I’ve written about my acquired lack of respect for the way in which the History Channel has prostituted itself into one giant reality show.
“Ax Men,” “Ice Road Truckers,” “UFO Hunters.”
While all participants my be fine people, “history” it is not.
(On the other side of the spectrum, the Military History Channel is far superior to anything put out by its now degraded cousin.)
However, through heavy promotion, the History Channel began its 6-part series last night titled “AMERICA: The Story of Us.”
The only reason I allowed myself to waste precious gathering of photons was due to the fact that this first episode was comprised mainly about the American Revolution, of which is my favorite part of history.
My expectations were low considering the source, and this production did not disappoint.
In a word: terrible.
Most of the program was dominated by some truly pathetic computer generated graphics.
However, the parts most disappointing were the actual facts they deemed to include of import.
They focused on obscure information: inflating the actual importance of Washington’s “spy” network to the rescue of the first French fleet to arrive in our defense, helping to keep the British Armada at bay in New York. The French fleet, under Admiral d’Estaing, did not meet the British in New York, but Rhode Island, where they in fact did battle a larger British Fleet and a terrible storm, rendering his ships useless.
Never once did they mention it was some of Washington’s brilliantly planned early retreats that actually saved the Continental Army from devastation.
Danial Morgan, a gruff, hard living, hard drinking frontier’s man, played his most pivotal role, not in Saratoga, as important a victory it was, but in a combined operation with General Nathanael Greene during the Southern campaign, demoralizing British General Cornwallis and his troops to a point where they blundered into taking up defensive fortifications at Yorktown, where the Continentals finally beat the British. His strategy of “double envelopment” is still studied and taught in modern military training.
But, aside from the shoddy history, timeliness, and production, nothing made me want to hurl more than the people interviewed for perspective.
Of course, nothing would be complete without Obama sticking his nose into things, as, at the very beginning, he made an “opening statement” to the viewers.
FOR CORN’S SAKE, LEAVE US ALONE FOR 2 FRIGGIN’ HOURS!!
Anyway, others interviews ran the spectrum from actors like Micheal Douglas, to one of the hosts of a show on the History Channel, and, bizarrely, the founder of Wikipedia.
But, the majority of interviews were of people of questionable integrity for unbiased opinion.
NBC stalwarts Tom Browkaw and Brian Williams were two who were quoted several times.
An historian, the name of which escapes me, who I have seen before in interviews baring quite a leftist tilt.
Also, one of the most waffling public figures in the last decade, Colin Powell.
But, aside from the usual display of Obama narcissism, the one I found particularly galling was none other than Professor Henry Louis Gates, Obama pal and member of the embarrassing White House “Beer summit.” A man who resisted arrest, resulting in Obama claiming an entire police department as “acting stupidly.”
Out of all the universities, and all the independent historians, THIS was the nut they chose to quote about the Revolution?
Just go all the way next time! Put on the Honorable Reverend William Wright and Bill Ayers.
In scenes from the next installment, the one person they chose to show as a contributor was “One Square for All” Sheryl Crow.
I’m sure they’ll fit the mental musings of national degenerate “Steve-O” from Jackass fame to tell us just how “ya know, totally sick” the Civil War was and that his latest body piercing “really sucked.”
(The History Channel has also announced that they are giving a free DVD to every classroom in the country, so expect to have Obama addressing the little ones soon.)