Is the Discovery Channel still demonizing sharks?

Shark Week 2009 – I got an email from “WhySharksMatter” blogger David Shiffman asking for questions he should ask Discovery Channel producers about airing their infamous shark shockumentaries.

At first I fully agreed with him. Yeah! Let’s tell Discovery we’re sick of the shock-docs and we want shark shows that educate us on the magnificence of sharks and on why they need protection. Stop demonizing sharks with your “World’s Deadliest Sharks” and “Shark Attack Revisited in Gory Detail,” which do nothing but trick people into thinking sharks are man-eating monsters.

But has Discovery already gotten the message? It’s been awhile – years – since I watched Shark Week. I stopped watching when someone I thought was a shark-advocate got bitten (while filming for Discovery), then turned around and capitalized on his unfortunate accident. Erich Ritter’s “Anatomy of a Shark Bite” sickened me – as did the other shockumentaries detailing shark bite victims’ experiences. I knew Erich personally before his bite and was disappointed to watch as he negated everything we ever talked about. What was the point of that documentary? Shock value. Higher TV ratings. Ad revenue. DVD sales. Yuck. Continue reading