Media fuss of astronaut cocktail hour
Charles Krauthammer opines on NASA's astronauts/alchohol scandal. I'll have to say when I read it yesterday morning, I laughed enough to spit up some of coffee on myself. And he makes a great point...
Have you ever been to the shuttle launch pad? Have you ever seen that beautiful and preposterous thing the astronauts ride? Imagine it's you sitting on top of a 12-story winged tube bolted to a gigantic canister filled with 2 million liters of liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. Then picture your own buddies -- the "closeout crew" -- who met you at the pad, fastened your emergency chute, strapped you into your launch seat, sealed the hatch and waved smiling to you through the window. Having left you lashed to what is the largest bomb on planet Earth, they then proceed 200 feet down the elevator and drive not one, not two, but three miles away to watch as the button is pressed that lights the candle that ignites the fuel that blows you into space.
Three miles! That's how far they calculate they must go to be beyond the radius of incineration should anything go awry on the launch pad on which, I remind you, these insanely brave people are sitting. Would you not want to be a bit soused? Would you be all aflutter if you discovered that a couple of astronauts -- out of dozens -- were mildly so? I dare say that if the standards of today's fussy flight surgeons had been applied to pilots showing up for morning duty in the Battle of Britain, the signs in Piccadilly would today be in German.
Exactly. Can you imagine for just a moment what the world would be like today if we had today's modern media during World War II, (along with what currently passes for standards and practices, and fixation on making anything into a scandal). Think of the things that we all know about now, via personal stories that came out of the war...things that went on that, if magnified by today's modern media, would have ended careers, and removed incredibly valuable people from our country's service...perhaps changing the war. Or any other war for that matter.
We're going from a testosterone driven nation of explorers and innovators to a nation of self-questioning, second-guessing, wimps. And the media's leading the parade.