The Discovery Channel once again faced rightful criticism this year for a faked documentary that aired during Shark Week. Buried in the popular scorn is the notion that Shark Week has declined—that the beloved annual series used to be about celebrating and protecting sharks.
Looking back on earlier iterations tells a different story. In reality, Shark Week has never really been about sharks—it’s about exploiting the public’s fearful fascination with them. And for Discovery, that’s certainly paid off.
TODAY IN SLATE
More Than Scottish Pride
What Charles Barkley Gets Wrong About Corporal Punishment and Black Culture
Why Greenland’s “Dark Snow” Should Worry You
Three Talented Actresses in Three Terrible New Shows
Why Do Some People See the Virgin Mary in Grilled Cheese?
The science that explains the human need to find meaning in coincidences.
Happy Constitution Day!
Too bad it’s almost certainly unconstitutional.