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Posts Tagged ‘The Discovery Channel’

Discovery Channel ‘Shark Week’ Stunt Actually Scared the Crap out of Canadians

In a true “War of the Worlds” moment (look it up, kids), The Discovery Channel and its various agencies managed to scare quite a few shark-weary Canadians with the help of the local government before admitting yesterday that it was all a stunt.

Here’s the clip that went semi-viral, alleging that a bull shark had been spotted in Lake Ontario. Does this look like a paid ad?

It is. More specifically, it was created by OMD and TBWA to promote the upcoming special ”In Search of Canada’s Rogue Shark”–a special sponsored by Nissan.

Yet authorities took it so seriously that Natural Resources Minister Bill Mauro told local press:

“Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water…it is potentially, I guess, a very serious situation. If there is a shark in Lake Ontario we need to know about it.”

It’s almost like Discovery fed him the damn lines. In other words, it’s still very possible to get both local media and a skeptical public to believe–or at least click on–even the most unbelievable nonsense. Need more proof? One word: mermaids.

Thanks for setting the bar so very low, Discovery.

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Something Smells Fishy at ‘Shark Week’

The latest chapter in Discovery Channel‘s scaly salt-water empire Shark Week, breaking ratings records with a mixture of legitimate science and horror since 1987, raised some eyebrows back on land.

Seems that the “documentary” Megaladon: The Monster Shark That Lives played fast and loose with the facts while producers hoped no one would notice.

In case you were never a 12-year-old boy, the megaladon was a prehistoric creature with teeth the size of a human hand which, as you may surmise from the special’s title, may still be alive and terrorizing the world’s oceans today.

Fans of accuracy in media will be disappointed to know that this is not even remotely true. The big deal, really, is Discovery’s failure to include a “none of this is real, BTW” disclaimer beyond a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it notice aired during the last minutes of the show calling it a “film” based on “legend.” Quite a few people fell for this nonsense, too: if you believe the channel’s super official megaladon poll, only 21% of viewers think the shark is definitely extinct. (We wonder how they feel about Bat Boy.)

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