The overwhelming majority of people look at me with shock and horror in their eyes when I talk about interactions with sharks. They shake their heads in disbelief when I try to convey what an amazing and not at all frightening experience seeing the hammerheads at Tubbataha was for example.
Movies and TV shows and the very skewed view of sharks that they often present is one of the reasons behind these reactions. The Discovery Channel's Shark Week is one of the most popular perpetrators. Many thanks to Lesley Rochat for pointing out this very good article by Chris Palmer in the Huffington Post about Shark Week and its weaknesses.
Mr. Palmer very accurately points out that in their desire to get the "money shot" and appeal to our very basest instincts in the quest for ratings and ad dollars that the conservation message is not only lost but buried under terror and hatred.
Hey Mythbusters, how about a Shark Week episode where your 'sensational' story is trying to demonstrate just how extremely rare shark attacks really are?
See also the Dive Sites of Shark Week