WASHINGTON, April 3, 2013―On this particular hump day, TV offers a wonderful respite from the rigors of the work week. Funny sitcoms, great dramas, interesting documentaries, and some basic cable premieres offer up a tasty menu of choices for tonight’s viewing.
Given the current national debate over marijuana and states’ rights when determining its criminality, the show “Pot Cops” on Discovery Channel (tonight at 10 p.m.), could have provided some real insight into the ongoing issue. Unfortunately, all the show manages to do is cloud the issue even more.
According to Discovery Channel promos for the show: “In the vast forests of Northern California, most would never imagine encountering gunfire, booby traps and cartel activity. But here in Humboldt County, an area with some of the most conducive growing conditions in the United States, the country side is overrun with armed Mexican drug cartels that are willing to use violence to protect their valuable marijuana crops.”
This is an intriguing press release designed to pull viewers in. But it is not even close to the truth. According to Tommy Lanier, director of the National Marijuana Initiative, which is part of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, there was scant evidence that the cartels exerted much control over marijuana growing in the national forests. “Based on our intelligence, which includes thousands of cell phone numbers and wiretaps, we haven’t been able to connect anyone to a major cartel,” he said.
“We’ve had undercover agents at the highest level of these groups, breaking bread and drinking tequila,” says Roy Giorgi, commander of the Mountain and Valley Marijuana Investigation Team, a multi-agency organization headquartered in Sacramento. “Even at their most comfortable, the leaders never said, ‘Hey, we’re working for the Zetas.’ “
Since the basic premise of the show hinges on busting up non-existent cartels, one has to question its credibility from the start. Discovery Channel is not above manufacturing story lines to sell their shows, so this should come as no surprise.
But “Pot Cops” isn’t about catching snow crab off the coast of Alaska or dredging gold out of the Bering Sea. It’s about law enforcement fighting an enemy that doesn’t exist in a “war on drugs” that has very little success to show for its efforts.
Discovery Channel’s disregard for the truth in pursuit of ratings is just another example of the network’s increasing propensity to make their programs less about “discovery” and more about profit. Given the questionable ethics of reality TV in general, this should come as no surprise. But, airing fictional shows like “Pot Cops” and selling them as fact is another thing all together.
“Discovery Channel” should stick to the usual disposable nonsense it airs like “Moonshiners” and “Amish Mafia,” and leave hotbed issues like marijuana alone.
All times are EDT:
ABC: The Middle: (New) Disappointed with the finale of “The Bachelor,” Frankie mopes for days; when Sue joins the school’s tennis team, Mike tries to toughen her up by complimenting her opponents during matches; Cassidy and Axl consider the future of their relationship.
CBS: Survivor: Caramoan: Fans vs. Favorities: (New) The Bikal and Gota tribes merge. For individual immunity, the castaways eat exotic foods, including beetle larvae and brains.
FOX: American Idol: (New) The Top 7 finalists perform classic rock songs.
NBC: Dateline NBC: (New) The vanishing of a young husband and father of three is investigated, as social media and text messages shed light on the case.
CW: Arrow: (New) When a young woman meets a violent death after partying at Verdant, Detective Lance and his new partner, Detective Hilton (guest star Roger Cross) inform Oliver and Tommy that she was on the drug Vertigo. Oliver immediately pays a visit to the mental institution where The Count (guest star Gabel) is locked up, but finds he is in no condition to deal drugs.
PBS: Nature: (New) Ecologist J.C. Cahill leads this look at plants, which he contends are as busy and complex as humans. He explains how they “talk” to allies, eavesdrop on one another, call in insect mercenaries to protect them and nurture their young.
ABC: Suburgatory: (New) George’s newfound obsession with his body image alienates Dallas; Lisa figures out why Dalia is being nice to Tessa.
ABC: Modern Family: (New) While at the hospital, Claire and Phil see an older version of their family; Manny and Jay visit a private school; Mitch and Cam organize a day for Gloria and Lily.
CBS: Criminal Minds: (New) The BAU goes to Morgan’s old neighborhood in urban Chicago in search of an UnSub targeting middle-aged men, and a clue leads Morgan to believe that they are after someone connected to the man who molested him as a child.
NBC: Law & Order: Special Victims Unit: (New) The SVU detectives investigate a 9-year-old boy with dangerous psychopathic tendencies.
CW: Supernatural: (New) Sam and Dean respond to a call from Kevin (guest star Osric Chau), who is terrified after hearing Crowley’s (guest star Mark Sheppard) voice in his head. After hearing Kevin’s news, Sam and Dean team up with reaper named Ajay (guest star Assaf Cohen), who helps them deal with the second trial from the Tablet.
PBS: Nova: (New) Examining an ancient Greek astronomical calculator and eclipse predictor that is believed to be from the workshop of Archimedes.
ABC: How to Live With Your Parents (For the Rest of Your Life): (New) Polly leaves her husband and takes her daughter with her to move back in with her parents; Polly’s parents baby-sit while she goes on a date.
ABC: Nashville: (New) Rayna brings her kids and sister on tour, but doesn’t like the effect Juliette is having on her girls; Juliette starts to look at Dante differently; Deacon reconsiders life on the road; a handsome new neighbor befriends Gunnar and Scarlett.
CBS: CSI: Crime Scene Investigation: (New) When the CSIs find a body near a forest reserve, they discover what might be a serial killer and his bizarre lair.
NBC: Chicago Fire: (New) Mills’ ambition to join Squad creates riffs in Firehouse 51.
PBS: Eat, Fast and Live Longer with Michael Mosley: (New) Science writer Michael Mosley sets out to become healthier and lose weight without making many changes to his life. To that end, he learns about the benefits of fasting, which can reduce the risks of heart disease, diabetes and some cancers.
New episodes of:
Spies of Warsaw at 9 p.m. on BBC
The Rachel Zoe Project at 9 p.m. on BRAVO
Weed Country at 9 p.m. on DSC
Hoarding: Buried Alive at 9 p.m. on TLC
Boston’s Finest at 9 p.m. on TNT
Haunted Collector on Syfy
Duck Dynasty at 10 p.m. on A&E
Pot Cops at 10 p.m. on DSC
Restaurant Stakeout at 10 p.m. on Food Channel
The Americans at 10 p.m. on FX
House Hunters at 10 p.m. on HGTV
The Real World: Portland at 10 p.m. on MTV
Rise of the Continents at 10 p.m. on SCI
Southland at 10 p.m. on TNT
Food Paradise at 10 p.m. on Travel Channel
Forever Young at 10 p.m. on TVLAND
Psych at 10 p.m. on USA
For movie lovers:
The Transporter on AMC
An Unfinished Life on ENC
Dark Blue on FLIX
Fall to Grace on HBO
Elizabeth on SHO
Adaptation on SUND
Henry V on TCM
Liberal Arts on TMC
Men in Black 3 on STARZ
A Very Harold and Kumar Christmas on STARZ
One Day on HBO
Battleship on HBO
Jennifer’s Body on FMC
E. T. The Extra-Terrestrial on ION
Peace, Love & Misunderstanding at 9:40 p.m. on TMC
Practical Magic at 9:50 p.m. on ENC
True Lies at 10 p.m. on AMC
From Dusk Till Dawn at 10 p.m. on CINEMAX
Transporter 3 at 10:15 p.m. on IFC
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