Discovery Channel has sacked two of its shows in light of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. Both the shows are about guns: one is Ted Nugent shooting some stuff, the other is some other people shooting some other stuff. Ostensibly, the cancellations took place due to some bullshit they made up, but I’m not going to patronize the readers so much as to pretend this conveniently timed decision on their part is about anything other than the horrific massacre. I could say they are shirking away from any controversy down the line, but I think there are ulterior reasons to the move that don't reflect as well on the network.
See, to buy the theory that what they’re doing is pure pussyfooting around the audience, I’d have to assume that either their PR people are really stupid, or that they think the American people are really stupid, and I don’t believe any of that. First off, who would make the connection between those shows and the tragedy if they themselves hadn’t pointed it out first? I tell you who: the kind of knee-jerk zealots that no one takes seriously. I’m talking about one million moms material here. No one would stop watching the shows, because people who like guns usually don’t think that offering gun-themed entertainment around the time of a shooting massacre is any worse than offering water-themed entertainment around the time of a mass-drowning accident.
No, what they’re actually doing is sacrificing two turkeys so they can draw attention to their piousness and up their street cred with the news media and the audience. And that goes the same for the dudes who postponed Gangster Squad after the Aurora shooting. If they’d kept things business as usual, the “controversial” scenes would make for bored water-cooler conversation at best. But now they are showcasing their “good-taste” by pretending to care.
They don’t care. If they did, they’d do that after every murder that happens anywhere in the world, because who are they to say that any life is more precious than the other? Just because someone was born in an arbitrary geographical location different from other arbitrary location, does that mean that they deserve special attention from the media? Try to explain that away: “Of course the victims of Sandy Hook are more important than the 8-year-olds from Darfur who are raped and then jailed for having sex outside marriage and killed in prison afterwards, because they are ‘merican!” Not so pious now, is it?