Observations of a Nerd

Dear Discovery,

This is really hard for me to say. We’ve been so close for such a long time, and I feel like there was something real between us. Sure, there have been some rough times, like when you decided deforestation was worth televising. We’ve had our fights about silly things like how you perpetuate a negative stereotype through shark week and whether ghost hunting is valid programing for a science-oriented network. I’ve cheated on you with National Geographic a few times, and yet you forgave me. In spite of all our troubles, I still love you, mostly because of Mike Rowe, Dave Salmoni and the Mythbusters, and I really believed that we would make it work – somehow.

But this time, I fear the wounds will be too deep. I just don’t think I’ll be able to get over this. You’ve broken my heart for the last time.

No, I’m not talking about you choosing Oprah to narrate Life (though, come on – you have Mike Rowe at your disposal!). I’m talking about how you have decided to go behind my back and get in bed with Sarah Palin.

How could you?! How dare you be with her and try to tell me that you haven’t changed, that you’re the same science-loving, environment-protecting network I fell in love with?

Palin gams[1].jpgThis is a woman who would destroy the very “nature” that the series you’re paying her $1.2 million an episode is supposed to showcase! Did you forget about her terrible environmental record? Did you forget that she campaigned to no only allow the aerial hunting of wolves, but pay people for it? Fought tooth and nail to remove protections animals like Beluga Whales and Polar Bears? That she openly and unabashedly desires to tear apart the wilderness of Alaska to fill it with oil platforms? This is a women who flaunts her disbelief of scientific consensuses like evolution and climate change! She is the picture of everything that you are supposed to be in the fight against.

I repeat – how could you?!

I’m sorry. I just can’t be with you anymore. I can’t keep lying to myself, convincing myself that you’re the network I want you to be. I can’t snuggle up and watch Life and pretend that none of this has happened. Part of me still loves you, so this is harder for me than you can imagine.

I’m breaking up with you, Discovery – for good, this time. Not even Mike can make things better, even if he shows up at my door in person to beg for me to come back.

Well, maybe not for good. I don’t know. *Sigh* Maybe we could be friends again some day down the road, if all of this changes. But it seems like you’re slipping further and further away from me every day, and I sincerely doubt that I’ll be able to look at you with the same adoring, innocent eyes that I used to ever again.

For now, though, it’s over. Goodbye.

Your once-biggest-fan,


  1. #1 Texas Reader
    March 30, 2010

    Anyone have any good email addresses for management at Discovery?

  2. #2 Dana
    March 30, 2010

    Ah, I could have written this letter myself because I agree so wholeheartedly. Well done! Now don’t get me started on The Learning Channel and their proliferation of reality shows about wedding dresses and little people.

  3. #3 john
    March 30, 2010

    It would be hard to give up Man vs. Wild.

  4. #4 Oskie
    March 30, 2010

    Yes! Contact Discover management and ask for the list of Sarah’s sponsors. That will make boycotting them much easier.

  5. #5 Matt
    March 30, 2010

    I don’t even have a TV but this still disheartens me. How about giving a show to… I don’t know… a scientist? I guess they’re going to get good ratings or something out of this scheme, but I really hope people don’t watch.

  6. #6 Rob Jase
    March 30, 2010

    At least Discovery hasn’t gone the way of the Apocalypse/Woo Channel formerly known as the History Channel.


  7. #7 Diz
    March 30, 2010

    Maybe abandoning the idea of publicly-financed educational television in the hopes a bunch of sleazy media companies might take up the slack wasn’t so clever after all.

  8. #8 Dr. M
    March 30, 2010

    Well done…well done indeed

  9. #9 Nico
    March 30, 2010

    Capitalism has become the bane of knowledge and intellect. I remember when shows like Wild discovery were shown every day instead of this freaking Cash Cab. If it were not for the Mythbusters, i would never have the Discovery channel on. In pursuit of larger profits and a broader viewer base they have sacrificed almost everything they represented in the past. what a load of bollocks!

  10. #10 Chris
    March 30, 2010

    Sarah Palin is a very sell-able commodity. the Discovery Channel is a Business, the point of a Business is to make money. Don’t blame the business blame the consumer. Look at how many brain washed people watched/bought Al Gore’s drivel. When he lost his market value he vanished, so too will this fad.

  11. #11 kirk
    March 30, 2010

    re: “Sarah Palin is a very sell-able object”

    There still exists a “brand promise” for Discovery Channel ™ that does NOT include the phrase “aggregator of random kibble”.

    Coca-Cola does not peddle herbicide, McDonalds does not sell sex toys. At some point – and this is probably 28 ft. to the right of the dividing line – Palin kills the Discovery brand.

  12. #12 Zedge
    March 30, 2010

    I never thought a entire network could “jump the shark” but, alas ’tis happenin’ Damn!

  13. #13 Xander
    March 30, 2010

    I understand your sentiment, but isn’t this show on TLC, not Discovery Channel?

  14. I couldn’t agree more. Not even Mythbusters can make for giving this horrible woman a forum.

    She is a monument to the Dumbing Down of America. Sarah Palin represents everything bad about the religious reich, neocons, and the right wing-nuts.

    This is a disgusting decision by the Discovery Channel. I am even going to block it from y cable connection.

    I hope I can learn who the sponsors are so I can let them know how their decision will affect their bottom line, too.

  15. #15 Southern Fried Scientist
    March 30, 2010

    Yeah, Sarah Palin’s gonna to be on TLC, not Discovery Channel. Of course, they’re all part of Discovery Communications, but she’s rocking out with Cake Boss, not Adam Savage.


  16. #16 Khalil A.
    March 30, 2010

    And don’t forget that National Geographic Channel is half owned by Murdoch’s Time Corp. So what other science channels are left?

  17. #17 Rick
    March 30, 2010

    Man vs. Wild, John? Do know it’s fake?

  18. #18 David
    March 30, 2010

    Smithsonian Channel. Still pretty new but it is what I watch.

  19. #19 Christie Wilcox
    March 30, 2010

    Is it to show actually to be on TLC? Good to know. The piece I read said Discovery Channel (silly journalists and their fact checking). Not that I’ll watch it either way, and it’s still disgraceful. I guess now I’m breaking up with the whole frickin’ company.

    Except for you, Mike Rowe. You and I can still hang out. I hope you understand that this breakup has nothing to do with you; me and your network, we just have drifted apart. We don’t love you any less!

  20. #21 Xander
    March 30, 2010

    Just did some googling and yes, it’s TLC. http://tlc.discovery.com/tv/sarah-palin-alaska/sarah-palin-alaska.html

    Discovery Communications owns TLC. They also own Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and How Stuff Works, among others. But the Palin show is definitely TLC. Before anyone says it, I have thought about the corporate ownership argument, but Turner owns CNN, TBS and Cartoon and in my mind they’ve all got separate brands. I dunno. Personally, I won’t watch this show on TLC, but I also don’t watch John & Kate or Little People anyways.

  21. #22 Kevin Z
    March 30, 2010

    LOL Christie

    Silly BLOGGERS and their fact checking ha!

  22. #23 Angi
    March 30, 2010

    go to this website to leave a comment with Discovery…


    Its question number 33… please leave a comment!!

  23. #24 AC
    March 31, 2010

    You’re absolutely right. DITTO!!!!

  24. #25 Daniel
    March 31, 2010

    I’m right there with you Christie. I just had this exact same train of thought in a conversation yesterday.

    Sarah Palin’s show is just the last straw among many. And to be honest, I AM miffed that they picked Oprah to narrate “Life.” Don’t get me wrong – I love Oprah. But she knows jack squat about biology. And the original version of “Life” ALREADY HAD Sir. David Attenborough! How do you overdub Attenborough?!

    The way I see it, the only power I really have apart from whining about it (and writing letters) is to simply not watch or support Discovery or it’s subsidiaries. It is for this reason that I have stopped watching them. And I’m waiting for the BBC version of “Life” on BluRay.

  25. #26 Jay
    March 31, 2010

    This is whack, yo.

  26. #27 Michael
    April 1, 2010

    Great read. Nicely done.

    Take Care

  27. #28 Timothy
    April 2, 2010

    Seriously, putting shows about the supernatural on a ‘science’ channel ought to be a much bigger relationship hang up than putting Sarah Palin on. At least that’s why I broke up with the Discovery channel, that and I turned 15 and became nerdy in a more serious way.

  28. #29 Doug
    April 3, 2010

    yo, I’m kind of sick of all this paranormal-bashing going on. Seriously, the people on Ghost Hunters and stuff are looking for evidence and explanations for things which shouldn’t happen according to normal laws of physics, but have. I see no difference between searching for evidence of the Higgs boson and searching for evidence of the things which we call “ghosts.”

    Sarah Palin’s involvement and whatnot is way worse than supernatural shows on Discovery.

  29. #30 Matt H.
    April 3, 2010

    Well said! I did watch a few episodes of the Attenborough version of Life and its good. He is the best narrator; take that Morgan Freeman.

  30. #32 CaptainBlack
    April 4, 2010

    @#10 Chris write:

    “XXXX is a very sell-able commodity. YYYY is a Business, the point of a Business is to make money. Don’t blame the business blame the consumer.”

    Ahh… the drug dealer defence ….


  31. #33 Ryan
    April 5, 2010

    If you can find it, the BBC version of Life with David Attenbourough narrating is much better

  32. #34 Junglenut
    November 23, 2010

    Thought I would ad a list of the Discovery Communications business we are boycotting.
    YES! That’s right…the same people who are running the Palin Show also own and operate TreeHugger, Animal Planet and Planet Green!
    Here is the full list:

    Discovery Channel
    Animal Planet
    Discovery Health
    Science Channel
    Investigation Discovery
    Military Channel
    Planet Green
    Discovery Kids
    Hd Theater
    Oprah Winfrey Network
    International Kids
    Discovery Education
    Discovery Enterprises International
    Discovery Travel and Living

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