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July 26, 2005

Right Wing Debris



Except for mere sensationalism, why would Drudge run this image and headline at the same time the White House was bending over backward to show Laura and Jeb basking in a successful shuttle launch, and Dubya literally drooling over it back at the White House?

I’ve got a few takes: 

1.  When it comes to the media, there’s no such thing as "mere sensationalism." 

2. The collective mind is so anxious these days, people are just waiting for the next shoe (or backback) (or spaceship) to drop.   (By the way, what’s the latest on the real estate market?)  As I’ve said before, expect the worst and it can’t hurt you as bad.

3. No person or organization can "push the envelope" over an extended
period of time without expecting that an escalating pattern of success
is partly contingent on the occasional profound failure. Because people
intuitively understand this, Drudge is tapping into the drama over
whether or not NASA is "back."

4. I’d be hyper-vigilant too if I was a wing nut and my President
was now so mired in problems that he was banking on a clean NASA launch
just to buy a few hours of press distraction and an ever diminishing
infusion of vicarious patriotism.

5. Because the manned expedition to Iraq has been coming apart,
and the ambitious launch of Social Security reform never overcame
serious fuel problems, Right Wing Mission Control is now struggling to
suppress doubts about its failing adventures. Despite the continued
bravado (obviously, liberalism is in its "last throes"), doubt has to
surface somewhere and get projected onto something – such as on Drudge’s TV set. 

…Perhaps this debris that conservatives are beginning to spot everywhere is actually falling from the White House.

(Because Drudge never provides photo
credits, I’m guessing this image is either from AP or Reuters via NASA
TV, July 26, 2005, with the circle courtesy of Matt’s people.)

  • Salam Adil

    It is more than this. Remember, after the last Shuttle disaster, Bush made a solemn promises to the American people – that the Shuttle will fly again. In a sense he staked his reputation on it. He tied the shuttle directly to his political program.
    Bush made many promises that just did not come out – Iraq will be a walkover – the US has enough troops in Iraq, bring ‘em on – the US economy will bounce back – the war on terror will make the world a safer place – we will find the hidden WMD…
    Now with the shuttle – here is one promise that he can deliver. No stubborn foreigners can inferfere with it. What can be so hard about making this flying brickyard safe that a little cash cannot fix. Unfortunately, like the laws of politics you cannot defy the laws of physics.

  • George Myers

    A few years back I worked with a Mr. Richter of Staten Island, NY who left “contract archaeology” for Naval Intelligence. What seemed like a short time later, in the first months of the Dubya redux, he was crash landing on Hainan Island in China after colliding with a Chinese jet interceptor. Shortly after that the Bush admin cancelled the “life boat” project for the International Space Station, and called for a return to the Moon, please supply comments, it requested. The destruction of the Columbia orbiter, under Captain Husband (one of the crew was one of the number of Israeli pilots who flew in a close formation of jets, to look like an airliner on radar over interceding countries, in the
    bombing of the French built nuclear power plant in Irag many years ago) over Texas must have been hard to bear. Many years ago the citzenry of the US wrested the space shuttles away from the US Air Force (to be launched from VAndenberg, Ca secretly) to create a peaceful use of space, threatened once again by US military designs, and always newsworthy, perhaps as an “us vs. them” the largest day care center in the world vs. the public sector (just kidding).

  • bg

    I think the debris could be the Roberts record, starting to hit the MSM now.

  • M Ceezy

    Matt Drudge is simply an opportunist; while there’s no doubt that his news page is completely skewed to the right, he’ll post “the big story” if it means more clicks and more ad revenue. The “falling debris” story was the story of the day, and the photo of debris recall the terrible images from the Columbia shuttle disaster, but at a different scale. Amazing that it was even captured on film at all–would it have been such a big story without the picture? I doubt it.

  • M. Hunter

    What about the nostalgia angle?
    “Not many people would try to drive an 24 year old American car coast to coast on Interstate 80 this summer, but that’s a fair description of the launch of the Shuttle Discovery, built in 1981 and flown into space many times. Discovery is a well maintained antique that won’t be retired until 2010. NASA’s Return to Flight Task Group oversaw the implementation of 15 recommendations made after the Columbia breakup and Discovery is a much improved craft that is safer than any of its predecessors.
    The shuttle is a flying truck with no military applications. NASA likes this, but when the Shuttle concept was first discussed (ancient history: the Nixon Administration) Air Force played a role in its design as people assumed that there would be military activities that the shuttle could perform. This was before it became clear that unmanned craft did better at everything in space.”

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