[FPSPACE] Poll in the field after successful flight of
SpaceShipOne (Bakersfield Californian & San Francisco Chronicle)
zirconic1 at earthlink.net
Wed Jun 23 09:40:44 EDT 2004
From: Spellman James Civ 60MDG/PA <James.Spellman at travis.af.mil>
>I don't believe Burt Rutan and his company went to space at all. (I also
don't believe we ever went to the moon.) It's all a hoax to keep us
distracted from our real problems here on Earth.
>You can see the difficulties I've had to contend with all these years
with the folks down in Backwardsfield.
Clearly they were taking a humorous approach to the subject.
Comedy Central's "The Daily Show," which is one of the hottest late-night talk shows and also one of the biggest sources of "news" for people in their 20s and 30s did a story on the SpaceShip One flight on Tuesday night (repeated on Comedy Central at 10AM and 7PM on Wednesday). They made fun of it in a dismissive way. They also made fun of Rutan's ridiculous mutton-chops haircut.
Unfortunately, The Daily Show, which is very funny and also very insightful (and very influential--all politicians want to appear there, even though their audience is not as big as other late night shows), clearly has a writer or writers who don't have much respect for spaceflight at all. I realize that their overall tone is one of wry, sarcastic humor, but they seem to go out of their way to make fun of space events and their usual tone makes it clear that they think that _all_ spaceflight is a stupid waste of money. While most news coverage of the Mars rovers and the search for water has been positive, The Daily Show has dismissed the exploration of Mars in general as a stupid waste of time. They have also been critical of other events, such as the discovery of the Sedna planetoid and the launch of the Chinese astronaut and the search for earth-like bodies in the universe. They have had at least one NASA scientist on (she wasn't very interesting) and they did do a funny story about Buzz Aldrin punching out his stalker. But their attitude toward space is disappointing and I wish that they would be more neutral.
More information about the FPSPACE