Ron Rosenbaum

The Biggest, Dumbest Most Effective P.R Scam of the Past Half Century

It’s the astronauts “wake up” music. Lazy radio and tv networks play this as “news” every tedious day one of the useless deathtrap space shuttles is in orbit.

They’re doing nothing up there but minor league junior high science experiments (and wasting billions of our dollars doing science fair stunts). face it there’s no news unless (with distressing frequency) NASA screws up and risks burning some to death.

But the one thing NASA is good at is p.r. Keeping the pathetically wasteful shuttle project afloat for a quarter century is monument to sleight of hand p.r. And at the core of it is the way they get air time for utter non-newsworthy flights by feeding the uncurious networks (uncurious about what a waste the whole thing is) the various pop songs they play to wake the astronauts up. (or maybe keep them awake from the drowsy boredom of their useless tasks.

Wow! They were sleeping in space! Hey, networks, radio “news” producers: Been there, done that. NASA has been a shameful enterprise ever since they rushed a launch of “Challenger”, one of their many defective vehicles, to milk the publicity that would accrue if they got it up there in time to allow Reagan to refer to it in his State of the Union address. The schoolteacher in space! Result of crass p.r. running the show: one dead schoolteacher in space. (Along with everyone else on board).

The whole place should have been shut down and salt sown in its testing grounds at that point. But the space bureaucrats and their p.r. apparatus has managed to keep the fraud going nigh unto forever. And one of their key assets in keeping the public lulled into thinking something is actually going on is the wake up song.

I just don’t get the appeal, in fact I find it gratingly offensive to have to listen to announcers speak of it with phony awe and wonder. Gee, space is (relatively) unfamiliar. they’re playing a pop songs. Pop is familiar. What a frisson. What a way to create the illusion of news. They woke up in space. To music. Awesome!

Whoever thought this incredibly annoying gimmick up is a p.r. genius. If only their engineers were as good at their job we’d have a few less junior high science projects and a few more astronauts alive.