But what was really interesting is the small insight Wolter gave into the inner workings of the History Channel’s mutual appreciation society of fringe figures. Far from encouraging an open and honest dialogue in search of the truth, the network insists (as many networks do) on Orwellian conformity to the party line, as he wrote in the comments on his blog entry:
...I am contractually bound not to disparage or say/post/tweet/etc., anything negative about another network show. I have a lot of experience with Oak Island and have opinions I cannot express until after the show runs its course. It appears they are on for at least a third season so I will have to wait.
So, let’s get this straight: History Channel and H2 hosts are forbidden from criticizing each other’s lunatic ideas even when they are wrong, all while proclaiming that they and they alone are honest brokers providing the audience with the “truth.” I guess that explains why not a single History/H2 figure expressed any consternation that In Search of Aliens endorsed Neo-Nazi propaganda last year. But it’s also interesting that the network won’t let its own talent debate the very issues that they are supposedly interested in examining, allowing only support or silence. It’s one thing if your Food Network and don’t want your chefs smacking one another down, but when your shtick is that you’re looking for the “truth” and rewriting history, purposely preventing supposed experts from using their expertise until you’ve wrung every last dollar from bad ideas just feels wrong.
But it seems that we’ve stumbled upon History and H2’s solution to the negative publicity my critiques of their programming brings: Instead of sending me a cease and desist letter and cutting me from their credentialed press roster, they should have hired me as a consultant! Then I’d be contractually obliged not to say bad things about their shows!
Or, they could make better quality shows. But we all know which option is cheaper.