“Oh, how cute!  Little goat testicles!…And look, there’s still some of the scrotum attached!”

This choice comment, enthusiastically proclaimed by Andrew Zimmern on the Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods, might as well be the slogan for the Travel Channel itself. 

As we know, I LOVE LOVE LOVE to travel.  I will go anywhere.  Literally anywhere.  And so when I started watching the Travel Channel  some years ago, I was thrilled.  But somehow, it has suffered a transformation clearly driven by ratings, demographics, advertisers, and number crunchers.

These days, it seems, the Travel Channel is not about travel.  It’s about one of several things:

– Eating, nay Gluttony – Man vs. Food, No Reservations (which to its credit, does include some interesting travel tales), Food Wars, Bizarre Foods, Food FInds, Food Paradise
– Wealth – Mega Yachts, Most Expensive Log Cabins, Most Fabulous Beach Houses
– Sex – World’s Sexiest Beaches, Bridget Does Every City Imaginable, Paradise Exposed
– Sports – Dhanni Circles The Globe, Bert the Conqueror
– Spooks – Ghost Adventures (about which I have already ranted here)

We still have Samantha Brown, and we had the wonderful program Meet The Natives.  Rachel Ray’s $40/day is pretty fair.  Otherwise, apparently the Travel Channel is marketing to wealthy men who would have to be pried from their armchairs with the Jaws of Life to actually get them to take a trip somewhere.  But they’d probably get confused and think the Jaws of Life was some tool to make eating easier. 

And so, Scripps Network Interactive, you have the unmitigated gall, the nerve to call this programming The Travel Channel?? 

To that, I say….goats testicles.