Policing the History Channel now appears to be a pet project for Congress — with bipartisan support. After months of Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, tweeting his fury with the cable channel over its “lack of history,” Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., has taken up the mantle.
Connolly tells Yeas & Nays that he has been “bitterly disappointed” in the History Channel’s programming. “I only got cable television a few years ago,” he said. “One of the great draws was that I could watch this channel called the History Channel.” A self-described history buff who says he reads a history book a week, Connolly has watched in dismay as the channel moved into reality TV territory.
“I don’t know what 'Swamp People' and 'Modern Marvels' and 'Ice Truckers' and 'American Restoration' and 'Pickers'—what does that have to do with history, really?” he railed. Connolly is aware of the bipartisan nature of the issue, adding, "It's one of the few things which I'm in agreement with Chuck Grassley."
Connolly hopes the channel takes a lesson from the record-size audience that tuned in for its more traditionally historical “Hatfields & McCoys” miniseries debut on Monday. “There’s this pent-up demand,” he said. “There’s an audience for this.”
Should the History Channel continue in the “Swamp People” direction, Connolly would like to see it change its name to better reflect its programming. His suggestion: “Hee Haw Redux”