I must be getting old and REALLY out of touch. I say that because, among other things, I just don’t get the appeal of Stephen Colbert or that other dufus who people seem to want to get their ‘news’ from—you know, that person from the ‘Daily Show.’ I just don’t get either of them. What escapes me even more is the amount of support these two get. Take, for instance, the recent NASA travesty that Mr. Colbert is responsible for inciting. NASA held an online contest to name a new module for the International Space Station. Mr. Colbert urged his followers, err, viewers, to vote for him. Well, it worked and Colbert’s name won. Naturally, NASA didn’t want to bestow such a name on the new module. NASA’s decision wrankled some feathers and, after some discussion, decided throw Colbert a bone and name a treadmill that is destined for the station after him. In an announcement made on his show, Astronaut Sunita Williams said the stations new exercise tool would be called the Combined Operational Load Bearing External Resistance Treadmill or Colbert for short. While this is amusing, and the attention given to the contest did make more people aware of the efforts going into the station, it also shows just how influential Colbert and the other guy are.
I’ve tried to watch both shows. I really have. I don’t think either of them are particularly funny and they certainly are not ‘journalists’ and, thus, the ‘news’ they deliver is not really news although the other guy-and, yes, I know his name but I’m not going to say it-does make a half-assed attempt at delivering the news. He fails, of course, because he has to bend and twist it and make it his own. The problem, though, is that there is a large number of people, mostly teen and college age people, who take it as real news and are, most likely, incapable of differentiating the real news from his faux news. Pretty sad.
About that NASA contest…Unfortunately, I think they were wrong to not name the module after Mr. Colbert. He did, after, win the contest. NASA should have stuck by it and named the module the Colbert module. Instead, NASA named it Tranquility, which is a nice name. I really think they made a mistake in not following through. The message they sent is: “Well, we are just going to ignore the results and name it what we want.” It will just deter involvement by people in the future. I suppose, though, that it is possible that this was all a ruse and that NASA and Colbert were just trying to drum up some support and excitement over the space program. Nah, I’m giving them both too much credit.