Everyone was excited this morning about NASA firing that rocket into the moon. The cablers and network morning shows carried NASA’s live feed and the event had been teased for days. CBS’ “Early Show” host Harry Smith said, “It’s happening right now. In fact, we have video of this morning’s mission … we’re pumped up about this.”
But the footage was not quite as exciting as we’d perhaps expected. Instead of a Roland Emmerich-style explosion, the feed showed some shots of the moon followed by a black screen followed by the NASA people clapping.
FNC’s Brian Kilmeade asked: “What did we just see? Do you think we just saw the dust plume?” His “Fox & Friends” co-host Alisyn Camerota added, “We see everybody standing and clapping. It seems as though NASA considers this a success, what’s just happened.”
Lawrence O’Donnell on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” added, “The visuals were better back [in 1969]… Did I miss something? I didn’t actually see anything. On “GMA,” Diane Sawyer described it as “The NASA equivalent of bars and tone.”
On NBC’s “Today” show, Matt Lauer was particularly disappointed: “I guess people were expecting some major plume of something visible to the human eye. I’m not seeing that.” He later interviewed Dr. Michio Kaku, author of “Physics of the Impossible”:
Lauer: We were told that with a fairly large telescope here on earth, you’d be able to see this. Yet, we’re looking at images coming from that trailing satellite, and I can’t see anything. This is a little surprising.
Dr. Kaku: Uhh.. yeah.
While it seemed disappointing for both tvnewsers and the audience at home, it must have been much worse for the people attending watch-parties. Brianna Keilar was live at the Newseum for CNN’s “American Morning” where people gathered to watch the event on a 40-foot high-def screen. Afterward she reported on the exuberant reaction:
The first [moment] where the initial image went blank, there was a — sort of a hushed “ah” and then light clapping.
FNC’s Claudia Cowan was at an event in California and interviewed a rather depressed looking middle-aged man dressed as Data from “Star Trek”:
Cowan: What time did you get here?
Brian/Data: I got here about 12 o’clock this morning.
Cowan: Did you see the impact just now on the big screen?
Brian/Data: They said it impacted, but I didn’t see anything.
On “The Early Show,” at least Russ Mitchell seemed to have enjoyed himself: “That is really cool stuff. Wasn’t that fun?”
Was it, Russ?