General Question

skfinkel's avatar

Who is behind the "History" channel?

Asked by skfinkel (13511points) November 18th, 2010

On a plane trip across the country, I saw lots of this TV channel, and it was all about the coming “apocalypse” with supposed basis in early religious writings. The narrator regularly said, “while some think this not true, many believe….” It was very strange. I was wondering if “History” is support by some religious group?

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11 Answers

iamthemob's avatar

Apocalyptic predictions have always been a part of our history. I don’t think it’s an endorsement by the channel in any way – I’ve seen plenty of non-religious material on there.

skfinkel's avatar

The way program was framed, so little history and so much fear, I can’t help but think there is some kind of other motivation behind what was being presented.

iamthemob's avatar

Nah – that’s just wrapping up the product so that people will keep watching. I wouldn’t be afraid of them pushing an agenda without more examples, and I haven’t seen any. I think that they’re just playing the ratings game.

Aethelwine's avatar

I watch a lot of The History Channel. They usually stick with a theme for the day. Some days it has to do with warriors, other days aliens, then you have your biography days. These are just a few examples.

Cupcake's avatar

“GE’s media holding includes television networks NBC and Telemundo, 27 television stations in the United States and many cable TV networks, including the History Channel, A&E, and Sci Fi Channel. It also owns the popular web-based TV website Hulu.” Source

In addition:
Arts & Entertainment Television Networks (also known as A&E Television Networks or simply AETN) is a U.S. media company that owns a group of television channels available via cable & satellite in the US and abroad. The company is a joint venture between Hearst Corporation, Disney-ABC Television Group, and NBC Universal.

AETN networks include:

* A&E Network
* The Biography Channel
* Crime & Investigation Network
* History
* History en Español
* History International
* Lifetime
* Lifetime Movie Network
* Lifetime Real Women
* Military History Channel” Source

TexasDude's avatar

@iamthemob is more or less correct. History has no motivation other than ratings, and American TV viewers happen to eat that goofy apocalyptic shit up apparently.

MyNewtBoobs's avatar

Because they’re in it for the ratings. They used to do actual history, but now it’s about the apocolypse, the occasional Hitler documentary, and men doing manly things in the wild (and present…).
This explains it soooo much better than I ever could.

gasman's avatar

The ever-dependable & mostly-neutral-point-of-view Wikipedia gives us this information:

History, formerly known as The History Channel, is an international satellite and cable TV channel that broadcasts programs regarding historical events and persons, as well as various occult, pseudoscientific, and paranormal phenomena—often with observations and explanations by noted historians, scholars, authors, esotericists, astrologers, and Biblical scholars—as well as reenactments and interviews with witnesses, and/or families of witnesses…

The History Channel was launched on January 1, 1995. The channel is owned by A&E Television Networks, a joint venture of Hearst Corporation, Disney-ABC Television Group (The Walt Disney Company), and NBC Universal (General Electric),[1] and operates, in various forms, in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, Ireland, Israel, Spain, Poland, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Romania and Latin America…

Criticism and evaluation

The History Channel is often jokingly referred to as “The Hitler Channel”[3] for its extensive coverage of World War II, though much military-themed programming has now been shifted to its sister network, the Military History Channel, and the network’s programming now covers a diverse range of topics on history and hypothetical future events. The U.S.-based network has also been criticized for devoting most of its coverage to historical topics concerning the Western world and the United States in particular (though another sister network, History International covers more extensively history outside the US).[4] The network has also received criticism for emphasizing the history of relatively recent times, as opposed to ancient or medieval eras.[citation needed]

The network was also criticized by Stanley Kutner for airing the controversial series The Men Who Killed Kennedy in 2003; Kutner was one of three historians commissioned to review the documentary, which the channel disavowed and never aired again.[5] On the other hand, programs such as Modern Marvels have been praised for their presentation of detailed information in an entertaining format.[6]

Also, the network’s Ice Road Truckers series garnered record ratings in the U.S., despite the series’ non-historical nature and the vulgar language consistently used on the show.[7]

skfinkel's avatar

Hey @gasman: great answer. Thanks.

iamthemob's avatar

I think it also shows who’s pretty much behind most channels – the consumer.

They’re only giving us what they think we want. Until we start demanding smarter stuff…they’re not going to give it to us.

AstroChuck's avatar

From the looks of it, Hitler.

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