By Al Benson Jr. On December 4, 2010 at 11:35 PM
by Al Benson Jr.
Lots of people, when they want to view something of a historical nature, turn to the "History" Channel on television. Unfortunately, in many cases, when it comes to real history, that is one of the last places they should go.
Over the years, on and off, I have watched some "History" Channel offerings. Many others I have shut off after the first five minutes. This channel takes a completely politically correct view on most historical subjects. Some of their programs, over the years, have questioned the truths found in Holy Scripture, and done it in such a way as to leave folks who don't really know much about the Bible with serious doubts. In this area they seem to take a thoroughly humanist, anti-Christian position. Of course they'd staunchly deny that, but I never recall seeing anything on that channel that defended Scripture--only things that questioned it.
They do exactly the same thing with programs dealing with the War of Northern Aggression (a term they'd never use). Three years ago, if I recall correctly, they broadcast an offering about Sherman's March through Georgia that neither my wife nor I could stomach after the first five minutes. It was pure pro-Sherman spin and little else. In my opinion the "History" Channel has no interest in promoting accurate history, but rather in propagating the standard propaganda you would expect to find in any government school "history" book.
As we approach the Sesquicentennial observance of the War of Northern Aggression this becomes all too clear. According to a press release on http://georgiascv.org for November 29th "The nationally syndicated cable television History Channel has made the controversial decision to force cable television companies, including Comcast and Charter to pull adds paid for by the Sons of Confederate Veterans in Georgia commemorating the Sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) of the War Between the States...Vice-president Nancy Alpert of A & E Television, the parent company of the History Channel, gave the following explanation of her decision to ban the historical adds: 'The subject matter of each of the SCV ads, plus the actual language...is well beyond our guidelines for any advertising on AETN.' Alpert cited her opinion that the ads violated History Channel guidelines by quoting, among other things, a statement in one commercial that the war was 'Not a civil war fought to take over the United States, as it is called in history books today, this was a war...against an aggressive invasion by federal troops'." What, pray tell, is wrong with that statement? It happens to be the truth! It was not a war in which the South was trying to take over or conquer the United States--all the Southern states sought to do was to separate themselves from the United States via secession--which was not prohibited in the Constitution.
Ms. Alpert seems to have had problems with the wording of the ads, of which there were twelve. I have not seen all twelve of them, but I did take the time to view six of them. I could find no problem whatever with what they said or they way they said it. They told the truth, but it would seem that the truth is a little too strong for the "History" Channel. It appears that they would much prefer the watered-down drivel about how wonderful Sherman's humanitarian march was for the people and state of Georgia, or how the "Great Emancipator" "freed" all the slaves (he really didn't free any).
One of the ads I viewed dealt with the Morrill Tariff and how it penalized the South while helping the North. Another dealt with the obvious theological differences between North and South. This is a forbidden subject in history books today. Yet another ad noted the cultural differences between the two regions. All of this is stuff our current "history" books will not touch. It's the stuff of which real history is constituted, and it's just those kinds of things that the "History" Channel chooses not to deal with. I just wonder if the "History" Channel people gave the Georgia SCV their money back, seeing they opted not to run their ads.
Actually, in my opinion, the Georgia Sons of Confederate Veterans did an excellent job with this series of ads. They were succinct, well-done, and each presented a historical viewpoint that needs to be dealt with, and did it in 60 seconds flat. The subjects noted in each of these ads would be well worth doing a television presentation, prime time, so that people going into this Sesquicentennial year of the War could begin to see what the real issues were that the South fought over. I'm sure the liberal and socialist media will, for the next four years straight, hammer at us that it was all over slavery and nothing else.
However, if you are looking for an honest presentation of what the War was really all about, don't hold your breath waiting for the "History" Channel to provide it.