Later today, America Unearthed returns, and I know you are all waiting with baited breath for the Travel Channel to relaunch the controversial ex-H2 show. In fact, the only people who don’t seem excited are those at the Travel Channel, which are dumping the show with no publicity and no fanfare. Megan Fox got New York Times and major magazine writeups for her crappy fringe history show, and America Unearthed just barely got a line in the nightly TV listing highlights. Ironically, it the show will air opposite CBS’s archaeology-themed summer drama Blood & Treasure. Both shows lie outrageously about history, feature bearded dudes who dress like Indiana Jones, and imagine elaborate conspiracy theories about dangerous secrets in the ancient past. Calling one “fiction” and the other “reality” is at this point a distinction without a difference.
My plan is to review the program as it airs, publishing a review on my blog a few minutes after it ends at 11 PM ET. This will be a bit challenging, however, since it used to air at 9 PM, and now that I have a toddler, making it to 11 PM is a lot harder than it used to be. Given that the Travel Channel’s average audience is only about half the size of the one that watched America Unearthed in its first incarnation, my guess is that I shouldn’t really push myself too hard since we aren’t likely to see blockbuster ratings.
While we wait, however, I do want to point out something Paul Seaburn wrote on Mysterious Universe. He noted that the New York Times published another article about military UFOs this week and then said this:
This coverage by The New York Times truly lets the UFO cat out of the secrecy bag. It’s only a matter of time before other whistleblowers come forth in this age of whistleblowers coming forth.
It is not big.
The article in question reported on the experiences of Lt. Ryan Graves and Lt. Danny Accoin, who claimed to have seen UFOs. The piece was partly written by Richard Blumenthal and Leslie Kean, who continue to avoid disclosing to their readers their close connection to ufology. Kean, as you will recall, is a professional disclosure advocate who founded a UFO disclosure organization. The authors are closely connected to Tom DeLonge’s To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science, whose interests they have chosen to promote in the Times for reasons that seem fairly obvious to me but which they purposely obscure.
While it might be “big” that the paper of record continues to foist UFO bullshit on America, having spoken to Blumenthal and to Times reporters, it’s pretty clear that the editor who publishes this tripe has a personal interest in UFOs. It’s also rather clear that the Times has an ongoing interest in promoting the History channel’s products, including its upcoming DeLonge-fronted To the Stars series. History routinely purchases sponsored articles, advertisements, and wraparounds in the Times, including promotions for The Curse of Oak Island and Project Blue Book.
Don’t believe me?
Well, Blumenthal and Kean offer this not-so-subtle infotainment promotional message in the middle of their article:
Lieutenants Graves and Accoin, along with former American intelligence officials, appear in a six-part History Channel series, “Unidentified: Inside America’s U.F.O. Investigation,” to air beginning Friday. The Times conducted separate interviews with key participants.
Yup, the article is just a big puff piece for the History channel and To the Stars.
What someone really needs to do is to find out how the History channel (owned by A+E Networks, a partnership of Hearst and Disney) can corrupt every institution it touches with fake history, all for … what, exactly? A lousy million mostly elderly viewers on a Friday night? Is that the price of truth?
I am an author and researcher focusing on pop culture, science, and history. Bylines: New Republic, Slate, etc. There's more about me in the About Jason tab.
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