Not So Much History On The “History” Channel These Days

I guess this should be more of a comment, but it’s worthy of a post as it is yet another example of how our history is not so much being erased as it is being intentionally “shaped.”  In this case, I was watching “The History of all of Us” on the History Channel when they covered the American Revolution.  Now you can imagine my surprise when I learned that “scientist turned politician,” Benjamin Franklin, “edited” the Declaration of Independence. 


You see, that much is true, but the way they presented it was most definitely designed to leave the ignorant viewer with the impression that Franklin wrote it.  As the words were being narrated, they showed a re-enactment of Franklin writing while the narrator read “We hold these truths to be self-evident.  That all men are created equal…”  I wonder what Jefferson and Adams would have thought of the way the whole thing was presented?

And then there was the stressing of Franklin as a “scientist turned politician” in connection with the Declaration.  First, Franklin was many things more than a “scientist,” but none of that was mentioned.  Nor was it explained that Franklin was not so much “politician” as he was a Patriot, Statesman and diplomat — and in that order. 

HOWEVER, if you understand the Progressive world view, then you understand this entire video.  The Declaration was a giant leap forward for mankind, and was written by a deistic scientist who brought his knowledge of science to government and THAT is how the document came to be.  WRONG — on every count — but then, who could possibly know that when they are being lied to by implication while watching “The History Channel?”

So much for history on the “History” channel. 😦

7 thoughts on “Not So Much History On The “History” Channel These Days

  1. Admittedly, it’s a bad idea in general to assume you can learn history via TV. However, Jefferson was an essayist/theorist, and what Franklin contributed to the process of writing the Declaration was that he was a JOURNALIST, having been the first one in the colonies. Franklin helped Jefferson get to the point. Without his influence, the Declaration might have been three or four times as long, as early drafts were, and far less focused.

    • Except, that is NOT the way Jefferson, Adams and Franklin tell us it happened. Jefferson wrote it on his own, then Franklin and Adams helped him edit it — and to Jefferson’s great displeasure, too. That is, if we are to believe what these three wrote with their own hand, but given our tendency to tell people they didn’t mean what they said these days, I suppose it is possible someone will assert that Jefferson, Adams and Franklin all lied in their letters after this event.

    • @ Invisible Mikey,
      Respectfully, Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence on his own.

      Issues such as one of the grievances for the declaration was “slavery being FORCED upon the colonies by the Crown”

      were just too radical for ALL the colonists.

      So, Franklin and Adams helped “tone down” Jefferson’s radical ideas of TRULY “every man is created equal”…

  2. I didn’t say Franklin PRE-edited the document. Sheesh. Jefferson wrote it, as you say, but the whole committee gave suggestions after he wrote it BEFORE it was submitted to the Congress. Have none of you looked at Jefferson’s drafts? At least three of those survive, and they are all 2-3 times the length of what ended up being submitted to Congress, and they go off on a lot of tangents besides the slavery question. Adams and Jefferson’s letters after the event contradict each other btw, so historians consider those items unreliable as a source.

    • Mikey,

      Typical. My point is that this show was edited in such a way as to give the viewer who did NOT ALREADY KNOW these things the idea that this “scientist turned politician” wrote the Declaration of Independence. THAT is the point I was making: that and the fact that it was an intentional deception. Yes, I have read Jefferson’s drafts. I also know that Jefferson did a great deal of self-editing. But NONE of that is the point here. In fact, you are MAKING my point — that the show was intentionally edited to give the FALSE notion that Franklin wrote the Declaration. The truth is, the ideas in it were Jefferson, but even then, they were Jefferson’s synthesis of work that had been done before him — BUT NOT BY FRANKLIN!

      BTW: if we consider eye-witness testimony that disagrees “unreliable,” we can’t use the majority of history. Bounce Adams’ and Franklin’s letters off JEFFERSON’s and you’ll get a better idea of what actually happened. You know: that whole your’s, mine and the truth.

    • Kelly,

      No, now that you mention it, I think they stopped at “created equal.” I wish I had paid closer attention as taht would add even more weight to my point, wouldn’t it?


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