It was a really great thing that SpaceX got its CRS-5 mission on course toward ISS this morning.
It was tremendously exciting to see them trying for the first time in human history to fly the first stage booster back to the ground and land it on a barge so that it could be reused, potentially cutting the cost of space launches by as much as 70%. The attempt, which occurred after the first stage had successfully sent the Dragon and the second stage toward a perfect orbit, was only partially successful, with the first stage landing on the barge (an ASTONISHING feat in and of itself!!) but landing too hard.
Then I saw this:
If you saw this headline and didn’t already know that the launch had been 100% successful in performing its primary mission (launching Dragon to dock with ISS tomorrow night), what would you think?
So I did this:
A few thoughts that go beyond 140 characters:
My beef is not with Alan Boyle, the reporter who wrote the article. I’m pissed with the mouth-breathing moron who wrote the headline and the editor(s) who let them get away with this shit. The article itself (read it in full here) is excellent, leading with the fact that the Falcon 9 launched successfully and executed its primary mission flawlessly. It gives an excellent layman’s overview of what was being attempted in the attempt to recover the first stage, how hard it would be, what the benefits are, and what we currently know about what happened and what went wrong.
Alan Boyle’s one of the good guys and he really doesn’t deserve to have his accurate and well-written article corrupted by one of the worst bullshit headlines ever written.
Look around the web at the other news services. All of the other American networks (yeah, even Fox) were able to do so much better, not to mention the websites of the major newspapers as well as the foreign news agencies such as BBC and Reuters. It really wasn’t that hard to write an accurate yet still interesting headline. Therefore, it appears that screwing up this badly and looking this ignorant was a choice made by NBC News.
Huntley, Brinkley, and Garret Utley must be spinning in their graves. (Google them.)
What’s really amazing to me is that the headline is still up after fifteen hours (and counting) without any change, correction, adjustment, modification — OR APOLOGY for dropping the ball so badly!
I thought we weren’t supposed to read the comments that follow online articles because of the mindless drivel that’s usually there. Now we have to watch out at the other end as well…
Hey, NBC News, you need someone new to be writing your headlines. Perhaps someone who actually reads the articles — someone capable of comprehending them might be a bonus. Let me know where to send my resume, I couldn’t be any worse than the person who did this.
So… Would you like me to stop beating around the bush and tell you how I really feel about this?