war series, and whatever oddball program they could get there hands on. Ahhh it was great.

Then 97/98ish came "Histories Mysteries", "History Lost and Found" and the themed weeks (power tool week). Then came the groundbreaking "The Men who Killed Kennedy" miniseries which was so groundbreaking that they ran once a month for about 6 years, and each time it was groundbreaking. The final nail had to be Mail Call, god I hated that show.
EddieBurkett
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#11 Posted on 13.3.05 2151.07
Reposted on: 13.3.12 2151.39
This is slightly off-topic, but I seem to recall a show that I think was on the History channel back in late '96 or early '97 called Connections. It featured some prominent old guy whom I didn't recognize as the host, and he would start out talking about some scientific innovation, and how that was influenced by something, which inspired something else, and so on and so forth seemingly randomly for the whole hour until he somehow managed back at the topic he started with. The one I distinctly remember was he started out an episode in a spa, and was talking about spa innovations, and ultimately he transitioned to talking about breakfast cereal, at which point he revealed he was in the Kellogg home which was a spa where corn flakes were created. It was really neat, and I think it was on the History Channel. (I apologize for interjecting with this if it wasn't...)
Mike Zeidler
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#12 Posted on 13.3.05 2156.30
Reposted on: 13.3.12 2158.23
Connections 2 was on The Learning Channel, and originally on PBS (as Connections) it was hosted by James Burke.

You can read up on it here

Apparently it's on DVD as well

(edited by Zundian on 13.3.05 2157)
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#13 Posted on 13.3.05 2156.32
Reposted on: 13.3.12 2158.29
Connections was a PBS series.

http://www.shoppbs.org/sm-pbs-connections-connections-and-dvd-save-20--pi-1450812.html

Great show.
AWArulz
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#14 Posted on 13.3.05 2203.09
Reposted on: 13.3.12 2204.52
Connections was on PBS, of course, it might have been on the History Channel as well. I remember that, but had to go look it up. What a cool show!.
The host was James Burke. You can buy it - here

http://www.palmersguide.com/jamesburke/burke_items.html

Edit: Wow - I guess we ALL loved Connections



(edited by AWArulz on 13.3.05 2304)
EddieBurkett
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#15 Posted on 13.3.05 2210.08
Reposted on: 13.3.12 2214.33
Thanks everyone! That show was indeed awesome!
The Thrill
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#16 Posted on 14.3.05 1243.24
Reposted on: 14.3.12 1243.49
Does this mean they're not crackin' on the History Channel by calling it "The Hitler Channel" for all its WWII programming?

Thank goodness most of that stuff is still on HC (and HC International) in the early afternoon, or I dunno what I'd watch over lunch before my post-work nap. :-)
Crimedog
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#17 Posted on 14.3.05 1344.23
Reposted on: 14.3.12 1344.44
    Originally posted by The Thrill
    Does this mean they're not crackin' on the History Channel by calling it "The Hitler Channel" for all its WWII programming?

    Thank goodness most of that stuff is still on HC (and HC International) in the early afternoon, or I dunno what I'd watch over lunch before my post-work nap. :-)


"Ah the Luftwaffe...the Washington Generals of the History Channel."
DrDirt
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#18 Posted on 14.3.05 1423.07
Reposted on: 14.3.12 1424.37
    Originally posted by The Thrill
    Does this mean they're not crackin' on the History Channel by calling it "The Hitler Channel" for all its WWII programming?

    Thank goodness most of that stuff is still on HC (and HC International) in the early afternoon, or I dunno what I'd watch over lunch before my post-work nap. :-)


Unfortunately lately alot of their WWII stuff has been on the "crackpot side.
Stilton
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#19 Posted on 14.3.05 1432.05
Reposted on: 14.3.12 1435.45
I think the answer to your question is, "Right after the Discovery Channel became the "motorcycle and hotrod" cannel.
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