“ Nothing can do on forever, but nothing can go on for fourteen or fifteen years either and nothing can go on for three hundred shows, so I don’t know. ”
This TV show that we just gave you was extraordinarily entertaining, and I really hope that the legacy that it leaves behind is not one that shows war as glorious, because there’s nothing more dangerous than a democracy that thinks this is a glorious thing to do.
War is ugly and it’s dangerous, and in this world the way we are discussed on the Arab street, it feeds and fuels their hatred and their desire to kill themselves to take out Americans. It’s a dangerous thing to propagate.”
December 24, 1968: The Apollo 8 Genesis reading.
“‘We are now approaching lunar sunrise and, for all the people back on Earth, the crew of Apollo 8 has a message that we would like to send to you.
In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.’
‘And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.’
‘And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.
And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas – and God bless all of you, all of you on the good Earth.’”
At the time, the Christmas Eve Apollo 8 Genesis reading was the most-watched television broadcast ever. The broadcast itself won an Emmy, while the crew of Apollo 8 were chosen by TIME as its “Men of the Year”. Bill Anders, the crewman who had snapped “Earthrise”, described the reading as
“not so much a religious reading, but more of a significant statement, that not just Christians and Jews would understand, but that all people, Buddhist, Hindu or atheist would react to in a deep and moving way to help them remember this event of exploration.”
“ I realized, of all the science fiction writers who ever wrote about going to the Moon, I don’t believe any of them ever dreamed about the world watching it on television. Every place I go, everybody I see, meet—even people who were children, tiny babies at the time—watched Neil put his first step on the Moon; the whole world participated. ”
“ The media today is heavily into self-censorship. They do not pursue stories that they do not believe will be popular with their readers or viewers, particularly television. Television is about offending the fewest, because it’s about filling the seats. In television it’s necessary to remember that the product is not the program, the product is the audience, and the consumer is the advertiser. ”
Photo credit: Cecil Stoughton.
Released into the public domain.
“ I say to people, you know, “the Internet is not a good way to get news,” because we see headlines that we don’t click on, and then blablabla, and people say, well, why don’t you watch the news on TV? And I’m like, “I would love to, just where is it?”. ”
October 20, 2010.