Don't get me wrong. It's great that people care about food, but the problem with any fad is that it will lead to groupthink, homogeneity, blind acceptance of mythology, the exaltation of mediocrities, and the ostracism of creative people who won't join the herd. And the snobbery and condescension are paralyzing. Cooking is art, so rigidity and conformity tend to destroy it. They discourage experimentation and diversity, which are at the heart of progress.
I've seen TV food heroes do really dumb things while the audiences oohed and ahhed like they were witnessing miracles, and I've eaten in TV-chef restaurants that were literally inferior to Pizza Hut. I've used TV-chef recipes that were not only bad, but absurd. The fad helped these things happen. Once fame cements your reputation, you can spread plumber's putty on a cracker and tell people it's divine, and 90% of them will agree with you and go for the throat of anyone who complains.
I remember a hilarious TV show that did Candid Camera-style pranks. They made up a fake soft drink, using the most disgusting ingredients they could think of. They made it so revolting, it amazed them that people could drink it. Then they gave out samples in a store and told people they were filming a commercial. Over and over, people grinned and said how much they loved it, just so they could be on TV.
That's the same thing that happens when Emeril cooks up a bad recipe and passes it out to the crowd.
I never watch food TV. It can't be trusted. Picking through it to see what works wastes my time. Meanwhile, the Internet, good books, trusted friends, and hands-on experience are invaluable.
I cooked before the food fad, and I will be cooking after it's over. It hasn't done a thing for me, apart from screwing up a few meals.