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reply to post by AccessDenied
Interesting OP and you got some nice responses, too! My view is, mankind is always locked in a battle with technology. Since TV is a technology like any other devised by mankind it can be used & abused often enough to cause concerns with the methods of how that technology is applied, generally.
To me television is one example of a medium for the expression of an idea. There is no question about the power of television... (before that movies... before that radio... 100 years ago when print was popular e.g. newspapers & magazines... before that pamphlets & gazettes... almanacs, digests, catalogs, etc) to influence human minds.
Can you imagine a world without any media at all? No stone tablets, no cave paintings, no scrolls of papyrus? Everything would have to be done facie ad faciem.
Not so long ago, these types of shows were few and far between. From Twilight Zone, to Unsolved Mysteries....now an explosion of shows, movies, etc, relating to cryptozoology, paranormal, ancient civilizations, aliens and ufo's, government secrecy and secret societies. I will not list individual titles, because I do not wish to give them publicity, but I'm sure even if many have unplugged from regular cable, you know of which I speak.
Now, I'll go little off the deep end....
There is a reason in the TV industry that TV folks call their products "programming". That's exactly what it is, a diverse selection of programs. The consumers of TV programs are of a different sort of relationship. There seems to be a blurry area of ambiguity between the actual content presented and the ability of the consumer to determine the actual validity of it.
In TV, a consumer receives the broad"cast" from the "net"work and consumes it in a way that is decided by the consumer. If it is news tv show the consumer is heavily reliant on the credibility of the "net"work. If it is an entertainment tv show the consumer has dropped all sense of incredulity and accepted the responsibility of "suspending his own disbelief" in order to be entertained.
This very important distinction causes the consumer (tv viewers in general) to have an ongoing love affair with the technology, the television, that satisfies a need to be informed and entertained. That's how info-tainment was born. Mythbusters being a modern example of info-tainment.
But what then happens when the consumer has been burned by TV? LBJ went on TV to tell America that a few small gunboats attacked US Navy vessels in the Gulf of Tonkin. That was a very powerful, powerful use of TV propaganda. It was so powerful that Congress immediately hastened to provide LBJ with every means necessary to defeat the Communist threat. We all know how the Viet Nam war panned out for the U.s.A. Was it a conspiracy of the military industrial complex? History is still being evaluated.
Agreeing with the OP I'd say conspiracy themed TV shows are not new. Certain genres of TV programming have always been popular: see police detective shows and of course, the two tv shows that OP mentioned. "From Twilight Zone, to Unsolved Mysteries" up to X-Files and Jesse Ventura's Conspiracy show.
Ventura's show is a perfect example of reality tv, mixed with information, conspiracy-as-entertainment. It's popular because TV viewers have changed since the Gulf of Tonkin. TV has evolved so far that there are channels dedicated to history, nature, animals, news, sport, drama, comedy, old shows, old movies, etc. Because there are more channels it is easier for the conspiracy shows to fill "programming" slots and easier for advertisers to get in on the action.
Are conspiracy-themed TV shows bad? Are they trending upward? Or are they simply a reflection of what the consumers want to see aided by the "programmers" zeal to sell more advertising?
I suppose it unrealistic to expect any kind of integrity towards programming on any given channel. LOL. I'll just have to search for truth on the interwebz.
I can switch over to the military channel and mixed in with documentaries about current military maneuvers,and weaponry, is Nazi UFO, Secrets of Egypt, AREA 51. How on earth do I take theories as presented by the MILITARY channel???
A&E Television Networks, LLC (DBA A+E Networks and formerly also known as AETN) is an American media company that owns a group of television channels available via cable & satellite in the US and abroad. A&E stands for Arts & Entertainment. The company is a joint venture between Hearst Corporation and Disney-ABC Television Group, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. Source en.wikipedia.org...
Discovery Communications, Inc. is an American global mass media and entertainment company based in Silver Spring, Maryland. The company started as a single channel in 1985, The Discovery Channel. Today, DCI has global operations offering 28 network entertainment brands on more than 100 channels in more than 180 countries in 39 languages for over 1.5 billion subscribers around the globe.
DCI both produces original television programming and acquires content from producers worldwide. This non-fiction and fiction programming is offered through DCI's 28 network entertainment brands, including Discovery Channel, Military Channel, TLC, Animal Planet, Discovery Fit & Health and a family of digital channels. DCI also distributes Random House and Random House Home Video to cable and satellite operators in the United States.
Despite being publicly traded on the NASDAQ stock exchange, the Newhouse family exercise the largest stake in the company, 31%, through privately held Advance Publications. Source en.wikipedia.org...
......The advent of conspiracy related entertainment on a wide scale, I believe, is now affecting the credibility of serious researchers and their findings in relation to any and all of the topics we discuss here on ATS. How would you feel if years of research became a movie of the week, with no credit to you? Not to mention the mockery of your findings after the fact because your truth just became Hollywood fiction?
Is this a conspiracy by mass media to discredit all we discuss here, by taking our theories and manipulating the masses with the “after school special “ version of such? How can you redirect that back to the facts?