David Bauder noted on huffingtonpost.com that 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, I fully expected to see tributes, historical recounts, and of course audio recordings of Neil's first transmission from the surface of the moon. Instead news networks were airing canned programming – jailhouse documentaries, a rerun interview with Rielle Hunter, Mike Huckabee's weekend show. There were menacing satellite pictures of Tropical Storm Isaac that had much more air time than Armstrong's dusty hops on the lunar surface. Talk of the upcoming GOP national convention and the President's campaign travels sucked up the air.
Mr. Bauder thinks that a trio of factors played into the lack of reporting, but to me none of them fully explains the dearth of reporting on the man and his accomplishments, save for the fact that 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.
His death was like his life: strangely muted given the magnitude of his achievements, which contributes to the rise of conspiracy theories surrounding the feat. Some believe the whole landing on the moon took place in a studio someplace as a response to the Soviets who were kicking our butts in outer space exploration.
I have always been just a little skeptical of the lunar landing especially since after performing this monumental feat we just decide to abandon the Moon with no more missions planned, no building of structures or even a space station. Just go there, plant the flag, drive a dune buggy, grab a few rocks, then woosh back to earth..no more Moon. Seem totally legit to you?