Fox News: January 8, 2036
Amanda Lindell: Welcome back to America’s Newsroom on Fox. I’m your host Amanda Lindell. This morning’s topic is the stranded astronaut, Mark Watney. Since NASA revealed that Watney did not, in fact, die on Mars in November like previously reported, the story has gripped the nation, and with the early projections of the cost of a rescue mission, it has apparently gripped congress’ wallet, too!
Here to discuss the most recent developments we have friend of the show Ron Hinkson and popular scientist Bill Nye. Welcome.
Bill Nye: Thanks for having me.
Ron Hinkson: Always a pleasure, Amanda.
AL: The news of Mark Watney's survival shocked the nation last week, and the outpouring of support we’ve seen for Watney has been staggering, but yesterday sources from Washington reported that a rescue mission for Watney comes with a price tag of, let me get this right, [looks down at her notes] 250 million dollars. A lot of people say that price is too steep to save just one man. Bill, what do you think?
BN: Well first of all, the mission proposed by NASA is not strictly a rescue mission. That cost includes two different things. First, NASA plans to send a probe to Mark to reestablish communication and give him enough food and supplies to last four more years. Second, that cost also includes the necessary modifications to the Ares 4 Mars Descent Vehicle that will pick up Mark at the beginning of their mission. That price tag is effectively buying four years of first-hand in-depth study of the Red Planet, in addition to, of course, bringing Mark Watney home safe.
RH: Well first off, I think we need to look at why he’s there in the first place. It’s because NASA screwed up, and they screwed up big-time. They not only left an astronaut behind on Mars, but they didn’t event realize he was alive for over a month! They’ve already shown how incompetent they are, and now they want to put the burden of paying for their mistakes onto the American taxpayers. We’ve already spent billions of dollars on the Ares missions, and, as recent events have shown, NASA can’t be trusted with it. Someone else with a better track record, like Elon Musk at SpaceX, should take over this operation and crowd fund it from people who want to donate. Now, I feel for Watney and his family, I do, but it would be ridiculous for taxpayers to continue to throw money at NASA, an organization that is clearly failing to do its job.
BN: I think that’s an overstatement. No one could have predicted the events that left Mark stranded. In the six years that we’ve been collecting data on the Ares 3 site, the dust storm winds have never gotten with 50 kpm of the winds we witnessed in November! NASA is made up of the best and brightest Americans, and has shown an outstanding history of problem solving and finding solutions to tough problems. On top of that, NASA is the only organization that has the capabilities of launching an interplanetary rescue mission in time. SpaceX might have a station in orbit, but they don’t have the technology to send an independent mission to Mars! But this isn’t a question about NASA; this is a question about Mark. We as a nation cannot just turn our backs on him. This isn’t about funding or politics; this is about a real human life!
RH: Do you honestly believe this isn’t about politics? Do you honestly think that this democratic congress would be so eager to help a stranded astronaut if the astronaut wasn’t an outspoken liberal who would return the favor by endorsing them if he gets back? It’s a well-known fact that Watney was a volunteer on Bernie Sander’s campaign while he was in college at the University of Chi—
BN: Wait, are you serious right now? You honestly don’t think that people would care—
RH: No, no! I wasn’t finished. The liberal media would not be telling the American people they should care about this if the stranded astronaut was, say, Commander Lewis or Major Martinez, two outstanding military personnel who have risked their lives to defend this country, instead of someone who spent years building up foreign countries' economies.
BN: What are you even talking about?! Mark was in the Peace Corps! He was helping families and villages in developing countries utilize more sustainable farming techniques! What—
RH: Exactly! Taking more money from the hands of hardworking American families and investing it in foreign economies. And now NASA and congress are trying to take MORE money from the hands of the American people. What about American families? Are they supposed to go hungry so that NASA can waste more money?
BN: Are you [beep] kidding me? Are you [beep] serious right now? [starts to stand up from table]
AR: And I think it’s time for a commercial break!
[video feed cuts off abruptly]
Huffington Post @HuffingtonPost
Fox News stands by comments made by Hinkson regarding pulling funding from Watney rescue mission huff.po/3oESg
Ash Collins @mustASHman09
dude, FUCK fox news, and FUCK the companies that keep in on air #BoycottFoxFunders #BringHimHome
this week we learned that if you insult mark watney, bill nye will come into your house and fuck. you. up.
Crest, Mercedes Benz join 4 other companies in pulling ads from Fox in wake of astronaut comments and decrease in sales cnn.co/lw2sGW
The Dark Lord @MrTomADildoLover
Never. Insult. Mark Watney. In front of. Me. #HarryPotter #BoycottFoxFunders #BringHimHome
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Skimm for January 14, 2036
REPEAT AFTER ME….
What to say when your friend doesn’t wear pink on Wednesday…
You can’t sit with us. Over the weekend, Fox News severed ties with frequent guest Ron Hinkson after initially defending his comments regarding leaving Mark Watney stranded on Mars. Last week, the network started losing major corporate sponsors after protesters, i.e., pretty much everyone, pledged to boycott any brands that advertised during Fox programming. The network has yet to apologize for the comments, but did issue a statement claiming that Hinkson is no longer affiliated with Fox News. Score one for Team Watney.