I think it is because so many people are looking for a quick and easy fix for their dog. They watch a 30 minute episode and Cesar makes it look pretty easy. They will then apply it to their dog, and if it works, they are instant fans. They had success and didn't have to spend anything on it. If it backfires, they will go to a local trainer and insist that what they are doing is right because they saw Cesar do it. Great. Or they will tell you how to train your dog, what you are doing wrong, family members are suddenly dog training experts, and they don't even own a dog. Yay! Perfect strangers will Pssst! your dog, or tell you you better alpha roll that dog or it is going to be a huge problem. Really?
But this happens regardless of who someone may or may not have seen on TV. I have no dog in this fight, so to speak. I think CM has done a good thing in that he has really brought to the forefront the concept that a dog is a dog and has certain needs because of that. Telling owners that they need to exercise a lot more is a great thing, because most dogs don't get enough of it.
With the other stuff, the little noises and the nudges? The flooding as a way to address phobias and fears? The alpha rolls? There are just as many people who found an old copy of the New Skeete book who are out there doing the exact same thing. Just as there are a ton of people out there who have attended a couple of classes of a purely positive trainer and are now using a method they completely misunderstood.
An idiot is going to be an idiot. Once you have been around dogs long enough, that becomes really clear. I have said it before here, and I'll say it again. An idiot can screw up a dog with a martingale and a bag of treats.
Once you get into the TV stuff? That isn't real. The people and dogs they feature are purposefully chosen to be as dramatic as possible. And then it is edited to be even more dramatic. It is reality TV, and I don't see anyone claiming that other reality TV shows are indicative of real life. Why should dog behavior shows be any different?
CM is what he is. Not the best. Not the worst. He isn't the devil. He isn't a trainer. He isn't an educated behaviorist, like Patricia McConnell. He is a lay person behaviorist who has been repackaged to suit the medium he has found his niche in: TV.
If we spent half as much time training our dogs as we did arguing, our dogs sure would be better off.