Saturday, 15 August 2009

State of...Shame!

SHAME on you Discovery Channel. Shame on you for putting on this sorry excuse for a Canadian, Les Stroud. I am sitting here watching his show from Discovery Channel's 'Shark Week'. The show is called Deadly Waters, and examines the 5 most deadly locations in the world with regards to shark attacks.

If you are unfamiliar with Stroud's show 'Surviverman' consider yourself lucky. The show is based on the concept of being dropped in the middle of nowhere and having to survive on his own. He carries his own camera and films everything. He lost total credibility with me while he was 'surviving' in the cold north one episode. Les came across an old beaten up truck and decided to sleep in the truck. The next morning Les claimed it was the most uncomfortable night of sleep of his life. He slept...IN A TRUCK!!!! Try being homeless for a single night you jackass.

But I digress. My beef this time is with his attempt to educate viewers on why these waters are so deadly. At his 5th most deadly location, the Caribbean, Les wanted to test his theory as to why so many people had been attacked over the years. His belief was that it's because it's open water that the sharks attack mostly moving victims (swimmers, scuba divers, etc.). So here was his test. Behind his boat he dragged a "chumcicle" (a frozen mass of dead fish and guts). When the sharks attacked the moving meal this proved the liked to attack moving objects. In comparison, Les put a non-moving "chumcicle" in the water. The sharks attacked this as well, but with slightly less ferociousness.

To Les, this proved his point that swimmers and divers are at serious risk in these waters! Okay, I'm no scientist, but this doesn't seem like a very valid experiment. He was dragging CHUM!!!! Of course the sharks are going to attack it. What he should have done is have himself dragged behind the boat to determine if they would attack something that wasn't IN THEIR REGULAR DIET!!!! What Les also failed to notice is that when he was in the water filming the attack, when he got close to the chumcicle the sharks retreated. They didn't come close to the human (if he can call himself that). Yes, it may have been the small motorized propeller thingy that he was using, but the sharks weren't afraid of the boat so why would this do it?

My second beef with Les (oh, don't you worry I'm getting to my beef with Discovery Channel) while investigating the Great White Shark. He wanted to test the bite of a shark to determine how deadly a Great White's jaws are. So he put a dead tuna on the end of a rope and dropped it overboard. When the Great White didn't immediately attack it Les said that the shark had no interest in it " this shark is really inspecting the dead tuna, but for some reason it doesn't seem sure".

Rather than attacking the dead decaying tuna, the shark decided to attack a live albatross on the surface of the water. The shark chose a life prey over dead decaying prey. Here is Les's take on this:

"The Great White swam right up and hit the albatross. Now it looks like he's circling and is gonna come back and finish it off. THAT'S INSANE! He's hit the bird, injuring it preventing it from flying off...and circling it he comes back to finish the attack...these really are DEADLY WATERS."

So wait...these waters are suddenly "deadly" because a Great White attacked a bird - something that is not uncommon in the diet of a shark? Talk about sensationalizing the deadliness of sharks. And this is where I have a serious beef with Discovery Channel. I will admit that over the years Discovery Channel has done a tremendous job of raising the awareness of sharks and their miscast role as "man eaters". But what they've done in this single episode of 'Les Stroud; Jackass' has put sharks back in the cross hairs. As if sharks didn't have enough trouble with the whole finning industry - now they have to worry about cowboys like Les Stroud labeling them as man-eaters again.

Shame on you Discovery Channel!!! I watch the news each night and see how fear sells. Teasers like, "could the vitamins you take be the same thing that is killing you? Next on XYZ News". It's this type of shoddy reporting that is making me disgusted with so called unbiased news reporting. I thought that Discovery Channel was above this; only filming and reporting the truth and trying to dispel ugly rumours about nature. But seeing this "Deadly Waters" has made me rethink this belief. While one episode certainly shouldn't ruin all the help that sharks have received over the years - it certainly didn't help.

I look forward to Shark Week every year - as do several of my family members. I will ask them to watch this single episode to see if I'm overreacting. I hope this is not a sign of things to come from Discovery Channel; I have 8 more hours of saved Shark Week content to watch. But one thing is for sure...this single episode confirmed what I already thought - Les Stroud is a giant douche bag!!!! I wish that sharks WERE deadly man-killers...then maybe he wouldn't have made it through this sorry excuse for a TV show with his four limbs.

I still have 15 minutes left in the show...maybe there's still hope!

Oh, my God. It keeps getting worse and worse. Now he's in Florida at the most deadly of waters. Les mentions a few years ago a fisherman was attacked (who was standing in the water reeling the bait towards him). To test if these sharks like human flesh Les has devised a brilliant plan. He will put a fish head on a metal rod. Next to the fish head, about half a foot away, he will put a prosthetic human arm. If the shark bites the arm then they are man-eaters. The fact that the arm is less than a foot away must have no bearing on this test. Please allow giant douche-bag Les to set the stage:

"Let's see if the sharks go for the arm or the fish. I'm moving off a safe distance to watch. Trouble with these waters is - nowhere is safe!".

How many swimmers are there in the state of Florida??? And how many attacks have their been? You're right dickwad - "NOWHERE" is safe! So the test goes just as planned for Les. In the clear waters the shark just takes the fish head. When Les clouds up the water and adds another fish head, the head is taken...and then another shark does bite the arm - only to spit it out after realizing it's not actual food. But this CLEARLY shows that "so there you have it, in the murky waters off the coast of Florida you might just be mistaken as prey".

Les Stroud you are a GIANT douche bag! And Discover Channel should be slapped upside the head for promoting this guy and his archaic beliefs. Strangely, I'm not the first to notice - check out THIS link from 2008.


1 comment:

  1. good comments on this one...nobody needs to be giving more misinformation about sharks in this day and age. Les should know better....and so should the Discovery Channel.