Chasing Idiocracy

The mainstream press is beginning to realize that idiocracy is pervasive in today’s pop culture.  Kevin McDonough of the United Features Syndicate hit the nail on the head in his article “National Geographic Joins Cable’s Idiocracy,” about the new show “Chasing UFOs:”

There was a time when the words National Geographic stood for something: science, research and a commitment to discovery. For National Geographic to lend its name and logo to something so tawdry, unoriginal and dull deeply saddens me.

Sure, it’s disappointing to see the History Channel churn out vulgar anti-intellectual programming that has nothing to do with the study of the past. And let’s not even think about how Lifetime has morphed from vague feminism to shows celebrating spunky hookers in massage parlors. But those are mere cable outlets.

Nat Geo has been around for more than a century. The desecration of its “brand” is corporate vandalism at its thoughtless, shortsighted worst.

As a marketer, I agree 100% about what this could do to Nat Geo’s brand in the minds of a traditional TV audience. But given the state of entertainment in 2012 and the prevalence of trashy reality TV, this may be a case of “if a tree falls in the woods.”  If you commit brand suicide by slapping your logo on speculative sensationalism, but your audience is too delirious to call you on it, does it really matter?
Beef Supreme is Editor-in-Chief of the Idiocratic Post.

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