Over the past few hours, the Twitterdom—if that term can be used—has lit up with tweets from @nasawatch, @keithcowing, and friends disparaging AmericaSpace and bringing into question my honesty. What sin did AmericaSpace—really I—commit to warrant such treatment? We didn’t publish a couple of press releases. I’m not joking.
When we got word on Monday that NASA’s Deputy Administrator was to announce her resignation the next day, I worked with my sources into the night and then throughout the morning to produce a tough, but I (obviously) think balanced, article on Ms. Garver’s controversial tenure at NASA. But I made an error—I forgot to link to the NASA Administrator’s press release, or pressers in media-speak, on Ms. Garver’s departure from the space agency. That error has been corrected. Others felt that pressers about Ms. Garver’s departure from Representative Fattah, Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science as well as one from the Commercial Space Federation, should also have been included. So why didn’t I? Well, that goes to the site’s history. It most certainly did not reflect any disrespect on my part of Ms. Garver. And not to jump ahead, but the press releases from Appropriations CSJ Subcommittee Ranking Member Fattah and CSF are at the bottom of this post. It’s OK if you want to jump there; I don’t mind. Now on to why AmericaSpace doesn’t do plain vanilla pressers.
When I started AmericaSpace in late 2005, it was to produce pieces on technical aerospace issues, yet written in a layperson’s terms. But getting content was difficult and at some sad point AmericaSpace became a soapbox—more or less—for my views. As hard as it may be for some to believe, I got tired of hearing—really reading—myself. So to fill in the times when I had no content of my own, I started posting pressers. A long presser can hide a multitude of lack-of-content sins.
Then Jason Rhian came aboard and we started working with writers, photographers, and videographers to bring to the site what he and I both felt the readers should have—original content. We made a very deliberate decision to stop posting pressers as is, unless they were especially newsworthy, and we did so for two main reasons.
First, pressers crowded out the content we were paying people to generate, which seemed silly. And a lot of pressers meant that our readers had to wade through them while also trying to read a great historical piece by Ben Evans, view a pithy op-ed by Jason, or see Alan Walters’ stunning imagery. That seemed downright wrong. For some sites, these reasons may not have been a big deal. For us here, we were not going to make that compromise to the AmericaSpace we both wanted to build.
Today, all of us here at AmericaSpace work hard to bring you original content, and we are proud of the news, historical pieces, analyses, op-eds, images, and videos that are produced on AmericaSpace. Occasionally we will post a presser. But normally that is from a site with which we are working or for something that is especially newsworthy. Congressman announces that he nightly wears pink slippers and a powder blue tutu while singing “I’m a lumber jack, and that’s OK … ” might qualify as newsworthy. Congressman says goodbye to someone who is leaving office yet will still be on the D.C. social circuit seems much less so. Apparently, this makes me a very dishonest person. Who knew?
Now back to the pressers desired by some. First is Ranking Member Fattah’s and then the Commercial Space Federation. I leave it to our readers to determine for themselves how “newsworthy” either is. Without further adieu …
If you want to post ever more pressers about NASA’s Deputy Administrator’s exit, just email them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll add them to this post. Please don’t post them as comments, unless you have some analysis, add some context, something…and if that’s too much, then you’re free to post them in the comments section here. Otherwise, you’ll be asked to leave, but nicely.
Congressman Fattah Statement on the Departure of NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver
Congressman Chaka Fattah, Ranking Member on the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and related agencies, which includes NASA, released the following statement on the announced departure of NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver:
“NASA is losing an invaluable leader today. In her role as NASA Deputy Administrator, Lori Garver has been an unrivaled champion and defender of space exploration, guiding and implementing the Commercial Crew program, the re-establishment of the Space Technology Mission Directorate, and so many more of the Administration’s space priorities.
“Lori and I share a passion for space technology and I’ve had the honor and pleasure of partnering with her on several cutting-edge space initiatives. She is a true visionary who inspires those who work around her, and she leaves NASA a stronger, more efficient, and more innovative agency. I commend her longstanding dedication to advancing and strengthening NASA’s mission, and ensuring the United States continues to be a world leader in space exploration. I have no doubt that Lori will continue to be a friend to the space community.”
CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria Statement on Lori Garver’s Departure from NASA
by Sbandla on AUGUST 6, 2013
“Throughout her years of service and leadership at NASA, Lori Garver has been a stalwart champion of commercial space and of the public-private partnerships that have begun to change the way the Agency does business,” said CSF President Michael Lopez-Alegria. “The innovations she promoted will serve the Agency well as it navigates a period of change and challenge. We will miss Lori in the space community and wish her the best as she sets a new course for herself. I know she will continue to be a leader and role model in all of her future endeavors.”
Peter Diamandis’ Statement on Lori Garver’s Departure from NASA:
Lori has been one of the most important forces for supporting commercial space during the past decade. Her leadership has been critical to the entire commercial spaceflight industry. Her impact will be felt for decades to come.
Elon Musk’s Statement on Lori Garver’s Departure from NASA:
“Lori made a real difference to the future of spaceflight. Most people put their career first, so they play politics and pander to the vested interests. But there are some who truly care about humanity’s future in space and will do the right thing in the face of immense opposition. We are fortunate to have several such people in NASA senior leadership and Lori was one of them.”
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