|Jason Colavito weighs in on a Discovery Channel "Documentary"|
|Jason Colavito is an author and editor based in Albany, NY|
In an example of how cable channels are distorting the facts by creating a false impression, Jason Colavito1 reviews the Discovery Channel "Documentary" 2012 Apocalypse, which has apparently generated some confusion about who exactly supports the idea of a 2012 doomsday. In a December 2011 blog post, Colavito writes:
2012 Documentary Uses Scientists to Create False Impression
Since I have been covering Ancient Aliens for the past several months, I am unfortunately woefully behind in my other alternative/conspiracy programming. Today I turned on the Discovery Channel, and what should I behold but a day of programming devoted to the alleged 2012 apocalypse supposedly (but falsely) predicted by the Maya. In 2012 Apocalypse, multiple doomsday scenarios for next year were reviewed one after the other, including the supposed collision with Planet X, Charles Hapgood's earth crust displacement theory, the proposed Yellowstone super-volcano, etc. It seems the program was a movie tie in with last year's 2012, but I am not sure.
What set this particular documentary apart from others of its ilk is that all of the apocalyptic prophesies were presented by actual scientists, who described the effects of each scenario were it true before issuing a very short disclaimer at the end of each segment that the alternative theory is untrue. Strictly speaking, this documentary ought to have been perfect for me since it had a skeptical perspective on a very silly idea. (Quick: How many previous doomsday predictions have come true? Answer: We're still here, aren't we?) But it wasn't.
The problem is that by having actual astrophysicists, geologists, and other scientists explaining these false theories and describing their potential effects in great detail, the program ended up giving greater weight to these flights of fancy than they otherwise deserved. On Ancient Aliens, it's easy to separate fact from fiction (if one is so inclined) because the conspiracy theories are presented by very obvious conspiracy theorists whose wackiness and flying leaps of (il)logic make their silliness manifest.
By contrast, if the accidental viewer did not watch to the end of a segment in 2012 Apocalypse, that viewer would come away with the impression that serious scientists take the the theories very seriously—an impression reinforced when noticing that the scientific rebuttal was many times shorter than the drawn-out orgy of computer-generated illustrations of the devastation awaiting us in just twelve months' time.
We believe that the producers of this shameful excuse of a documentary have engaged in some creative editing to give the impression that the scientists support the 2012 doomsday, when in fact they do not. In another post, Colavito warns us that "... it's time to brace ourselves for a full year of hooey..." about 20122.
Editor's Note: This page contains content that is copyrighted by the original author, Jason Colavito. Used by permission.