For this week’s blog, I watched a political skit on Saturday Night Live called “NASA shutdown cold open” joking on the influence of the government shutdown. The video is about two astronauts who were performing a task in space suddenly detached from the satellite, very distressed and contacted NASA for help but only found two custodians left in the building because of the government shutdown. In the skit, they were sarcastically reflecting the government shutdown and the result of government shutdown to the influence of NASA. Therefore, I researched some news articles related to the impact of the government shutdown on NASA.
At first, I thought the SNL skit way over exaggerated the impact of government shutdown to NASA. After reading the news on Yahoo.com named “NASA assessing impact on government shutdown”, I learned more details about how the government shutdown affected NASA and created a “NASA shutdown”. From the news article, the 16-day government shutdown sent “97 percent of NASA’s 18,000-member workforce” back home. There will be a lot of catch up work to do from simple activity to the complex one after the reopening of NASA. However, despite the furlough of many employees back home, NASA still kept a skeleton crew around to “protect the lives of the astronauts aboard the International Space Station and safeguard currently operating scientific spacecraft”.
The NBC news was framed on NASA reopening and getting back online again. NASA.gov is accessible now. NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston was back on Twitter and other NASA-run Twitter accounts are back to tweet followers updating what they have done since the government shutdown. One tweet from officials working with NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (@LRO_NASA) was interesting. It is said that “The government may have been shut down, but I continued to orbit the moon and gather great data!”
As the book states, entertainment such as the “late-night talk shows and even comedy shows like Saturday Night Live [are] now becoming the norm” (p.465). Political candidates have found those shows helping them create a down-to-earth image while free advertising for themselves. The Public also consumes political news related entertainment. Therefore, media and politics are tightly connected and their relationship will be further strengthened with the development of media and the growth of public awareness and exposure of media consumption.
The research for the extra information definitely makes me want to read news more often. It’s worthwhile to find the actual news that behind the satires of the shows and it helped me become informed through entertainment. On the other hand, I could be better enjoying those entertainment shows with more reading of the news because I found some shows on SNL that I could not understand at all because of zilch news background information. To conclude, the SNL skit joking on NASA shutdown was a very entertaining skit based on the news of the government shutdown. Shows like SNL that make use of news and politics will continue to serve as an entertainment for media consumers who need to keep informed as well as entertained.