Marlin Perkins and Jacque Cousteau were reality TV. Kate and her eight ain't.

TV viewers are a fickle lot. Interest in shows goes in cycles. The 50's had westerns, the 60's had comedies, the 70's had detective shows, the 80's and 90's had a mix of all of it.

But whoever brought us Honey Boo Boo should be shot.

Reality TV isn't new. As a matter of fact, and this may be shocking to learn, it's not really real.

These cheap-to-make programs are as scripted as an Obama press conference.

I turn on the television these days and shows range from a family of hog hunters, to gold miners, to Honey Boo Boo's clan, whose combined vocabulary would still leave them needing to buy a vowel.

Why are these shows on? Because we watch them.

If I had to point the finger at the place on the timeline when this all began, I'd point it directly at Jerry Springer. His show made airing your dirty laundry acceptable.

Maury Povich followed up with making serial infidelity with your cousin and the inability to pinpoint exactly who fathered your child a spectator sport.

Parents used to screen what their kids watched. Now parents don't screen what they themselves watch.

There are a few exceptions. I don't watch Duck Dynasty, but it seems to be a wholesome, enjoyable show.

There are good shows on television, but are we tuning in to Downton Abbey in the same numbers as Here Comes Honey Boo Boo?

Nope.

We're smarter than this. But if we keep watching these shows, our kids won't be.