'Deadliest Catch' star harpoons congressional obstruction, Hill big mouths

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Congress,Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,Ted Cruz,Government Shutdown,Television,Fishing

A star captain on Discovery Channel's long-running hit the “Deadliest Catch” said last fall's government shutdown cost the Alaska crab fleet $8 million and he charged that Washington politicians don't care that “people's lives are at stake.”

In Washington to help Capitol Hill celebrate “Oceans Week,” Keith Colburn, who captains the Wizard, said the shutdown blocked boats from getting federal permits to fish key waters and robbed the fleet of their annual profit.

“All told the fleet probably lost collectively just over $8 million. And that’s a lot, those are the dollars off the top end, not the bottom end,” he told Secrets. “That’s our gravy, that’s our profit.”

While praising Alaska and Washington senators for pushing to end the shutdown, orchestrated by Sen. Ted Cruz, he rapped those who supported the 16-day crisis and said he would like to meet with the Texas senator to warn him against doing it again.

“I would love to have Ted Cruz’s ear for about five minutes,” he said.

“I don’t particularly care for the fact that 10 percent of the people in this city right now are making 90 percent of the noise and basically they're driving the bus and that is obstructing legislating from occurring,” said Colburn, whose show airs Tuesdays at 9 p.m.

“Every single thing that comes out anymore has to be critiqued and screamed about, and, you know, they are too busy worrying about getting up on a stump and getting that five second slot on CNN instead of worrying about actually writing legislation that will work," added the frustrated king crab hunter. “It's kind of frustrating in a way in how our government has evolved here, it’s so polarized.”

Part of his effort while in Washington will be to urge lawmakers to make laws and fix regulations to help his industry.

“We are following up on things just to remind people that people’s jobs are at stake and in some cases people’s lives are at stake and their livelihood,” he said.

“Deadliest Catch” is a TV rarity, having been on the air for 10 years. Colburn said it remains popular because it’s the standard other reality shows use. “It is the template of what most of reality TV is doing today,” he said.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at pbedard@washingtonexaminer.com.