Yes, sadly, it’s come to this.
Not only has the Left’s obsession with group identification, quotas and “diversity, equity and inclusion” reached peak madness, but the purveyors of this cult, including the mainstream media, are no longer capable of perceiving its excesses.
The article in yesterday’s Post was not a parody. The headline was not supposed to be funny. The tragically biased Post reporter responsible for this insanity is Daniel Wu, a reporting intern in the Post’s Metro section. Stanford University made him this way. And the editors who agreed to insult Post readers with it? Who knows what made them impervious to common sense? Well, let me take that back: “It’s the Great Stupid, Charlie Brown!”
The piece begins by describing the tragic circumstances of LisaWhitenack, now a biology professor at Allegheny College, a shark researcher who was tormented as a child she didn’t see many shark researchers on the Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” that looked like her. So she decided to study this dire and under-recognized phenomenon “Was “Shark Week” feeding audiences the wrong messages about sharks — and who studies them?” The Post continues,
Whitenack led a team of researchers to examine hundreds of “Shark Week” episodes that aired between 1988 and 2020. In a study published last month by the Public Library of Science, their research claims that Discovery’s programming emphasized negative messages about sharks, lacked useful messaging about shark conservation and overwhelmingly featured White men as experts — including several with the same name.
The programming featured more White experts and commentators named “Mike” than women, said David Shiffman, a conservationist at Arizona State University who was a co-author of the study.
“When there are hundreds of people of color interested who work in this field, [and] when my field is more than half women, maybe it’s not an accident anymore that they’re only featuring White men,” Shiffman said.
I would have quit reading this thing at that point in the article, dear reader, were it not for you. Other highlights to be enshrined in The Great Stupid “Shark Week” Hall of Fame wing:
- “Carlee Bohannon, a marine biologist and co-founder of Minorities in Shark Sciences, praised the study for putting numbers to her and her colleagues’ long-standing concerns about diversity in both the media and shark science….“We all grew up seeing one type of person on TV,” Bohannon said. “‘Shark Week’ was really the biggest thing, and it was always filled with White men.” Race obsession has to be programmed into kids early. There’s a song in “South Pacific” about that (they have a lot of sharks in the South Pacific:
- “Women in marine sciences can also face a misogynistic culture, marine biologist Catherine Macdonald wrote in Scientific American in 2020. “‘Shark Week’ further concentrates power (in the form of publicity and media attention) in the hands of white male ‘featured scientists,’ exacerbating academic power imbalances,” Macdonald wrote.”
- “In the latest study, Whitenack and the other researchers also found that more “Shark Week” episodes included stories of attacks and other fearmongering messaging than positive language describing sharks as “awe-inspiring” or ecologically important, which the study called a missed opportunity.”
Dare I say it? How “girly.” The whole reason for “Shark Week’s success is the shark attacks. You know what else is full of more fearmongering messaging about sharks than positive language describing sharks as “awe-inspiring” or ecologically important? “Jaws.” More guys seem to like the gory, violent scary stuff, at least until they identify as women. Did it occur to researchers that this fact alone might account for the predominance of men in shark research?
The Post’s readers are as woke as woke can be, but at least half of the commenters thought this D.E.I. lament jumped the shark. Here’s a typical reaction:
“I’m all for equity and inclusion, especially in positions of influence and power. But with limited column space, we’re focusing on…Shark Week? Okay, I’ll add my two cents. Shark Week also disproportionately covers (great) white sharks, who may or may not be named, “Mike.”
The other half, being beyond help, replied with snark—that snark—like,
“Predictably, seems some males think this is the time for ridicule. Kind of sums up the problem.”
There is no “Shark Week” diversity problem.