The heads of the History Channel and Fox News announced Monday their two cable networks will merge to form a new channel, to be called the Fox History News Conspiracy Channel.
The move was initiated by Roger Ailes, president of the Fox News Channel, after Jewish leaders called on Fox talk show host Glenn Beck to stop comparing everyone he dislikes to Adolph Hitler and the Nazis.
“It used to be that people referred to the History Channel as ‘the Hitler Channel’ because it spent so much time on World War II,” Ailes said. “Now that the History Channel has moved on to other things, and with Glenn Beck having such a Nazi fetish, it seemed only natural that we use what little credibility the History Channel has left to stifle our critics.”
Ailes pointed out the daily references to Nazis on his network and said the merger became inevitable after Beck repeatedly claimed that billionaire George Soros was a Nazi conspirator and participated in the Holocaust.
“Any sane person knows that Soros, who is Jewish, was 14 years old when Germany occupied Hungary, and he survived the war by pretending to be part of a Christian family,” Ailes said. “That doesn’t make Soros complicit in the Holocaust, any more than running a propaganda channel makes me a news man.”
Abbe Ravin, president and CEO of A&E Networks, which owns the History Channel, said the merger was the eventual result of the History Channel’s decline in credibility and lack of interest in the subject it was created for, as well as ceding the unofficial title of “Hitler Channel” to the Fox network.
“Just like MTV no longer shows music videos, the History Channel no longer deals with history. I mean, how many ways can you tell the story of World War II, the Civil War and the American Revolution?” Ravin said. “We were looking for new material and instead of focusing on world history, such as Europe or Asia, we’ve gone the route of conspiracy theories and freak shows. That ought to fit in well with Fox News.”
In recent years, critics have noted the History Channel moved away from shows such as “Civil War Journal,” “America, the Story of Us” and “How the Earth Was Made” to shows such as “Ancient Aliens” and pandering to the paranoid.
“We’ve treated moon landing nutters and 9/11 ‘truthers’ as if they were sane, rational people. That’s pretty dangerous considering that people used to take our network seriously,” Ravin said. “It occurred to me that we’ve become a lot more like Fox, feeding ignorance to the masses and acting as if cockamamie theories were real. Hopefully more people will stop listening to us after the merger with Fox is complete.”
Ailes said the inspiration for the merger came from a re-run of the History Channel series, “The Universe,” which raised the issue of whether a black hole could be at the center of the earth, causing hurricanes and the Bermuda Triangle.
“The History Channel did exactly what we do over at Fox on a daily basis. It raised a question that no rational person would believe and acted as if it was a valid theory. They later debunked that particular theory but if they know it’s insane, why bring it up in the first place?” Ailes said. “At Fox we’ll raise an ‘issue’ like whether Barack Obama hates America. If anyone calls us out on this, we say we’re just raising issues and asking questions. Our viewers are gullible enough to think we’re telling them the truth when all we’re doing is making things up.”
Ailes said there would likely be a period of adjustment as History Channel employees are taught to lower their standards even more. He noted that Fox created and supported several myths about health care reform, with Fox News employees ordered to refer to the public option as “the government option” because Republican pollsters preferred it that way.
“On the History Channel they’ll spend up to an entire show treating some screwball theory is if were real, then they usually spend a few seconds debunking it. Here at Fox we either keep repeating a lie or move on to the next one,” Ailes said. “We even claimed that Obama’s trip to India would cost $200 million per day. That’s absurd just on the face of it, and it had already been debunked by the White House, yet we kept reporting it anyway.”
The new network will debut in June. While its’ full schedule is still being worked out, a few shows were announced on Monday: a documentary on whether President Barack Obama is secretly controlled by aliens from Mars, biographies of leading conservatives called “Heroes of America” and a one-hour prime time offering called “Glenn Beck’s Conspiracy Chalkboard of Fear and Nazis Variety Show.”