Armstrong’s Passing Overshadowed by Storm Threat?
This past weekend, America lost Neil Armstrong, the man who made a “giant leap for mankind” when he walked on the moon in 1969.
Forty-three years later, and in the short while after Armstrong’s death was made public, it seemed as though most television stations continued on with their usual Saturday afternoon programming. The threat of Tropical Storm Isaac stirred up more coverage (one-third more to be exact) than the death of the man who changed the game of space exploration. In one instance, an NBC reporter even referred to Armstrong as Neil Young! Ouch.
So how is it that a storm-watch garners more importance amongst news organizations than the passing of such an American icon?
The coverage of Armstrong’s death, or should I say lack thereof, was attributed to three reasons.
First, just as determined as he was to land on the moon, Armstrong was determined to lead a private, suburban life. This decision posed as quite the disadvantage for TV coverage, since there weren’t many appearances or interviews to play back and reminisce on the astronaut’s life.
Another contributor could be the fact that Armstrong’s passing occurred on a Saturday in late August, when staff is minimal. While this makes sense, it’s not exactly bullet-proof since Isaac was able to pull in so many more broadcast results.
Finally, the way in which he passed could be a final contributor. Most news agencies draft stories of a celebrity’s death when he or she is announced as sick or suffering from a life-threatening illness. In Armstrong’s case, neither the networks nor his family expected the sudden death, which could be why the already shortened staff wasn’t able to conjure up enough material to run consistently throughout the weekend.
Despite the amount of coverage his passing more or may not have received, one thing’s for sure about Neil Armstrong- his legacy will live on in classrooms, textbooks and our nation’s history just as it has for the past four decades.
Published: August 29, 2012 By: