What I learned from watching The Learning Channel

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Most readers of my column know I’m not a big fan of reality TV and much prefer a good old-fashioned variety show, or a mystery to tune into. I even like goofy Sci Fi movies like “Sharknado” every now and then. I’m pretty easy going when it comes to what they put on the boob tube.

Well, generally.

My set has been inundated with reality shows for more than 15 years now, and I am seriously considering calling on banning them all together. In fact, I will. The time has come for the genre to go the way of short-shorts, dial-up internet, rotary phones, and old Atari E.T. cartridges — buried and stashed away in the history box, only to be opened 1,000 years from now — or never.

At the top of my “To the Dump” list are the quasi-medical shows “How Sex Sent Me to the ER” and “Strange Sex,” which really just titillate rather than educate or, heaven forbid, entertain.

Enough already! How low will it go and how much more will people do to debase themselves just to get their 15 minutes of fame?

After surfing through the above two shows, it seems that low is lower than low and it don’t look like it’s getting any higher anytime soon.

I cannot believe what these numbskulls will do just to get recognized. They are really committing truly stupid acts in order to have their faces (ahem, posteriors), show up on the boob tube and have the nation share in it. It is no wonder we call it “the boob tube,” it is loaded with boobs — and not the mammary kind either.

These folks are sadly lacking in plain-old common sense. And we wonder why today’s teens are just as stupid. Let us take a gander at the role models they are gifted with.

Don’t get me wrong, it is not only TV that promotes this wanton stupidity— newsprint, magazines, and radio all add to the swill pot.

Newspapers choose to use the most outrageous pictures on the front page in order to sell readers in a rapidly declining media, magazines ply us with sultry pictures of beautiful people all dressed up in naughty tableaus (with come-on teasers on the side), and radio shows, well, need I remind you of Howard Stern? I rest my case.

I admit though that The Learning Channel has really crossed the line with both these reality shows by trying to pawn them off to the American public as educational television. When in reality I’d classify each one as “after-midnight, adult entertainm­ent” to be sure.

Where is the educational value in either show? Nowhere.

Long ago, the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan said it best when he coined the phrase “Defining deviancy down.” A truer mouthful there ain’t.

Not for Nuthin™, but the latest episode of “Sex Sent Me to the ER” involved a new and inventive use of the candy Pop Rocks. The experiment did not end well for the adventurous participants. Now, if I was that candy manufacturer I really wouldn’t be too happy with it. But I guess you can say it was educational. In the end I learned that Pop Rocks are better in your mouth than in the bedroom. If you get my drift.

Follow me on Twitter @JDelBuono.

Joanna DelBuono writes about national issues — and reality television — every Wednesday on E-mail her at
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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