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Tipsheet

WaPo: Shark Week Is Too White Supremacist or Something

Neil Hammerschlag

Second-hand embarrassment oozes from this piece because I don’t see any self-respecting person holding this article up with some form of pride. It’s December—the Christmas season, but The Washington Post decided to stop traffic to warn us about the latest bastion of white supremacy: Shark Week. At first glance, you think it’s satire—maybe the liberal media decided to indulge in self-deprecating humor, but no. This story is authentic and a brutal reminder of how exhausting the liberal media establishment is daily. 

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Shark Week, a staple of television during August, or at least it used to be, is months away. No one is at the beach, but the numerous experts on the programs are white people, so in the eyes of some unhinged liberals at the Post— the whole program has devolved into Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will for aquatic life (via WaPo):

Lisa Whitenack loved sharks as a kid. She spent rainy days leafing through a guide to sharks in Reader’s Digest. Every summer, she would watch “Shark Week,” Discovery’s annual TV event that spotlights the ocean predator with seven days of dedicated programming. 

But when the scientists appeared on her TV screen, she rarely saw any women she could look up to. 

“Why would I know I could do that?” Whitenack said. “I don’t come from a family of scientists. I didn’t see very many people that looked like me on television.”

Whitenack, now a biology professor at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa., found her way into shark research anyway. When the pandemic lockdowns came in 2020, she saw an opportunity to study the source of her old misconceptions. Was “Shark Week” feeding audiences the wrong messages about sharks — and who studies them? 

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.

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Bring me a drill so I can trepan myself—are you kidding me with this lede? No one watches these shark programs on the Discovery Channel, and bean counts how many Jews, Asians, Blacks, or female experts are featured. We want to see sharks killing and eating things, and we’re especially attuned to anything relating to attacks on humans. What’s next? Some trans or non-binary having a meltdown because their people aren’t in the water messing with bull sharks. 

Jesus, take the wheel—Shark Week is now being targeted for cancellation.

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