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Do you consider History Channel...

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by Za Rodinu, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    ... a reliable, trustworthy, useful historical source or not in our context? Why?

    Same for Discovery, etc.
     
  2. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    I take everything that is shown on THC with a grain of salt. Most of their programming is produced and made by outside sources. And they are in the business of making money and buy programs not for historical accuracy but for entertainment purposes. Many mistakes have been pointed out by people before.
     
  3. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    I treat it much like wikipedia. Good general information but there is a lot of detail left out. Good historical entertainment. Better than nothing
     
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  4. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Exactly. A good place to start but not to use as a final source.
     
  5. bigfun

    bigfun Ace

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    I think it's alot like Readers Digest....a condensed, somewhat cusory view of the subject.
     
  6. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member WW2|ORG Editor

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    I take anything I see on TV with a grain of salt.
     
  7. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    But unfortunately some don't see it as such. A former poster here was claiming something was true because the producer of a show said it was so LOL.
     
  8. von Poop

    von Poop Waspish

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    No.

    Pzjgr describes it best as 'entertainment'. One tries to keep an open mind when some personal obsession is 'covered' in a short programme, but 8 times out of 10 the style overrides the content & the errors are too many. It's the same for anybody when their special interest or hobby is covered by Journalists who have to cater to a wider demographic, more often than not the lowest common denominator will rule.
    The same is, of course, not always true for all television programmes, many are excellent, well researched, built by real enthusiasts/experts and entertaining. However these are far from the bulk of the gotterdammerung sensationalist presentation of certain channels.

    Putting aside some sort of Utopic view that we should all be working strongly from Primary sources (as many here do, respect to them, but not everyone can devote the sheer time and effort required to obtain such stuff) the reasons I don't see it as a sensible source are twofold;
    1: Books. Wonderful things, Secondary source by nature but that's no bad thing if the interpretation is good, full of stuff, highly searchable & easily available (if sometimes a little pricey).
    2: The Internet. The very fact we're here means we have access to this astonishing tool, one that's deepening in quality if you take the time to search it properly, and attempt to cross-reference any discovery that's new to you in the same way you would for any other source. It's provided us with valuable contact with veterans more easily too, for that 'One who was there' perspective. It also gives us access to those generous souls that do choose to share their Primary work or lifetime of reading, both on the better websites & forums like this.

    Documentaries, whether populist or deathly serious usually work best as a trigger to discussions, but are often far too inconsistent in reliability to be used to bolster any point of view, or attempt to discover the facts of a matter.

    The same seems true to me as regards Wiki, wonderful starting point but if you stake your reputation on something discovered there never forget that you're standing on shifting 'open source' sands. While the bulk of an article might be solid the bit you quote may have been inserted by a lazy 10 year old, or worse someone with an axe to grind.

    Is it me, or is Wiki really improving recently?
    Bit by bit a lot of detail seems to be getting tidied up... presumably by the likes of us irritated at some clear error in an article.

    Cheers,
    Adam.
     
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  9. Erich

    Erich Alte Hase

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    sometime ago I tired to send off 3 mails to HS about the so-called facts they were presenting about the film covering the Stalingrad mythical sniper duel. I corrected them cordially with documentation and some gal replied to me by stating "what are you talking about ?"

    that clinched for me right then and there.............NO absolute way. over and over again through the years they have been incorrect on facts and figures, even the latest dog-fights they have presented and then replaced with some silly - the earth is growing, or truckers on ice or ....... ?
     
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  10. C.Evans

    C.Evans Expert

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    I agree with ya all and E, and Pzjgr Adam etc, said it best. Also, they used to be real good when I first started watching it but, look at the crap that's on now-crap like Ice Truckers, Or, the history of logging?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!?!?!??!!

    THAT stuff puts me and im sure most--asleep. The Discovery Channel has gone way down hiss as well as A&E, AMC, TNT, TVland, the Cartoon Network, the Sci-fi channel. Heck, im glad im not wasting my money paying for Cable TV-it aint worth it! Of about 100 channels I get, I watch things on MAYBE about 10 channels-mostly TCM, Fox, VS, etc.
     
  11. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    Sometimes HC does show statements by recognizable names, I remeber seeing Robert Pipes, Robert Conquest, David Fletcher, James Dunnigan, David Glantz, etc. But I remember Dunnigan saying elsewhere that they do provide long interviews but everything is so edited, cut into ittle pieces and glues again that whatever they say becomes distorted to uselessness.

    It's all popular history, non-contencious, everything mellowed down tready to be swallowed by the General Public. And the mistakes? At the beginning it's funny, but when you watch a doc on Kursk (July '43, JULY, I said) and they show snow footage, or the same old PzII films from previous week invasion of Poland I'm already puffing and reaching to switch to something else.

    Ah well, it sells so it must be good. :rolleyes:

    Adam, concerning Wikipedia, I also read the Discussions as well, they do provide a few inklings on credibility. Oh, books! Yes, there are books too, now that you mention it!

    Brother!
     
  12. skunk works

    skunk works Ace

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    "Cabbage Cooker" picture

    Exactly so, so far. Entertainment it is. (Thanks Pzgr), and that means journalists, actors, voice overs, (many times just) "ONE" opinion.
    Remember the NYT journalist who made stuff up because it was a slow news day?
    I've know many folks who were interviewed (by the local news)(in many places after an accident, bad weather etc.) and when the news broadcast came on, we laughed and cried when they were cut off short, misquoted, and generally made to look like a dramatic, over-reacting idiot, because that's what sells.
    A cold truth, of a many times plastic world.
    A good enough place to get an idea to follow up on, but don't bet the farm on it's accuracy!:cool: It's TV-------
     
  13. Matthew

    Matthew Member

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    It's alright but I still prefer The Military Channel. Like others have said, it's good entertainment.
     
  14. T. A. Gardner

    T. A. Gardner Genuine Chief

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    Much of the content of the History Channel is best likened to a comic book version of history. There is occasionally something worthwhile but most of it is just purile crap. The Military Channel is better, particularly with experts on stuff even if the occasional one is a bit strange.....
    Discovery is good on some things, particularly shows were they are doing current stuff like How Its Made or Dirty Jobs (for which I still want to see poor Mike Rowe machine graphite for someone I know for a day....taking a bath after 8 hours of that makes the water grey. Even with a respirator you have black gunk in your nose. It is absolutely the nastiest job I've ever done....).
     
  15. Herr Oberst

    Herr Oberst Member

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    Couldn't agree more A&E and the History Channel used to be enjoyable maybe 8-10 years ago, now It's not worth watching:rolleyes:
     
  16. ItemCo16527

    ItemCo16527 Member

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    I used to love watching the History Channel. I could find something to watch every single night of the week. Now it seems to be Modern Marvels: Lugnuts every time I tune in.

    What happened? :(
     
  17. macrusk

    macrusk Proud Daughter of a Canadian WWII Veteran

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    Hopefully, someone from the History channel will stumble across the comments here!

    The Canadian History Channel has also fallen down lately particularly when they show movies that either have nothing do with history except from the perspective that it was made 20 years ago or is on a historical figure but may little or nothing to do with the facts. The only time they are really credible is when they show some war movies and then have Veterans who participated in the campaign interviewed immediately afterwards. The Military Channel sounds interesting, but not available here.

    As most have said a starting place to spark interest and inspire further research. I find I watch Discovery Civilization more for the history, but even then it is often dramatized. These days the time I did have available for television seems to be spent here......:D
     
  18. FramerT

    FramerT Ace

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    I used to always watch History channel. As already mentioned, nowadays they show loggers or fishermen. I kinda like the International History channel. One 2 hour documentary
    they did on the "300 Spartans" was really interesting. Thankfully I had seen this before the movie came out.
    The shows that the History channel did were really vague. Of course they have to condense a battle into a 60 minute show, so when they did a Battle of the Bulge show,
    someone who did'nt know any better would think the whole battle consisted of the Malmedy massacre, "nuts" and Patton to the rescue.

    I like the Military channel mainly for their non-WWII shows. Future Weapons and so forth.
     
  19. mikebatzel

    mikebatzel Dreadnaught

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    I don't watch it for accuracy. If I want accurate I would rather read a book. I do like the HC for the Modern Marvels, Digging for the Truth, and Secrets of the Underground.
    The entertaining programs.
     
  20. PzJgr

    PzJgr Drill Instructor

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    You said it brother. I never got a chance to check out the Military channel but I am willing to guess that it is what HC used to be.
     

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