Who needs the Babylon Bee when we have the Washington Post? Could the Bee, as brilliant as it is, give us a more precise and devastating takedown of woke victimhood mongering than the Bezos Bulletin gave us on Monday, in a story that is actually and unironically entitled “‘Shark Week’ lacks diversity, overrepresents men named Mike, scientists say”?
If I had seen that at the Babylon Bee, I’d have chuckled and maybe thought it was a trifle over the top. But the Post, in all its self-important “Democracy Dies In Darkness” glory, would be quick to brand you a racist right-wing extremist if you dared to crack a smile.
And really, it’s true, when you think about it. You’ve heard of Great White Sharks, but when was the last time you heard anything about a Great Black Shark? A Great Hammerhead Shark? And Shark Week itself demonstrates an inexcusable lack of diversity. Why not Dolphin Week? Squid Week? Blobfish Week? Gaia’s watery depths are wonderfully diverse, and all we get on Discovery is sharks?
Of course, the lack of diversity the Post hasn’t mind isn’t about which of the creatures of the sea get a star turn on reality TV, but about the inexcusable maleness, whiteness, and yes, Mikeness of those who bring us the shark stories. The Post’s article began with a tale of victimhood that is even more ridiculous than these stories usually are. Cue the violins: “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.” What could possibly interfere with this idyllic picture of avid intellectual curiosity? Men, of course: “But when the scientists appeared on her TV screen, she rarely saw any women she could look up to.”
Whitenack (er, that name sounds just a little bit racist) then explains: “Why would I know I could do that? I don’t come from a family of scientists. I didn’t see very many people that looked like me on television.” Lisa Whitenack was right: if she was deterred from becoming a scientist because she didn’t see any scientists who looked like her on TV, then she was too stupid to become a scientist in the first place and would have been better off restricting herself to “Welcome to Wendy’s, may I take your order, please?” After all, Wendy is female, so Whitenack could have been secure in knowing that people who looked like her could do the job.
Evidently, however, Whitenack somehow overcame the obstacle of her non-representation among TV scientists and became one anyway: the Post tells us that she is “now a biology professor at Allegheny College in Meadville, Pa.” and, you’ll be happy to know, “found her way into shark research anyway.” But the childhood wounds haven’t healed: “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?” So she turned away from the study of sharks she had wanted to pursue since childhood in order to study the sexism that she thought had initially prevented her from pursuing the study of sharks. Makes sense, if you’re a Leftist.
Whitenack accordingly “led a team of researchers to examine hundreds of ‘Shark Week’ episodes that aired between 1988 and 2020,” and, you’ll be happy to know, published a study. This gem of present-day insane academia is even worse than you might expect: it found 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.”
Negative messages about sharks? Horrors! We need more programming about how they might not kill and eat you after all, and how you should invite them into your home. It will fit right in with the Left’s messages about unvetted mass migration and open borders.
And that business about too many white guys with the same name, why, it’s inexcusable. As it turns out, “the programming featured more White experts and commentators named ‘Mike’ than women.” Apparently, the alleged preponderance of white men was bad enough but at the very least would have been easier to take if some of them had been named “Rafael,” “Muhammad,” or “Xi.”
It’s a wonder that such a study was ever approved, but that’s academia these days. It’s even crazier that the Post published this with a straight face, but that’s “journalism” these days. And so watch for a woke “Shark Week,” featuring shark experts of any number of races and made-up genders, and with a liberal helping of people who aren’t shark experts thrown in (literally). After all, we don’t want anyone feeling excluded, now, do we?