Sunday, March 8, 2009

Not Making Any Friends with The Outdoor Network

Today I am going on the attack.

There are times when I am fortunate not to be a wealthy man because if I had the money in the bank to finance my replacing a television at least once a week—I would. Each replacement would probably be made over the weekend when I was struggling to watch The Outdoor Channel. Either the network’s executives are only functionally literate or they are dedicated to the principle that if we show enough trash we will destroy fishing and hunting. Since I’ve had the misplaced pleasure of shaking hands (little else, I’m a tiny minnow and not worth much more effort) of a couple of these media moguls (personally I think many of them are somewhat hebetudinous). (Neat word—Latin—couldn’t resist). Don’t misunderstand me, I do not think all of the fishing and hunting shows border on lunacy and in fact quite a few of them have been cleaned up—but not all. One that I think needs to go the way of the dodo is “World Class Sportfishing” when the goal of the show is nothing more than another world record at the expense of the fish resource. With modern technology there is absolutely no reason for any salt water fish to be killed to see if it meets “World Record Status.”
In today’s episode (#61, Flamingo Costa Rica) the stars (?) Enrico Capozzi and the obligatory T&A and actually stunning Stacey Georgia Parkerson were pursuing billfish on fly tackle and Enrico was hoping to break his own record. Okay so far, but when the flyfishing took a dive the dynamic duo turned to bottom fishing and Parkerson caught a species they thought “might” break a record and with that they rushed back to the docks to weigh the fish but alas, no record. I suppose the fish made it to the dinner plate—I admit I don’t know—I was too disgusted with the whole premise of the episode that I decided to watch from afar while I washed dishes. Every fish that I did see brought to the boat was hook gaffed so they could not survive so dinner is a moot point. What pushed me over the edge today was sitting at my computer and finding photos of Enrico Capozzi with dead marlin and sailfish and realizing how many fish have died for the egos of Capozzi and Parkerson.
These fish, in most cases, are being killed in a frenzy of masturbation as Capozzi and Parkerson add more world record titles to their impressive vitas. There is no reason on this planet for the IGFA, which awards and monitors these records, to continue allowing manic masturbationists such as Capozzi and Parkerson to kill these fish in hopes of capturing another world record when the technology to weigh and verify the size of these fish on the boat, and thus return the fish to the water unharmed, exists. The leadership of the IGFA and The Outdoor Channel’s media moguls should both press the digital industry to create such equipment and it must be economical so it can be standard equipment on any charter and even private offshore game fish boats. It can be done, but only if the dullards at The Outdoor Channel and responsible anglers press for the equipment. An IGFA “certified” record recording device would be a hot ticket item for offshore game boat owners and thus profitable for the company marketing it.
Heck, maybe it already exists—I honestly don’t know. Someone who knows, inform me.
I will be honest and admit that both Capozzi and Parkerson have very, very impressive record titles in their fishing vitas, but there is little else I read in there to make me think they have anything else in the beanie. My advice to The Outdoor Channel is to stop the world record madness and concentrate on why big game fishing (any offshore fishing) is something many of us want to do and if we have, we are already passionate about, by presenting the adventure as it is and without the masturbationists. And, by the way, I have fished for big game off the coasts of California, Mexico, The Florida Keys, both sides of Florida, and Africa (each, several if not many, times) and have a number of friends who are charter skippers or just passionate offshore anglers so Capozzi and Parkerson’s self-proclaimed titles of “professional anglers” and naming their boat “The Sprit of Pilar, Chasing World Records” is just more masturbation. (Do I have it right or is it “The Sprit of Pilar” or “Pilar II”, I never could quite figure it out while watching the show. Either way, please go back and read a little more Hemingway before borrowing the name of his boat. To any serious student of Hemingway your attempt to honor him falls short and is reinforcing the anti-Hemingway criticism of several movements that would like to see sport fishing banned.)

Second on my hit list is Captain Ron Price on Keith Warren’s Fishing show. They were catching a variety of fish and many of them were of forearm length so the fish weren’t over ambitious youngsters but mature fish. A few of the fish went in the livewell but the majority of fish were returned to the water. Keith Warren released his fish by easing them into the water (at least on camera, who knows what goes on off camera) but Capt. Ron Price must have missed out on something because he stood in the boat and tossed the fish back in the water. Now, according to the biologists I’ve spoken with, any fish that is hooked and brought to boat is highly stressed and often played out by the time it is in the angler’s hands. If the fish is to be released then the objective is to get it back in the water as quickly as possible and with the minimum amount of handling; and to get it in the water without adding any more shock to the fish’s system. Good ole’ boy Captain Ron Price must have missed out on that lecture in public awareness 101—every fish he returned to the water was tossed in with a high five arch for maximum splash effect. Well, Captain Price, you may be one heck of a fisherman but for my money you’re a jerk and belong in the boat with Capozzi and Parkerson, I’m sure they will let you admire yourself in the Pilar II’s mirrors.

A final comment about this issue is that I’ve seen a world of improvement in outdoor broadcasting in the past two years, but trash like Price’s fish tossing and the masturbating frenzy of, well you know by now, sets the programming advancements of The Outdoor Channel back several years.

Just my opinion, you know. I didn’t even make it to today’s hunting shows and this is supposed to be a hunting blog, think I should make it a sporting blog covering both angling and hunting? glg

PS I’ll bet I didn’t make any friends with this post. What do you think?

12 comments:

Albert A Rasch said...

I ahve to agree with you. I rarely watch any of the hunting and fishing shows for that very reason, I find many of them distasteful.

I would go on a rant, but I think it would be ... distasteful...

Regards,
Albert A Rasch
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
The Rasch Reviews: Tactical
Proud Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit
Southeast Regional OBS Coordinator

Albert A Rasch said...

Galen,

I've highlighted your post over at the The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles. I'm interested in seeing the opinion of folks on the subject.

Regards,
Albert A Rasch
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
The Rasch Reviews: Tactical
Proud Member of Outdoor Bloggers Summit
Southeast Regional OBS Coordinator

Phillip said...

I used to be thrilled to see the spawning of entire networks dedicated to the outdoor sports. But as time's gone on, I'm really starting to have my doubts... the insanity over record book this, and record book that... the whole point of the hunt has been reduced to the competition for bigger and better.

It can't be good for the sport... and in the case of fishing, it can't be good for the resource either.

... oh, and hebetudinous... dammit, I had to dig out the dictionary!

tom said...

PS I’ll bet I didn’t make any friends with this post. What do you think?

You made my e-friendship and I'm adding you to my blogroll of people I like on me own page to read, if you don't mind me doing so.

I like to fish for trout, panfish, salmon, and catfish. I live in Texas, land o' competitive bass fishing, and I really don't much care for bass on the plate so I tend to let them go unless they swallowed a hook to the point where I can't and then I eat them. Oddly enough, most people cut them loose but I think gator gars are tasty. Just ugly.

I like some of the big offshore fish on my plate too, but I'm just a man and a dog so I don't see any point in me fishing for things that won't freeze well and I can't eat in a day or a week.

Regards,
Thomas

PS: Thanks Albert, for another great blog find.

Galen Geer said...

Hi guys, Please feel free to try and generate some other comments. Maybe if the suits at the networks see enough complaining they will listen to what we have to say. Of course I am just dreaming but better that than wrecking my TV. Galen

NorCal Cazadora said...

Yeah, outside of the media moguls, I'm sure you haven't made any enemies with this post.

I'm still at that stage where I watch hunting shows a LOT because I'm desperate to learn any scrap of information that might possibly help me. I do pick up bits here and there, but let me tell you, it's work finding 'em.

You've probably inspired me to do a post on the subject as well. But for now, I wonder: Does market research show that this is what the majority of hunters want? Of course the hunterati want more. And are they raking in money by relying on cut-and-paste formulas? If doing better hurts the bottom line, we'll simply never see it.

-Holly

P.S. Bravo for sending me scrambling for the dictionary too. Hebetudinous - love it! I'll have to share that with my student who's always looking for good words (his latest prize find: frottage).

Galen Geer said...

Norcal, Umm, which definition does your student favor?
glg

Scott Linden said...

Galen, oh yes you did make some friends. I am a TV producer that is trying to do things "right." Body counts, dead fish, even excessive high fives demean the fish and game we pursue. And that's not to mention the bloviating, bufoonish "stars" who give us all a bad name with boorish behavior more appropriate in a NASCAR infield than on a boat or in a covert.

Much of this is due to network decision-makers who wouldn't know a cinnamon teal from a Cinnabon. They have no historica nore personal perspective, and certainly no moral responsibility to the environment, nor its inhabitants. Their loyalty is to ratings and the almighty dollar.

I'm developing my last TV series - on wingshooting - right now (airing this fall). Like my other shows, this will honor the place, game, and partners with whom we share time in the field.

Coincidentally, while virtually all of my work appeared on Outdoor Channel in the past, it won't any more.

More info to come at www.scottlindenoutdoors.com.

Galen Geer said...

Scott, Why your last series? What about the idea of a "real" news program for the outdoor networks. I don't know about you but every day I get a bunch of releases and tips about stories and many of these never get to the public (our public) because the outdoor networks are too busy lining their pockets at the expense of the sports (not for the sports). I mean, what do we, the members of the outdoor media, and our readers/viewers (there is a rich combination right here) actually need to do to get the outdoor media suits to put such a program togehter? For my money, I think it would be a huge success.
glg

Anonymous said...

Exactly how do you subdue, weigh and verify a 717 pound Marlin taken on #6 test in 12 mins and release it unharmed ? Your naive if you think it's possible to weigh Billfish while they are alive.

J. Gates said...

To the little known "blog author":
Hypocrites and liars are the ones that brag about the giant they "released". Back up your BS with the ones you can prove. If you can't, then skip the personal insults directed at Enrico, Stacey and the crews that have worked in the industry for years.
Make enemies? You don't rate enough to even qualify as an enemy, you're just another poser.

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