September 2, 2018

I’ve written before about how, growing up in the ‘60s, my heroes were the original NASA astronauts.  I was glued to the TV for every launch, splashdown and press conference, and I knew their names and stats the way other kids knew baseball players.  For me and millions of other kids, the words from the original “Star Trek” series, “To boldly go where no man has gone before,” weren’t some cheesy TV quote.  They raised goosebumps, because for the first time in the history of mankind, there were men actually living among us who were risking their lives to go into space, “where no man has gone before.”  And when Neil Armstrong made that “giant leap for mankind” by stepping on the moon and planting the American flag, it was a moment when all Americans watched in awe, filled with pride and patriotism to be part of the only nation on Earth that could have accomplished this incredible feat. 

So naturally, I was looking forward to seeing “First Man,” a new movie about Neil Armstrong starring Canadian-born actor Ryan Gosling – until I heard some news this week that’s soured me on the whole idea.  According to the Daily Telegraph, the filmmakers deliberately left out the most iconic moment of that historic event: the planting of the American flag on the surface of the moon.  Why?  I’ll let Gosling explain:

Gosling said they didn’t show the planting of the American flag because this accomplishment “transcended countries and borders…I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement (and) that’s how we chose to view it.  I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible. Bottom of Form He was reminding everyone that he was just the tip of the iceberg — and that’s not just to be humble, that’s also true.  So I don’t think that Neil viewed himself as an American hero. From my interviews with his family and people that knew him, it was quite the opposite. And we wanted the film to reflect Neil.”

All things considered, I guess we’re lucky they didn’t show him planting the UN flag.

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Over the years, I’ve had to watch leftist academics mislead young Americans with all sorts of historic revisionism to make America look bad, from vilifying Columbus and the Founders to accusing American soldiers of being war criminals.  I’ve even watched Hollywood turn Captain America into a guy who doesn’t like America, and Superman into an oppressed immigrant who no longer fights for “truth, justice and the American way.”  But as long as I am still around, I will not let them rewrite, revise or politicize history I actually lived through.

These are the facts:  the moon landing was the result of a “space race” kicked off by concerns that the Russians were leaping ahead of us when they successfully launched the Sputnik satellite.  That “space race” wasn’t between the entire globe and Jupiter or Mars.  It was between Russia and the United States of America, and America won. In 1961, President John F. Kennedy made the bold, many said impossible, vow that America would put a man on the moon before the end of the decade.  And Americans fulfilled their fallen leader’s vision, in July, 1969, with five months to spare.   

All those other people Gosling referred to, who made the mission possible?  Americans.  NASA stands for “National Aeronautics and Space Administration.”  “National” refers to a nation, and that nation is the United States of America.  NASA was signed into existence by American President Dwight Eisenhower as part of the US Government in 1958.  All of the brave astronauts who risked, and gave, their lives to achieve Kennedy’s vision?  Americans, every one.  

“But what about all the German scientists who contributed?”  You mean the ones who became American citizens first?   And remember “Hidden Figures,” the book and movie about the black female mathematicians at NASA?  All African-Americans.   I can’t resist asking: Why are these Hollywood liberals trying to downplay JFK’s legacy and deny credit to immigrants and black women?  Why all the hate and bigotry? 

And as long as we’re talking about immigrants who contributed to NASA, note that they had to leave their homelands and come here because America was the only country where something like this could happen.  That’s partly because we are the descendants of the immigrants from all those other nations who had the guts to say, “There must be someplace better, and I’ll venture out into the unknown and risk my life to find it.”  Is it any wonder why, with that attitude in our DNA, we are the first nation to plant its flag on the moon, and, to this day, still the only nation to do so?

And let’s also clear up that “Neil Armstrong didn’t think of himself as an American hero” business.  The emphasis on that sentence should be on the word “hero,” not “American.”  Like most real heroes, he was a humble man who just thought he was doing his duty.  But I know he was certainly a hero, because he, and all the other astronauts, were my heroes.  I’m certain he thought of himself as a proud American.  

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To prove it, another genuine American space race hero who should know the truth, Gen. Chuck Yeager, responded on Twitter (@GenChuckYeager): “That's not the Neil Armstrong I knew…More Hollywood make-believe.”

In a bad sign for the movie’s prospects, Internet memes ridiculing its PC lunar-cy are already appearing online.  In one, an astronaut on the moon is shown taking a knee in front of the flag, NFL-style, with the caption, “Kneel Armstrong.”   

Another purports to show a preview of the version of the movie that will be released in China, showing the Chinese flag being planted on the moon. 

If all this hasn’t convinced the makers of this movie that they made one giant leap of logic and planted their faces on the moon’s surface, then let me explain it in terms they might better understand:

Imagine you win an Oscar, and someone who had nothing to do with it comes up out of the audience, takes credit and accepts it.  Now, multiply the importance of that honor by about 200 trillion times.


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Comments 1-14 of 14

  • Robert Easley

    09/18/2018 06:15 PM

    I worked with some of our Astronauts, and can tell you from personal knowledge they were proud of their contributions to the United States of America's efforts to blaze new trails into our universe. I knew Al Shepard... the first American into space, I knew Ed White... the first American to walk in space and one of the three hero's who died in the Apollo 1 capsule fire. I also had the unfortunate experience of being one of only two people to witness the death of Theodore Cordy Freeman... the first American Astronaut to die while in NASA service. I deeply admired all of these men who represented the most incredible mission in the history of mankind, and felt honored to have worked in support of their efforts to put human beiings on the moon... FIRST, and still the only country to have done so.
    It is infuriating that Hollywood thinks they know the true heart of the American Astronauts and those nearly half a million men and women who worked 'behind the scenes' to put that American flag on the moon.
    The culprits who made this lame attempt to tell the story of Neil Armstrong need to re-edit the film to include the iconic moment of American's planting and saluting the flag of the nation that led the people of planet Earth to first go beyond the horizon to those places "where no man has gone before". If they do not, then this rag of a story should be shunned by all patriotic Americans.

  • Dorothy Gavin

    09/06/2018 12:19 PM

    When America worked for years to land a man on the moon, not to mention we were in a race with Russia, the people both the astronauts and the behind the scene workers , they must have burst at the seams to know they all played a part. Do you think Russia would have left their flag go unnoticed? Not in a million years but I guess Hollywood was much like Obama, you did not do it , you did not make it! Well send someone up there to collect your unwatched award hollywood because you did not do it, you did not make it, someone else wrote it and told you exactly what to do. You are a bunch of sheep and when you are fleeced you cannot tell one leftist from another. I unlike many on the left am one proud citizen of the United States of America and our Flag is the strongest thing your movie had and you lost it along with most of your viewers. Would not catch me watching trash movies anymore then I watch trash TV or fake News. Fox the only true news channel!

  • Elizabeth Honaker

    09/03/2018 01:35 PM

    Let me get this straight: MANKIND put Armstrong and others on the moon? Since WHEN??? I remember a German scientist or two helping us with rockets, but I don't remember any Muslim scientists from Yemen, or Mongolian technicians, or even Venezuelan gas pumpers!!! Where did this new "interpretation" coming from? Hollywood's imagination!! No thanks. I lived through the REAL era!!

  • Jack Tomey

    09/03/2018 01:07 PM

    On the NASA website, they have plenty of videos and photographs of Apollo 11. Why watch a movie when you can see the real thing - - it is a lot more exciting to see reality.

  • Sandy Taylor

    09/03/2018 06:26 AM

    It sickens me that Americans look to Hollywood (or as one evangelist called it, Hellywood), as their moral compass. What on earth?! who do they think they are anyway??? These people, except for a scant handful of them, are ungodly, immoral, flaky, "out there," spiritually confused and lost people. I'm tired of hearing celebrities say, "That's not who we are." I want to yell, "You don't have a clue who I am!" I don't watch NFL games, but if I had ever been a fan, I would've stopped immediately upon seeing coaches and sponsors allow the whole "taking a knee" thing. College, high school, and middle school football is more fun to watch anyway! Movies at the box office are over-priced and disappointing for the most part. I'd rather do something that allows me to talk to my family anyway. We should stop giving these people our attention. When the money stops, that would get their attention!

  • Robert Burtron, Jr, MD

    09/03/2018 12:08 AM

    Sputnik: Good News...! Sputnik was NOT "way ahead of us". You gotta know Ike (sneaky bugger that he was). He was waiting for Sputnik to go, "beep, beep, beep!" Because Ike knew if USA did it first the whole world would come down his head (among others) with all kinds of explanations required, but let the Russians go first and Ike would have clear sailing the rest of the way.. Not that Vanguard didn't have its own issues, but Ike took a heap of guff from the (second rate) media for not being "first"which was his plan anyway. You gotta love the guy (which I did with many others). Humble as HE was, Ike owned Europe (in THEIR opinion) and we beneiftted walking around Europe in uniform when Ike was President. Mike, you shoulda tried it.

  • phil long

    09/02/2018 09:16 PM

    i haven't seen the movie, so i can't authoritatively comment on its attitude toward the u.s., but given that it was made by hollywood, i would certainly not be surprised were it to be rabidly anti-american. usually, however, leftists tend to be more circumspect, and are far more devious in their attacks; thus, i suspect that this was accidentally leaked, as leaving out the flag plant would have been just one of many subtle subliminal attacks on the u.s. the real trick will be in picking out the ones that *haven't* been leaked yet.

  • Betty Franklin

    09/02/2018 05:50 PM

    The way Hollywood is moving is so disturbing to me. What do people have against the American Flag? It is a symbol of patriotism. God Bless America again!

  • Marilynn Hoyt

    09/02/2018 05:37 PM

    Those are not reasons that he came up with, they are excuses. Heaven forbid they actually make a movie that shows the greatness of the very country that has allowed them to have what they do!!!

  • Betty Franklin

    09/02/2018 05:09 PM

    You're absolutely right, Mr. Huckabee. It's the rewashing of history to make American accomplishments non-existent. I am sure that while Neil Armstrong might have been humble about being a hero, he was a proud American. Shame on the filmmakers.

  • Scerita A. Dugas

    09/02/2018 04:03 PM

    Mike, thanks for being a force for reasoned information and always espousing conservative values. I love your show from outside Nashville, I was both on Saturday and Sunday. I love your commentary too. It is always on point and so insightful.
    Thank you. Keep up the good work.

  • Mike Brannick

    09/02/2018 02:17 PM

    Like you I carefully followed the Mercury Astronauts. As a matter of fact, I lived in Satellite Beach, FL from 1962-64. They had two manned launches during that period and on those days the school had fire drills just before the launches and we stood outside and watched them. That was a thrill!

  • Mike Smith

    09/02/2018 11:42 AM

    Hi Mike,
    It sounds like it's a nice part of an incomplete movie. Maybe, if they edit the film to include that all-important part of Mr Armstrong's mission, I'll take the time to see it. As interesting as he and his life evidently were, the story isn't fully told without that symbolism. Neil Armstrong obviously believed it was important, or why would they have done it? By leaving it out of the movie they ARE indeed making their own statement which diminishes our country's achievements.

    We've got so much in our history that we wish didn't happen. When storytellers leave out the very important pieces that we CAN be so proud of, it hurts us.

    Maybe, just maybe, this action wasn't a conscious omission. Considering the climate and the source, it's not likely to be accidental but it's so VERY easy to believe to be intentional.

  • Stephen Russell

    09/02/2018 09:19 AM

    boycott the movie & later DVD sales alone do the Fonda number on this Gosling bit
    & all ex Apollo techs & crews to Mission should sue Gosling alone for stance.