Barack Obama

Barack Obama Attached Himself to Premiere of Cosmos, Says Neil de Grasse Tyson


a more enthusiastic consent

Earlier this year President Obama introduced the first episode of Cosmos, a Fox sequel/remake of the 1980 Carl Sagan PBS mini-series of the same name, hosted by astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson.

Whose idea was it to get the president involved? Tyson explains in an interview at Grantland's Hollywood Prospectus:

What was the process of getting Obama to introduce the show in the first episode?

That was their choice. We didn't ask them. We didn't have anything to say about it. They asked us, "Do you mind if we intro your show?" Can't say no to the president. So he did. He may have been riding the very high media attention that Cosmos had been getting on the ramp-up. Because it was airing in prime time on a network —

It was a good look for him.

Right. Because it was airing in prime time on a network, reporters that normally covered television entertainment and not television documentaries were tasked with covering Cosmos. It was on their beat, the Fox lineup on a Sunday night. So the media attention ended up reaching not only the traditional people that would talk about a documentary, but entertainment reporters. The geek blogosphere was abuzz, and also people who were curious, fans of the original series, and were curious what would happen for it being on Fox. What does it mean that Seth MacFarlane, who's best known for his fart jokes — what does it mean that he's executive producing? There were a lot of people who had some anxieties about that and were eager to learn what would unfold.

That same week, by the way, Obama — the White House — released its budget, which included a reduction in the science spending in NASA. So if you look at it politically, rather than gesturally, it's easy to think of that as a way for him to try to gain points back in the science community, immediately after dropping the science budget for NASA.

Can't say no to the president, even when he's injecting himself into something to score political points. A pro-tip for Tyson: Yes, you can. I imagine it'll become easier for many celebrities to say no when a Republican takes the White House again.

Via the Twitter feed of Instapundit

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  1. PHOTO OP!

  2. “nice documentary series you have there. Be a shame if something happened to it…”

  3. Droit du seigneur is a helluva drug.

    1. The thing is, historically, that’s a myth. Yet today, not as much.

  4. I grow increasingly disappointed in Tyson, who I liked when he first got into the science popularization business. He’s falling into the political trap.

    My advice to scientists who are serious about science–avoid politics. It’s like using the Ring.

    1. ^^^THIS^^^
      Tyson, Nye, Dawkins and many others whom I admire(d) for their skepticism and disagree with their statism.

      1. Just imagine applying the same skepticism you’re supposed to use in the practice of science to politics.

        1. I think you just found the missing best line to Lennon’s song!

      2. Dawkins?

        I know he is sort of a dick when it comes to his atheism…but i have not heard him really talk about politics.

        You got any examples?

        1. Not right offhand, but I do recall him being very pro Government funded education in a few of the things I have heard and read.

          1. Well yeah. I mean as a libertarian i don’t like it and a voucher system moving to full private would be nice…but in the US and Europe government paying for K-12 eduction is a pretty centrist position. And government funding of K-12 was baked into the states well before FDR and Wilson and the statist progressives took over.

            Maybe you are talking about College. IDK.

          2. Like most everyone else, Dawkins doesn’t think like an economist and can’t imagine how widespread education would exist without state sponsorship.

            Given how marginalized market types are in the public sphere, that’s to be expected even among brilliant writers who understand emergent, unplanned biological order even if they don’t recognize emergent social order.

        2. I’ve heard him say he is a political liberal. He definitely is on the left when it comes to politics.

          1. Jesus H. Christ commenting on Dawkins. I LOLed.

        3. He states in one of his documentaries that he wishes a socialist state, not verbatim but he does say i’d prefer socialism.

    2. Can’t say I didn’t warn you. Dyson is a leftist, statist stooge. His science has decayed with each episode.

      Sagan must be turning over in his grave.

      … Oh wait, his widow helped write this damned thing.

      1. Dyson is awesome

    3. I grow increasingly disappointed in Tyson, who I liked when he first got into the science popularization business.

      I never liked Tyson. Mainly because I can remember a ‘pro-intellectualism’ Obama.

    4. The funny thing about his show is that he constantly show where scientists in the minority have to fight for their ideas before they are accepted.

      And then covers global warming as if no one can question it. CONSENSUS!

  5. One douche got out-douched by another douche.

  6. Can’t say no to the president, even when he’s injecting himself into something to score political points. A pro-tip for Tyson: Yes, you can.

    Seriously. Last time I checked, I missed the “kiss the ring” clause in Article II.

    1. It’s that or get audited like a Republican.

    2. It’s the unwritten part of USAPATRIOT.

      And it’s “kiss the ass”.

    3. You can say no to the President in something like this, if you really want to. They did not really want to.

  7. Reminds me of when Michelle Obama presented the Best Picture Oscar a couple years ago. THE F*CK does she have to do with the movie industry?

    1. She was in Star Wars Episodes III, IV, V, and VI.

      1. +1 Wookie

  8. I wonder if Bill Nye can explain the science behind becoming an administration flunky for massive government intervention?

    1. Neil deGrasse Tyson is one as well when it comes to space exploration.

      When Virgin and other private space companies were big in the news he bitched and moaned about them stealing NASA’s thunder….and funding.

      1. Yes, he really pissed me off with that nonsense. Really, dude? Don’t you want humans in space? Because it certainly is not happening anytime soon through government action.

        NASA has been sending men to space for over 50 years. And they’ve sent humans outside of LEO around nine times, the last time being 42 years ago. Holy shit is that a bad record.

  9. The Big Bang is bullshit.

    1. Well, maybe, but it has more supporting evidence than the next bullshit theory, don’t you think?

      1. but it has more supporting evidence

        It also has exclusionary evidence that proves it wrong.

        The Big Bang is a positive not a matter of faith. A positive hypothesis can be proven wrong without replacing it.

        The least wrong theory is still wrong. And why isn’t “we don’t fucking know” on that hypothetical list of yours?

        Shit load more evidence in that box then the Big Bang.

        1. Well, Newtonian gravity was wrong in the sense that it was incomplete.

        2. It also has exclusionary evidence that proves it wrong.

          Yeah, if Yggdrasil doesn’t hold up the worlds, what prevents them from falling into the Ginnungagap?

          Norse Faith 1 – Atheists 0

    2. Yes, but it’s better than Two and a Half Men.

      1. Not what i mean..

        But yeah that show is bullshit. No way super smart dudes who look like the dudes on the show would have all that much trouble with women.

        The Woman is attractive I guess but come on…there are plenty of attractive women who are not full on idiot losers like she is.

        Also wouldn’t they be rich? as in not all living together cuz they have piles of money?

  10. Not sure what the surprise is here. This is the twitter presidency.

    And who can knock the success of it? Two terms, bitches, two terms. And Hillary/Biden’s looking strong.

    And who’s the college-degree’d guy doing the comments? I wanna see him in my office.

    1. Two terms. Two terms like. . .George W. Bush?

    2. *And Hillary/Biden’s looking strong.*

      Snort. Right.

      Hill’s going to be torpedoed by Benghazi and Biden is one spoon drop away from having no Froot Loops left.

  11. Can’t say no to the president.

    Watch me.

    1. I’ll watch you.

      I’ll watch you get raped analy by the IRS, NSA, FBI and any other agency that want a piece of Uranus.

  12. I didn’t see every new Cosmos episode but I did catch the global warming one. Yes, I was annoyed, but there was a scene where Tyson was standing on the bridge of the spaceship of the imagination, or whatever they call it, and it was right over an erupting Mt. Aetna. What a stunning visual. it was beautifully done, and on my big flat screen, it made for a spectacular scene. There are more than a few production high points on the series, including the intro.

    Despite what I may consider his personal failings, Tyson is a pleasant and engaging host, and I enjoyed a lot of the series.

    1. Definitely agree. He is a very good teacher and storyteller.

  13. These three look like utter lunatics. Bill Nye looks like a Batman villain circa 1966. Adam West is gonna burst into that room any minute.

  14. Correction: “can’t say no to the [Democrat] president.” In a sense he’s right even when his own party says no Obama weasels his way into forcing the outcome of a yes .

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