Last Updated:September 2 @ 12:47 pm

A quiet exit for the first man on the moon

By David Bauder

NEW YORK (AP) -- By the yardstick of history, Neil Armstrong was among the most accomplished men ever to walk on the planet that he looked upon from afar one magical week in July 1969.

Television news didn't seem to fully recognize the importance of the first human to walk on the moon on the weekend he died.

In the hours after Armstrong's death was announced, news networks were airing canned programming - jailhouse documentaries, a rerun interview with Rielle Hunter, Mike Huckabee's weekend show. Menacing satellite pictures of Tropical Storm Isaac had much more air time than Armstrong's dusty hops on the lunar surface. Talk of the upcoming GOP national convention sucked up the air.

A trio of factors played in to the lack of attention.

First, Armstrong died on a Saturday. Not just any Saturday, when news organizations have a skeletal staff, but a late August weekend. Half the country is at the beach. It's not a stretch to think inexperience on duty might have played a role in NBC News' embarrassing gaffe: a website headline that read: "Astronaut Neil Young, first man to walk on the moon, dies at age 82." (NBC called it a staffer error and said the mistake was taken down after seven minutes.)

His death came as somewhat of a surprise, too. Everyone dies, of course, and most news organizations have prepared material on hand to mark the passing of famous people. In many cases, though, there is advance word that someone is very ill, giving the media a chance to prepare and plan.

Armstrong's determined effort to live a quiet, private life after his astronaut days also left TV at a disadvantage. There was relatively little tape on hand to roll from interviews reminiscing about his experiences, reunions with old astronauts or public appearances. No Armstrong chats with David Letterman. No appearances in music videos. There was the moon walk, and not much else.

Notable deaths often give viewers the chance to reflect, to put into perspective lives of great accomplishment or great notoriety.

Not so with Neil Armstrong. His death was like his life: strangely muted given the magnitude of his achievements.

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7 Comments

  1. lwessonComment by lwesson
    August 27, 2012 @ 9:08 am

    Manned spaceflight is “strangely muted” by the media. Things like NASA, spaceflight, do not fit the Liberal Narrative. So it is NO small wonder that “Neil Young” could fill in for Neil Armstrong.

    Affirmative Action is not served by spaceflight. The Nanny State is not benefited. And even though the NASA budget is something shy of .5% of the Federal Budget, that is too much audacity for the likes of Obama and his sycophant minions. Cuts are on the way!

    And Neil Armstrong did speak up at the shameful destruction of manned spaceflight, but there was no one listening in the media or government.

    People like Neil Armstrong, activities like Apollo and landing men on the Moon are likely not looked at as accomplishments, but more as things that point at the embarrassment that this country has willfully become. There is NO desire to show our gradual fall out of orbit as many people might ask why, and who did this?

    Representative, Shelia Jackson Lee, says it all. “Did the Mars Rover get a picture of the American flag that Neil Armstrong left there?”

    Goodbye to yet another hero, Neil Armstrong, who has now touched the face of God.

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  2. liesmaComment by liesma
    August 27, 2012 @ 5:51 pm

    Representative, Shelia Jackson Lee, says it all. “Did the Mars Rover get a picture of the American flag that Neil Armstrong left there?”

    I guess that explains why Congress never gets anything done…

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      August 27, 2012 @ 8:52 pm

      Shelia goes around saying that the Fed. Debt limit has to be raised, as “there is important work to be done”.

      People like Shelia have siphoned untold trillions of dollars for numerous government programs that we have nothing to show for but more demands, for more money and new programs.

      So Congressbeings… are doing things alright, just not the Right Stuff, for The Republic.

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    • crunchemComment by crunchem
      August 27, 2012 @ 10:59 pm

      did she really say that? is anybody really that stupid that isn’t living under a park bench? ****…..

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      August 28, 2012 @ 8:47 am

      Yes crunchem. She is “my” Rep. A local radio personality gives us live updates and reminders about Shelia but the madness is kept in house. She is up there with the other Rep. who asked some Navy Officer, if the island could tip over due to all of the military equipment on it? Forgot the name of the isle, “Diego Garcia?”

      The NATIONAL MEDIA has been, ah, strangely mute about these kind of under the park bench statements. Actually, not strange at all, just look at the continuous MUTE around Obama & Biden. A virtual, Cone of Silence.

      I promised the former NASA friends that I would say something.

      Hey Neil Young, could you substitute for real?

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  3. canada3dayerComment by canada3dayer
    August 28, 2012 @ 12:02 am

    well, how’s this for audacity? his sheer arrogance never ceases to amaze…

    http://now.msn.com/president-obama-honors-neil-armstrong-with-photo-of-himself?_p=9e2bf0ac-affe-4288-b9ed-80b65f9b67d5

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    • lwessonComment by lwesson
      August 28, 2012 @ 8:58 am

      Someone dropped me a note, that this is an older photo of the audacity of hope guy.

      It has been noted by my former NASA friends, that Obama put the finishing touches on the long constructed coffin and grave for manned space flight. NASA’s achievements, rare for a government agency save for the military and some science areas, is a glaring reminder of something that Obama and his minions just cannot relate to. Make it go away…and he has.

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