Skepticism

A HollyWOO Update

That’s it, I am convinced. Daytime television does make you stupid . . . or at least it makes the hosts stupid.

As if Oprah’s endless tirade of spiritual nonsense was not enough, now we have Whoopi Goldberg attempting to validate the moon landing hoax. Stating as evidence the fact that she is a fan of a conspiracy theory movie and even though she acknowledges that it is a fictional film, she says it still raises questions about the actual moon landing. Apparently she is also baffled by the fact that she can’t see the astronaut that shot the film footage of Apollo 11 because he didn’t wave into the camera. Barbara Walters does counter her with a half-hearted rhetorical attempt stating, “You don’t really doubt that the men landed on the moon.”

Come on Whoopi, at least learn to separate fact from fiction before you get up in front of millions of viewers. You owe us that much.

Amy Roth

Amy Davis Roth (aka Surly Amy) is a multimedia artist who resides in Los Angeles, California. She makes Surly-Ramics. She is the fearless leader of Mad Art Lab. Support her on Patreon. Follow her on twitter: @SurlyAmy or on Google+. Tip Jar is here.

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38 Comments

  1. Oh, Whoopi…

    Wouldn’t it be nice for The View to have Phil Plait on to explain some things? (Especially since the sole voice of reason, Barbara Walters, seems to think that Michael Collins was in the LEM/Ascent Stage…)

  2. You’d think after all those years she spent as a bartender aboard the Enter….. nevermind. Another case of someone with the spark of intelligence overreaching to try to be actually intelligent cause other could be intelligent people overreached, etc etc etc.

  3. I think maybe you’ve got the causation reversed. Instead of “daytime TV makes people stupid,” it’s more like “stupid people make daytime TV.” A few stupid people make the shows, and then millions of equally stupid people make them popular.

  4. Anyone who subscribes to the moon landing hoax theory obviously doesn’t understand basic logic. Before you even get to Phil Plait’s dissection (which is fantastic), there is a step where people mistake correlation for causation:

    Even if it could be shown beyond any doubt that the footage of the moon landing is fake, the most that can be claimed is that it is not the footage of the moon landing. The veracity of the event itself does not even factor into it.

  5. @MattR: Oooh, MattR, although I think that we are mostly of the same mind, I also think that you may have gone too far with the “basic logic”. Logic and human endeavors do not always go hand-in-hand. There are several potential (i.e., logical, but possibly woo-inspired) reasons that a government agency might publish fake evidence of a real event. To be perfectly clear, I think that moon landing deniers are not playing with a full deck. However, in the general, it seems that demonsterably faked evidence of a purported event is probably good evidence of the event not occurring.

    I would love to hear more on this…

  6. Re: Moon landing,

    As a follow-up, it has been my distinct privilege to inspect parts/materials either flown on space flight missions or intended for space flight missions, the one that gave me goose-bumps the entire time was a scanning electron microscope inspection of actual lunar regolith returned from an Apollo mission. It is unlike anything else I’ve ever examined (including some wonderful MMOD impact glassy fractures).

  7. The best argument against the hoax-believers that I’ve heard was something like “Sure, NASA and the US Gov’t faked the entire thing, and kept all several hundred thousand people ‘in’ on it, not just once, but six times! Over the span of three years of ‘landings!’ Duh!”

    To me, it seems like every single hoax-believer that I’ve come across thinks that Aldrin and Armstrong were the only ones, and that Apollo 12 through 17 didn’t even exist, or something. Most people usually shut up when you mention that there were other missions.

  8. @Amy: No, Amy, sadly I think that conspiracy theorists are like Biblical Literalists, there is a fundamental gap between a reasonable interpretation of evidence and a priori interpretation.

    (Love the avatar and quote, by the way [shameless flirting…])

  9. I don’t know, I think she’s just being funny. The woman started out as a comic, remember – she probably has a brain that pulls out the most absurd points possible to get a chuckle out of. I personally love the idea of an astronaut, during the most beautiful and awesome occasion of man’s first steps on the moon turning the camera around for a MySpace shot.

    There is a certain insane fun to conspiracy theories. Being that much in denial is almost an art.

    I’m just saying. ;)

  10. @Skulleigh:

    I would agree with you if she was doing a standup routine. In that context we (the audience) would know that we were expected to laugh and we would understand that she is joking and then maybe I would think her comments were appropriate. Perpetrating a conspiracy theory on national television with the underlying intention of discrediting the astronauts and the scientists involved in our space program is disrespectful and encourages a lack of critical thinking combined with an irrational paranoia. Not to mention the fact that she sends a message that women don’t understand science. If she was trying to be funny, she failed.

  11. I haven’t seen anything but the clip above, but I don’t see where she’s intentionally trying to discredit astronauts and scientists. Is there some further context I’m missing by not having seen the entire segment?

    I joke around a lot myself, I’d hate to think that someone would consider any levity about science is disrespectful. I’m just not seeing the same thing you guys are seeing.

  12. @Amy: Total reality fail. I thought that Whoopi’s “Around the world in 80 [bleep-bleeping] days” video was hilarious. But to cast her lot with the moon-landing-hoaxers is totally beyond the pale. I like Whoopi, but, to ignore the amazing achievements of the Apollo astronauts is an unforgivable slight in my book (Sister Act I or Sister Act II notwithstanding).

  13. Oh Whoopi, shame on you. It’s one thing to say “There are interesting conspiracy theories” and quite another to add “and this one has merit!”

    Bravo to Barbara Walters who managed to lay a Buzz Aldrin smackdown in one simple sentence.

  14. Facepalm.

    Why must people continue to shit on such a wonderful example of human achievement and perseverance, instead believing in a horrible web of lies and conspiracy from their own government? It’s really, really sad and makes me stabby.

    @Steve: I love that picture.

  15. Sorry about the late follow-up. Blame the time difference across the Pacific…

    @Finn McR: I agree that it would be more probable that the event were faked if the footage were faked. I’m stating only that it relies on other factors to make that determination; you cannot draw the conclusion just from the footage — therein lies the basic logic failure.

    @Amy: Phil Plait on any of these shows (Oprah, The View, …) would be wonderful beyond words (assuming he can get a word in edge-wise). It would be even better to see more shows like the documentaries Richard Dawkins does for BBC featuring any number of skeptical bloggers/personalities. “Bad Astronomy TV” FTW.

  16. i hate to admit actually watching this live on tv, but the part that really got to me was when they went around the table and said that if it were real why isn’t Buzz Aldrin talking about it all the time and boasting, WTF?!?! Sad how a Fox News girl (elizabeth), a person who believes that the Earth isn’t round (Sherri) and another who thinks the Moon landing was a hoax (Whoopi) are the people that some look to get advice from. sigh…

  17. Daytime TV? How about just TV! It all rots your brain and tries to make you so insecure that you’ll buy whatever just to be acceptable to the herd. “As Seen on TV” is the best, QVC even better! I consider QVC and TBN to be the other two comedy channels.

    If you brought a moon rock to her, she’d ask for the provenance. Whatcha gonna ya do, show her the video? The funny thing is that the folks I’ve met that don’t believe the moon landing are fervently religious. Of course the world isn’t round…everybody knows the dude took “Day 7” off and forgot to shape the place so here we are on a planet shaped like the bottom of a bowl. So much for intelligent design. If I.D. were real, we’d all have at least three arms; what fun!

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