Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Houston, We Have a Problem

It is always interesting to see how official government websites handle scandals and the necessary media announcements and public disclosures that are created by an embarrassing event. NASA has released a curt statement on their website about the legal ramifications of the crazed nine hundred mile odyssey of astronaut Lisa Nowak, a.k.a. "RoboChick," to kidnap and possibly harm a romantic rival for the attentions of another astronaut. The search engine on the NASA website, however, leads the visitor to a variety of information about Nowak, from her pre-flight interview to the menu for her meals on-board the space shuttle. Furthermore, the City of Orlando's Police Department has a much more detailed account of Nowak's attack on Colleen Shipman, which includes an affidavit from the victim and a mug shot of the accused. (To save this piece of digital ephemera for posterity, I have added a Photoshopped viral image that my sister Janie sent me via e-mail. It's interesting to contemplate how a one-time figure of female intellectual and physical power gets infantilized in this image.)

The City of San Francisco, in contrast, seems to be staying mum and has not even posted the mea culpa of Mayor Gavin Newsom, which was released to the news media, in which he confessed to a problem with alcoholism for which he was pursuing treatment. (A previous statement -- also housed offshore of official web territory and the electronic public record -- disclosed an affair with the wife of a close aide.) Ironically, the mayor's official website focuses on juicy issues like "Old-Style, Inefficient Fluorescent Light Tubes In San Francisco Commercial Buildings."

Update: And, of course, now there is a Flash webtoon commemorating the current event at Jealous Astronaut.

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