The centenary of an idiocy

One hundred years ago today the New York Times published an editorial mocking American rocket pioneer, John Goddard. With a cheap ad hominem attack, they feigned incredulity that the Smithsonian would support Goddard’s research:

If they had called Einstein, he could have explained to them that F=ma.

The mockery continued and stretched to include Jules Verne:

All this strikes me as worth remembering because last year, on the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11, the Times produced similarly dismal coverage of that sublime mission. They took one of our greatest accomplishments and portrayed it as a vast moral failing. It was like something out of Nietzsche’s Genealogy; in its way, it was a masterful inversion of values. Competency became bigotry, purpose became bias, accomplishment became failure. It is hopeful and healthy to remind ourselves that some day it will be obvious that this perspective was all oikophobia, or at best, ressentiment.


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