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Last time we were this obsessed with sharks, we missed a real big threat

Around 1.37 million viewers tuned into the premier of Syfy's "Sharknado" and millions more are watching Shark Week on the Discovery channel. While we're tuned in, are we missing real-life threats that are out there? (AP Photo/file)

“Sharknado” and Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” are sucking in viewer’s eyeballs by the millions. We might be titillated by the unlikely prospect of running into one of these massive beasts, but are we ignoring other real threats that are out there?

AM 770 KTTH host Michael Medved is concerned because the last time there was such shark fever in the media, it was followed by a devastating event.

“I remember very distinctly. We used to goof about it on the radio show,” says Medved. “There was one shark attack after another, and the media were obsessed with it. They would run ‘Shark Attack,’ ‘Shark Fever,’ everything was sharks, and it would appear that the sharks only had appetites for attractive young ladies. If you looked at all the victims, the people that had different parts chomped off appeared to be the kind of girls that they love to cover on cable news.”

Because of all the coverage, Medved says people were genuinely alarmed, until:

“Something happened called September 11th,” says Medved. “Then all the shark attacks sort of receded because we had real danger to face.”

“This is the biggest shark hysteria we’ve had since,” says Medved. “Last time this happened, it led to this devastating and horrible terrorist attack. I’m joking to some extent about that, but it’s no joking matter. It is very strange when the culture seems to be so much ignoring real threats and obsessing with sharks.”

KTTH’s David Boze says all the time and attention we can give to sharks likely does say something has changed in our priorities.

“It does show that the culture shifts and gets confident and feels like it’s invulnerable,” says Boze.

“It’s a strange phenomenon when we have a 24/7 cable news network but there’s no time for any lengthy investigation of those things [posing a real threat] because instead, they’re looking for a mock documentary about the Megalodon.”

Boze admits, like millions of other Americans, he is part of the problem. Even while tuning in to learn the latest on the IRS scandal from Greta Van Susteren, “I was flipping back and forth during commercials,” says Boze. “I couldn’t help myself. I was on Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.”


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