Whale Wars - Eco-Terrorism as Reality TV
Writer, Videographer, and Multimedia Designer
Posted: June 5, 2009 05:25 PM
Tonight begins the second season of "Whale Wars" in which a scruffy band of eco-crusaders, the Sea Shepherds, go to war against the evil whaling ships, by any means necessary. The reviews for the first season were great. Neil Genzlinger of the New York Times writes: "Whale Wars splashes across the increasingly exhausted genre of people-at-work reality series like icy seawater, jolting you awake with a frothy, briny burst of -- well, you get the idea. This is one spunky show."
So what is the problem with "Whale Wars"? The problem is that it is cheap exploitation in praise of what is nothing less than eco-terrorism. It is the glorification of vigilantism on the high seas. And oh, by the way, the Sea Shepherds do almost nothing to protect the whales where they really do need protection.
While "Whale Wars" presents a simplistic case of us against them, the noble environmentalists against the evil whalers, the reality, of course, is not so black and white. By international agreement with the International Whaling Commission, the Japanese were allowed to kill up to a nine hundred minke whales and fifty fin whales in 2007/2008 in the Antarctic ocean for "research purposes." Critics claim that this is thinly disguised commercial whaling. Whatever it may be, minke whales, in particular, are not considered to be particularly threatened. Estimates have placed the minke population in the Southern Hemisphere in the range of 200,000-416,700 whales.
The Sea Shepherds on "Whale Wars" are abolitionist animal rights activists. Read More
Paul Watson is nothing but a terrorist and a pirate. Watching the show, people are led to believe that they are trying to stop some sort of illegal activity, when in fact the whalers are perfectly legal in their action. Attacking whaling ships, however, is not legal anywhere on the planet. Watson was quoted as saying a few years ago that it’s ok to be a terrorist as long as you win. I know there are probably a lot of kids that watch the animal planet channel. Hopefully they won’t grow up thinking this same thing.