The Discovery Channel might seem like a beacon
of hope and truth-telling for people sick of all the reality TV and lies out there today…
until you actually look at Discovery’s programming. The Discovery Channel has lied right to your
face more times than they’d probably like us to admit for them. The Megalodon, a hulking shark beast that
could grow 60 feet long and had the bite of a Tyrannosaurus rex, is the monster that will
never die. Except it did die, millions of years ago,
and the Discovery Channel keeps trying to bring this extinct creature back to life. In 2013, Discovery kicked off their mega-popular
Shark Week event with a special titled Megalodon: The Monster Shark Lives, a mockumentary pretending
that the giant toothy zombie-fish was eating people off the coast of South Africa. Though the program did contain a shady warning
about “dramatized events,” CNN reported that huge ratings were followed by a furious public
outcry, with many arguing that the fake documentary had damaged the credibility of Shark Week
as a whole. “An extraordinary claim demands extraordinary
evidence.” Despite a severe lack of extraordinary evidence,
or any evidence at all, Discovery continued this less-than-factual tradition the next
year with an equally phony sequel, until finally cutting it out in 2016. Presumably, the scraps were fed to the sharks. Aquatic apes are not a thing. They were never a thing. Aquatic apes are 100 percent not real, and
mermaids didn’t evolve from them, because again, they never existed. Unfortunately, mermaids only work in the world
of fantasy, which is why the 2012 fake documentary Mermaids: The Body Found, which aired on Discovery’s
Animal Planet, caused such an uproar. Both Discovery and Animal Planet are known
for educational programming, not hoaxes, so sneaking in a fake documentary which claimed
that mermaids were real creatures covered up by the U.S. government is incredibly damaging
to the institutions of science, facts, and society as a whole. “We want a hundred percent proof because you
want a hundred percent, one-million dollar.” Snopes debunked the whole mermaid thing after
the program aired, but the scam was quite convincing to some, with the so-called documentary
featuring elaborate CGI sequences and interviews with experts who turned out to be actors. There’s nothing wrong with using the documentary
format to create compelling fictional narratives using video passed off as found footage, as
films like The Blair Witch Project and the original Cloverfield have proven, but it’s
extremely important to make these intentions clear from the outset so casual viewers aren’t
misled into thinking mermaids evolved from water apes. Bear Grylls is one rugged dude. If you watched his Discovery TV program Man
Vs. Wild, you were amazed to see him survive through crazy weather conditions, animal attacks,
and a diet of giant larvae and bugs, not to mention sleeping outside in harsh natural
environments. Yikes. But according to The Telegraph, when filming
wrapped for any given day, Grylls actually spent the night in luxury hotels. Hmm, didn’t see that on TV. As the New York Times explains, some of the
woodland terrains Grylls was forced to endure included a resort advertised as a “cozy getaway
for families” with such life-threatening hazards as a hot tub, a stone fireplace, a television,
and internet access. Scary stuff, huh? However, to Grylls’ credit, he did apologize
for all this fakery, and promised to do better by his viewers in the future. Hey, remember when a giant snake swallowed
Jon Voight whole in the 1997 thriller Anaconda? Have you ever wanted to see the same thing
happen to somebody in real life? If you answered yes to that question, it’s
probably a good time for a little introspection. However, it seems the Discovery Channel was
listening to your deepest, darkest desires, because in 2014 they started a huge marketing
push for their special, Eaten Alive, claiming the program would feature a guy named Paul
Rosolie being… you know, eaten alive… by an anaconda. But ol’ Paul wasn’t planning to die. He was outfitted with a special high-tech,
anaconda-proof suit. “I wanna do something that’s just gonna grab
people’s attention.” Unfortunately for Discovery (and those who
watched the stunt), Rosolie’s attempt at getting eaten alive seriously backfired. After having the show’s marketing pushed
down their throats for months, anyone who tuned in had to sit through two hours of highly
staged material, culminating in Rosolie getting constricted, almost having his arms broken,
and then tapping out. Good for him, and good for the poor, tormented
anaconda, but the whole thing makes you wonder what happened to the person who greenlit this
ridiculous idea in the first place. It’s hard to say why a show about illegal
street racing is on the Discovery Channel to begin with. Still, the show Street Outlaws purports to
document real, unlawful, dangerous street races in Oklahoma City. Actual street racing is a remarkably irresponsible
activity, totally different from the fantasy scenarios in the Fast & Furious movies. Drivers can be seriously injured, bystanders
can be killed, and property can be ruined, which is why the National Hot Rod Association
threatened to revoke the license of anyone who appeared on the show. So how can Discovery film the series without
getting in trouble with law enforcement? Well, because law enforcement is in cahoots
with the show, of course. According to Oklahoma’s News 9, Street Outlaws
was caught employing police officers to shut down stretches of road so they could film
their racing scenes. And we’re not just talking about tiny neighborhoods,
either: The cops shut down an entire section of State Highway 81 in Union City just so
that a ridiculous little TV show about supposedly illegal races could legally film those races. The highway was blocked off for 10 hours for
the price of a whopping twenty-five bucks. “Get that money, boy!” Ever since Jonathan Davis was a kid, he dreamed
of one day appearing on Shark Week. He went on to become a notable marine biologist
and was understandably jazzed when Discovery asked him to be a part of their program. Little did he know that he was about to get
royally screwed over. The first sign that something fishy was going
on came when the crew filmed Davis’ team pulling sharks out of the water and tagging them for
actual scientific research, and a producer asked Davis to let the shark bite him for
ratings. Davis refused, but the suspicious antics didn’t
end there. According to Gizmodo, the film crew repeatedly
refused to answer Davis’ questions about how the footage would be used. Finally, at the end of the shoot, Davis was
asked if he believed in old stories of a mystical “voodoo shark” called the Rookin, which allegedly
prowls the Louisiana bayous. “An alligator?” “No. A SHARK.” Being a scientist, David laughed this off. However, months later, Davis had the not-so-happy
realization that his footage was being featured on a TV program titled Voodoo Shark, with
his interview edited to make him look like a die-hard Rookin believer racing against
a team of Bayou fishermen to catch the storied Voodoo Shark. “This ain’t no story, this is for real.” It should be obvious that the so-called reality
program Amish Mafia is faker than fake, considering that the whole idea of a group of dedicated
Amish people signing up to be followed by TV cameras is wildly against their entire
belief system. But just how artificial is the series? “It’s one hundred percent legit. Like, it’s a hundred percent real. Like, people… a lot of people got help for,
the from the Amish Mafia.” Yeah, we’re not so sure about all that. While the credits do warn of “select reenactments,”
the series never says which sequences are supposedly true, which is fairly suspicious. As Snopes points out, it’s entirely possible
that everything on the series is staged. Also, it seems pretty ridiculous to imagine
that anyone would so openly break the law on a TV program, as the Amish Mafia folks
do in the show, by doing things like shooting out car windows, breaking into houses, and
smashing milk bottles. If you want a more realistic look at Amish
life without ludicrous, staged reenactments, drive down to Pennsylvania and meet some Amish
folk in real-life, or maybe just turn on PBS. A 2008 episode of Discovery’s Deadliest Catch
contains a frightening sequence in which an Alaskan crab fishing boat named the Wizard
is forced to fight through nightmarish storm conditions. Giant waves crash over the deck. Water floods the inside of the boat. Will the Wizard’s crew survive this perfect
storm?! “Get ready to hold your breath.” Spoiler alert: they did survive, but not without
a little controversy. Though the Wizard certainly made it through
some big waves, the Hollywood Reporter brought some problems with the show’s narrative to
light. For example, the scenes of the boat flooding
were shot in September, while the storm waves didn’t actually hit until October. These mismatched dates meant that unrelated
events were cut together to make a more perilous scene. Cry “creative license” all you want, but if
you don’t tell your audience that you are using said creative license, you end up looking
pretty deceptive when your program is marketed as a documentary show. Alaskan Bush People might portray its stars
as living rugged, old-fashioned lives in the desolate wild north, far away from the contemporary
world, but this isn’t exactly the whole truth. Alaska’s famous wilderness does make it possible
to live far away from other people, but the Brown family lives closer to civilization
than the show would have you believe. The Anchorage Daily News reported that the
Browns’ oh-so-secluded residence was only a dirt trail away from the highway and a half-mile
from a pizza place. The nearest neighbor was apparently so close
to the family’s house that he got insanely frustrated with all the noise and hoopla surrounding
filming and tried to shoo production helicopters away by shooting fireworks into the sky. “I love to howl at the moon.” “Yeah, I like to hear the…” “The wolves are fine.” Another deep cut to the show’s authenticity
is that the entire backstory of the Brown family’s old house being “burned down by the
government” is highly dubious, according to Channel Guide magazine. Notice that important details like whether
the family actually lived there or whether the cabin actually went down in flames were
severely underreported. Quick, sound the alarm! Yet another reality show that’s sadly lacking
in reality, Gold Rush supposedly chronicles the day-to-day lives of professional gold
mining families. Fair enough, but actual day-to-day life is
far less scripted than what you’ll see on this show. Former Gold Rush: Alaska cast member Jimmy
Dorsey has come out and admitted that the show is planned, scripted, and directed from
the beginning, with certain cast members intentionally acting out to create dramatic situations. Dorsey revealed that even his big exit from
the show was arranged by producers who steered him out through careful manipulation of events. “Hey, you shut up and get out of my cabin. Now. Get out of the cabin.” Dorsey also said the editors cut about 90
percent of the positive interactions and events captured during filming, but that’s not
exactly a surprise. Friendly, pleasant conversations don’t make
for entertaining TV or cliffhanger commercial breaks, even if they are more realistic. Check out one of our newest videos right here! Plus, even more Grunge videos about your favorite
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