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TLC (formerly The Learning Channel) is a TV network that has shows about rednecks, psychics, dwarves, polygamists, religious fundamentalists with giant families, and anyone who lives differently than the majority of the American population. Ironically, it was founded by NASA and the Department of Health, Education and Welfare as an educational channel in 1972 (as the Appalachian Community Service Network). It became "The Learning Channel" after being privatized in 1980. Well.

Like other similar channels (the History Channel, Discovery Channel and National Geographic in lesser degree), its educational programming gradually was replaced by more profitable stuff, focused on entertainment, such as various "reality TV" shows, sometimes with a very tenuous relation to reality. The owners had the decency to drop the "learning" from the brand around the beginning of the 2000's and nowadays the channel is known simply as "TLC".

Long Island Medium[edit]

Some of the shows on TLC promote sensationalism and pseudoscience. In particular, the show Long Island Medium promotes the idea that people can communicate with the dead.[1] The star of the show, Theresa Caputo, has been criticized by the CNN news anchor Anderson Cooper[2] and members of the skeptical community.[3] The famous skeptic, James Randi, also was critical of Caputo's methods in dealing with her participants.[4]

Stereotyping for fun and profit[edit]

The channel often features stereotypes about particular groups of people that are obvious exaggerations. The channel's portrayal of Southerners, for example, has been criticized.[5][6] Ironically, the show All American Muslim was made to combat Muslim stereotypes, but it was canceled due to negative press by people who think that Muslims and terrorists are no different from each other.[7][8][9] Notably Bill O'Reilly and Juan Williams.

External links[edit]