• Panice


  • JamesG

    Having a political pony show stampede thru a clean room did a lot more damage than him simply touching a piece of flight hardware.

    Is that a piece of the Orion fwd bay cover?

  • Douglas Messier

    I believe it is.

  • publiusr

    It is a human reaction–wanting to touch something that will reach space.

  • ThomasLMatula

    It would be interesting to know the history and actual context of the picture.

  • JamesG

    Apparently Rubio dared him to do it.

  • mlc449

    So it appears the picture was only released in order to embarrass the VP.

    “Fake news, FNN, failing NYT, blah, blah……”

  • mlc449
  • JamesG
  • The Other Dr. Phil
  • Andrew Tubbiolo

    Having built hardware that has gone to Earth orbit, Mars, and landed on Titan I can attest to the very base human desire to touch hardware that will leave the planet. Not to mention the desire to leave a bit of yourself in a tight corner that nobody will ever see. I understand Mr P’s desire to touch it. Another experience I highly recommend is to machine up a nice piece of metal into functional hardware from blank stock only 3 steps from the mine, it’s a beautiful tactile experience.

  • AdmBenson

    Good thing Pence wasn’t touring a nuclear plant.

  • Douglas Messier

    No. That’s not how these things work. Trust me. I’ve had to decide which photos to use I’ve taken and worked with pros to determine which photos I wanted.

    This is a great photo. That’s why it got published.

  • windbourne

    oh, that could have been useful.

  • windbourne

    signs on the piece.
    He ignores it and touches it.
    And you think that it was done only to embarrass an idiot?
    It was done to embarrass him in the same way that Quayle was called out for his spelling of Potato(e)
    or that Palin said that she could see Russia,
    or that W spoke of the internet(s)
    or Carter had about the Rabbit jumping on him
    or Ford for his missteps
    or W’s throwing up on the Japanese minister?

    Look, things like this happen ALL THE TIME.
    Just because Pence is an idiot, and does this, does not mean that the media should ignore it.
    Here are 20 from past presidents/VPs

    Here are more:

  • windbourne

    It actually makes pence more of an idiot for doing so.

  • Paul_Scutts

    LOL, James, or the ever reliable “Wet Paint”. 🙂 Regards, Paul.

  • ThomasLMatula

    I don’t have to, I used to teach a graduate class in PR at UHV and spent an entire lecture on how to select photos to illustrate a story. This one was selected simply because the reporter knew they would get far more coverage in the media by making the VP look dumb rather than one that shows the VP has an actual interest in space flight. Its no different than the media in the 1970’s labeling Gov. Brown governor Moonbeam for his idea to have California own its own satellite to monitor the state’s environment.

  • ThomasLMatula

    I have used a number of these in the graduate PR class I use to teach. BTW the first one in which President Roosevelt feed the royal family hotdogs was not a gaff, but intentional to remind them there was no royalty in the USA.

  • JamesG

    Context. You know what ASSumptions make you look like right?

  • windbourne

    yeah, of course, no assumptions on my part. Just facts.
    So, it does not affect me.

  • windbourne

    u need to read that again.
    In the oxford, they do NOT say that it is or was proper to spell it as ‘Potatoe’.


    What she said was that a number of literary sources MISSPELLED it all the way until 1988.
    She also points out that there have been many ways in OLDE ENGLISH to spell Potato.
    BUT, she notes that it is INCORRECT to spell it POTATOE.

    Why is the former vice-president still being teased over his failure to spell a word on the spot, while the New York Times, Washington Post and others are escaping censure for routinely printing the plural incorrectly (spelling it without an –e)? (Examples of this can be found here, here, and here.) This improper spelling of ‘potatoes’ is so entrenched in our spelling brains, that what is needed is for one of the current presidential hopefuls to spell it improperly on television, so that the public can then publicly mock this failure, and in years to come we can say to each other “everyone knows that potatoes has an –e in it”.

  • Douglas Messier

    You’re looking at it from a PR standpoint. The goal of PR is manufacture positive coverage and shape new coverage in a way that benefits the client. That’s a different approach from journalism.

    What happens is the photographer provides low-res copies of the photos they took from this event to editors, wire services, Getty images, etc. It up to them to decide what photos look interesting, newsworthy, unusual and tell an interesting story about the event.

    This photo fits all three categories. They didn’t select to embarrass the vice president. You’re equating interesting and newsworthy with intent. Not the same thing.

    Now, that doesn’t mean a lot of people haven’t used to photo to mock Pence. But, that’s why NASA and Pence have PR people to explain and justify the action.

    There have been lots of other pictures of Pence’s visit to KSC that have been used with stories. This one happened to attract a lot of interest.

    The derisive moonbeam label came from a China columnist, Mike Royko, who was not a big fan of Brown and California’s liberal voters. You do have intent there. He later regretted writing it, issued an apology to Brown and tried to get people to stop using it.

  • Spacetech

    LoL Good Gawd I just snared two engineers with the “Wet Paint” sign on Thursday–it never fails!

  • Spacetech

    Nah, it’s just a 100k-500K class assembly area if it were a real “clean” room there wouldn’t be a paper sign on the hardware so normal clothing is acceptable on occasion.

  • JamesG

    There you go again.

  • duheagle

    RHIP (Rank Hath Its Privileges)

  • duheagle

    I sort of figured the lack of bunny suits and masks was the giveaway.

  • duheagle

    Mike Royko was from Chicago. Same first three letters as “China,” but not as far away and in the opposite direction.

    Royko was a life-long Democrat and a liberal himself, but he was emphatically not a progressive in the modern sense. He championed the sorts of Middle-American, salt-of-the-Earth, blue-collar types Chicago and environs used to be full of. People who, these days, are mostly Trump voters.

    Royko didn’t have any patience with counter-culture types and saw California as Hippy-Dippy Central. I think the “Moonbeam” thing was more about the sorts of aliases flower-power types often adopted in the late 60’s or, worse yet, inflicted on their children. He saw Jerry Brown as an entitled flake. He wasn’t wrong.

  • duheagle

    It wasn’t W who threw up on the Japanese Prime Minister. That was his dad.

    Palin said “You can actually see Russia from land here in Alaska.” Which happens to be true. Little Diomede Island (U.S.) is about 2.4 miles from Big Diomede Island (Russia). Even the distance from the nearest point on the Cape Prince of Wales coast of Alaska to Big Diomede Island is about the same as the distance from the coast of California to Catalina Island – the latter often being visible from the former.

    For making this statement Palin was ruthlessly mocked by geographically challenged lefties and spoofed on Saturday Night Live.

    She also got beaten up pretty badly in print and electronic media by history-challenged lefties with overly-itchy trigger fingers when she said the Boston Tea Party happened in 1773. Which it did.

    Obama, on the other hand, said many egregiously ignorant and misinformed things during his administration and one never heard about them except in the right-wing press.

    The press in this country is transparently and viciously partisan. If there’s a way to cast a Republican in a bad light, it will be done – every time. When a Democrat or other lefty does something far worse it goes down the Memory Hole. Nothing to see here; move along.

  • duheagle

    Yes, even after nearly 30 years the press still likes to keep reminding all and sundry about Dan Quayle and “potatoe.” That weird speech Obama gave in which he repeatedly mispronounced the word “corpsman” – a term for a military medic – as “corpse-man, not so much.

  • JamesG

    Remember that your media and cultural gestalt has the mentality of a 5th grader. A mean one at that. The ‘cool kids’ never get picked on.

  • JamesG

    ” They didn’t select to embarrass the vice president.”

    BS. He took the pic and they published it exactly for that effect, both because they thought it was ‘funny’ (made the VP look bad) and that it would be a click-bait lightning rod.

  • Jeff2Space

    Of course NASA is going to come up with a story that will make one of their bosses look good. Look at this another way, if it really was o.k. to touch the hardware, why was there a “do not touch” sign, at eye level, with attention grabbing red lettering, in the first place?

  • Douglas Messier

    It was a great picture of an very odd moment. You’re conflating newsworthy with intent. It was embarassing to Pence, but that’s his responsibility for touching the hardware. It’s not up to photographer and editors to save him when he does embarassing things. Stop blaming the messenger.

  • JamesG

    You only say that because you personally dislike the man. What if it had been an embarrassing picture of you or someone you liked that was being passed around specifically to make you look bad?

    I’ll “stop blaming the messenger” when the messenger stops trying to write the message.

  • ThomasLMatula

    No, I am looking at it from an editor’s perspective. I was an assistant editor on a small paper years ago and had to make those decisions. You are neglecting the most important factor every editor always is thinking about – readership. News organizations are private for-profit businesses that depend on advertising revenue and subscriptions to survive. Selecting a picture that increases readership (clicks today) influences and often outweighs those factor. Since few Trump supporters follow the old media while many Anti-Trumpers do there was little downside and a lot of upside to running it. The fact that folks are echoing it around the Web, and getting a lot of comments, shows how effective this is.

    BTW, you might want to credit the photographer, Mike Brown from Reuters, for it.


  • ThomasLMatula

    I figured the “evil” auto-correct did it.

    Yes Mike Royko was very conservative and traditional. He also hated corruption in government and was a long time foe of the Daley Administration.

  • ThomasLMatula

    Did you read what you posted? She is referring to plural potatoes which does require the “e”.

    “New York Times, Washington Post and others are escaping censure
    for routinely printing the plural incorrectly (spelling it without an

    Potato = 1
    Potatoes = plural

    In terms of Potato versus Potatoe, the dual spelling was so common they made a very popular song that included it.


    “like potato and I like potatoe,
    You like tomato and I like tomatoe;
    Potato, potatoe, tomato, tomatoe!
    Let’s call the whole thing off!”

  • ThomasLMatula

    They probably learned their lesson from the tour they gave Senator John Kerry.


    Democrats hopping mad over ‘bunny suit’

    The campaign of Sen. John Kerry yesterday accused NASA of leaking a
    widely circulated photo that shows the candidate wrapped from top to bottom in a baby blue “bunny suit,” implying that it was a “dirty trick.”

    BTW I think that VP Pence’s response of making a joke of it was much more appropriate. But this does illustrate the double standard well.

  • Douglas Messier

    Good lord. This discussion is over.

  • Douglas Messier

    Yeah i know about all those things…..what you originally said was the picture was released to embarrass Pence. That might be a reason to run it but not the reason it got so much attention.

  • Douglas Messier

    The first three letters in your fake name spell duh. Give that some thought.

  • JamesG

    I doubt it.