In much the way that people ask what MTV's programming has at all to do with music, we now have to ask how much "Learning" is going on in shows about tatoo parlors and people with lots of kids.*
In fact, they should really have to put "Learning" in quotation marks, even in the abbreviation: Tonight on T "L" C. *
Or maybe they could put a hyphen in the middle of "Learning," forcing the reader to sound it out. Making everyone say it as "The Learn-ing Channel," the way Ralph Wiggum might pronounce it, seems like an appropraite denegration.
For now, the Discovery Channel proper, T "L" C's parent station, remains a pretty good network. But it seems like only a matter of time before their other stations fall into the "Lifestyles" gutter. Soon Discovery Health will be nothing but celebrity weightloss and more "look how many kids we have!" shows. The Military Channel will consiste of programs about custom Humvee's that celebrities drive., and of course, military families that have 6+ children.
Animal Planet will, somehow, broadcast nothing but reality dating.
These people have made a living of selling info-tainment. It is their stated thesis. Yet their credibility is regularly called into question by flipping over to the Food Network, where one episode of "Good Eats" references science more frequently than T "L" C can manage in a day.
*As of this writing, the top story on TLC's homepage is "What's Your Bridal Style?" Seriously.