CNN’s Stelter Decries Private Space Flight As Immoral Because Climate Change

CNN’s Stelter Decries Private Space Flight As Immoral Because Climate Change
Climate Change Dispatch /
stelter space flightSunday saw another step for mankind into space as billionaire Richard Branson and his company Virgin Galactic made their maiden space tourism voyage successfully.

But CNN media correspondent Brian Stelter was channeling Ebenezer Scrooge during Sunday’s Reliable Sources as he bah humbugged the event and decried it as immoral because of climate change and the evils of capitalism.

After putting down Virgin Galactic for creating nothing more than an “expensive commercial,” the possibly jealous Stelter parroted a Politico editor to deride Branson and make it about economic inequality and climate change:

“Have to wonder, in the future, billionaires taking vanity tours of space while the climate overheats will be one of those moments the historians write about.”

Eventually, Stelter questioned the morality of the historic space flight and allowing private companies to go into space because of climate change:

On Friday, in Death Valley, California, it was 130 degrees, the highest temperature ever. Saturday, same thing. Today, it might, again, set a record for the highest temperature on the planet.

Is it moral, is it ethical to be launching rockets and flying off to space and spending all this money and burning all this fuel in an age of climate crisis?

He was speaking with CNN aerospace analyst Miles O’Brien who shot down his smears.

“Well, I don’t think it’s mutually exclusive, Brian. I think we can afford to continue to push our frontier, but we still have to fix our own spaceship here first and concurrently,” he said, while also noting that humanity needed to progress into becoming a spacefaring civilization to survive extremely long term.

Earlier in the show, O’Brien put Stelter in his place by arguing that it was better to have the billionaires throw money at private space flight for the masses because “NASA was never going to do this for us”:

So, it’s billionaires now. Who else was going to do it? NASA was never going to do this for us, so let’s let the billionaires spend their money, have a little fun, and as time goes on and we do this more, we hope the price will go down. We went from the Ford Trimotor in the 20s to the Airbus A-380s and we all fly all over the world. Let’s hope that that’s the course we’re headed on and you and I, Brian, will get a chance to fly.

The petty sniping at Branson and the other billionaires funding private space flight (Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk) was a running theme of the show.

Stelter reduced the completion for safe and affordable space flight to a personal competition between the “mega-rich.”

“So, Teddy [Schleifer], is that the billionaire beat in a nutshell, these guys who can afford to do anything just trying to leapfrog each other?”

Schleifer was a so-called “billionaire beat” reporter who told Stelter that the media needed to keep a close eye on these people because capitalism is evil:

We’ve to put it in the broader context here which is the same forces that create the winners of capitalism also create a lot of inequality. And how do billionaires take their winnings from capitalism and try to combat inequality, try to do amazing things for humanity? That’s the tension that I think newsrooms need to dive into even more.

“These are people with enormous influence in society. It’s a beat about power, about inequality, about democracy,” he warned.

The other reporter to put Stelter in his place was former Fox News reporter turned CNN space correspondent Kristin Fisher, who credited the billionaires with bringing back American space flight.

Adding: “And I know some people are just tired of hearing about these billionaires, these rich people, they love these rockets, they love going into space. They’re tired of the billionaires in space. But I can’t stress this enough, this is ultimately about opening up space to everyone.”

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