Dispelling the fear that Shark Week is selling and circumventing ignorant reporting

Rockford Illinois’ WREX Channel 13 ran an interview with Shark Diver Magazine’s Thomas Sergent yesterday. Sergent attempted to dispel the fear campaign that Discovery Channel has been serving up with this year’s Shark Week. (WARNING: The video does feature a few brief scenes of finning and a couple of shots of dead white sharks)

Sergent’s message was conservation-oriented and focused on how sharks have more to fear from humans, than we have to fear from them, based on the number of sharks killed annually by humans. However, that didn’t stop reporter, Bob Schaper, from interjecting an utterly ignorant statement into his interview with Sergent, which basically undermined the very message Sergent was trying to convey…

“Let’s face it. There are some sharks that like to gnaw on you, and, you know, just like drag you down and eat you, and chomp on you.”

There really isn’t any excuse for statements like this in what is supposed to be an objective news report. Not only does the statement reflect a sense of bad reporting, it is counterproductive to the intended message that Sergent was trying to communicate. The sheer lack of common sense of the statement makes me wonder if Schaper was playing “devil’s advocate” and began the statement with something to the effect of, “What do you say to people who think…” and that part was edited out. That scenario would at least make some sense.

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