Neil Armstrong has died, and so has our news media . . .
This last weekend the news Staffs of newspapers, TV, Internet segments, all proved what we have long guessed. They have all become what we once termed cheap journalism.
Neil Armstrong, a man whose name will be listed with the Greats of History died last week and the news organizations of the world revealed their shallowness. And that is, if you aren’t a ‘Personality’, go ahead and die, but don’t expect us to do anything about it. No money in those kind of names.
Neil Armstrong’s name will be right there alongside Galileo, The Father of Astronomy, and with Lindberg, the first to fly over the Atlantic solo. With Magellan, first to sail around the world, and Columbus, who ‘discovered America’ and opened the western hemisphere to the rest of the world. Names of men and women who have changed the world, and Armstrong’s name has long been high on that list.
He was the one who made that ‘small step by man, but a giant leap for all mankind”. The very first time a human had stepped upon any surface other than this earth.
The picture sent down to earth of his booted foot cautiously stepping into the unknown surface of the moon, will live forever, and is recognized world-wide, with no names or explanation needed. That ‘giant leap for mankind’ will be seen centuries from now, and our news gave it a bored ho-hum. You see, there’s no money in a moon story.
I speak of the shallow depths to which ‘the news’ has allowed itself to fall, and deny and excuse it though they may, this last weekend they helped kill themselves, ‘hoist by their own petard’. No one did it to them, and have no one to blame but themselves. Deny it as they have, but they, and I mean ALL forms of the ‘news’, revealed themselves to be naught but gatherers of junk. The presses literally stopped when Michael Jackson died, and all he did was sing and dance in an odd way popular with the teenagers of his generation, and, oh yes, and he took drugs, alcohol, and died as a result, too.
Yes, Armstrong died on a weekend when the ‘second staffers’ are in charge, but, there was a time, not too long ago, when all news organizations, built files on well known men and women, so that when death claimed them, all that was needed was to fill in the death date and reason, and within minutes a perfect obit was ready. But that was the time when Journalism was a proud, professional occupation and former newsmen and women would weep at how far their craft has fallen.
That picture of Armstrong’s foot stepping on to the Moon’s surface should have been on every front page of the world, with the words of A GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND the only ones used.
Yes, Armstrong chose to NOT become a so-called celebrity, and lived out of the public eye, as a Professor. He did, much like Lindberg, of a generation before him, also did. They saw the job, loved it, did it superbly, and then went on with their lives. Both choosing not to subject their wives and children to the notoriety given today’s ‘names’.
Galileo was the first man to SEE the moon’s surface, and even elementary students know his name, if not exactly what he did. Neil Armstrong was the first human to put his foot upon a surface other than our Planet, other than the one we call Earth, and there are pictures to record it for all time, for any Planet yet to be explored, and to be seen by whatever form of mankind found there. And, to our shame, we met his death with a yawn.
Perhaps it’s just as well. Take a long, lingering look at the magazines and tabloids featured at all grocery stores, and you will see exactly what and why both Armstrong and Lindberg chose to step aside from it.
We all should be ashamed because what we buy is what the news sources give us. I’ve collected Front Pages of great events and even found one of Pearl Harbor. There is no Front Page for the death of the man who took That Giant Leap For Mankind.