Crime on Discovery Channel's reality shows: how is it done?

There have been a couple of reality shows that have cropped up on Discovery Channel that promises a glimpse into the outlaw lifestyles that range from sketchy to outright illegal. Shows such as:

Amish Mafia
Weed Country
The Devil's Ride
Warlocks Rising
Street Outlaws

My big question is this: How do these guys get away with it?

Discovery Channel prompts every one of these episodes with a disclaimer that the activity presented is highly illegal. Not to mention that a good number of these episodes tend to focus on how the authorities attempt to track down the outlaw protagonists of these shows, which could end up as either success or failure. These types of shows apparently pull in enough ratings to keep a steady viewership going and have made minor celebrities out of people who break the law for a living.

Are the people within these shows so low profile that exposure on cable network won't disrupt their business? Are the crimes they're committing a relative slap on the wrist, which makes it ok to televise their activities? Are their activities so blatant that bringing in a camera crew won't break some sort of secrecy code? These are questions about these shows that have confounded me and have lead me to question the effectiveness of the local authorities involved with these shows.

I have no idea how far Discover Channel is willing to push this breed of "outlaw" show, but let's hope it doesn't involve a new reality series with hardcore gangbangers, the Mexican cartel or meth dealers sometime in the future.

I always came to the conclusion that it was fake as shit. I don't know maybe there's some loop hole in law that allows all crimes to be legal if you've got a camera crew.

A quick visit to the Wikipedia page for Moonshiners a few months ago informed me that most of the people on the show are actors, and that the illegal actions featured on film are an act.

This agrees with what I heard from some family members that work with loggers; one of these shows was on the logging industry here in the northwest, and the camera crew kept asking the loggers to set up scenarios like breakdowns, harmless but inconvenient accidents, and other such things.

Very little on reality TV has anything to do with reality. The challenges, drama, personal conflicts, and even human behavior are all what the TV executives think will make people more interested in the show.

Conflict resolution is the worst. People in reality shows approach disagreement in ways that are guaranteed to make matters worse. Real disagreements, arguments, discussions, and apologies are completely different from what's in those shows.

In short, most, if not all of it is reenacted and fake. That is just how most reality shows are.

Don't some of these shows have special permission to film these things and it has real criminals in them?

Do recall some of the cocaine guys wearing masks and have their voice changed so that no one catches them.

Have read some papers done by some anthropologists who go and study the culture of drug dealers and other illegal stuff


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