On October 12, a new movie, First Man, will debut in theaters across the United States. Already it is highly anticipated, and some critics believe it will be a contender for a variety of Oscar nominations.
It received very positive reviews from attendees at the Venice Film Festival. Unfortunately, the much-ballyhooed movie is not historically accurate.
The film is about Neil Armstrong, the American astronaut who made history as the first man to step foot on the moon. The movie tells his incredible story but omits one key aspect of his moon landing on July 20, 1969. The movie does not show Armstrong firmly planting the American flag on the moon’s barren surface.
The moon landing occurred after a decade of tremendous spending and commitment by three successive presidential administrations, involving hundreds of thousands of Americans who worked tirelessly in the space program. The audacious vision was articulated on May 25, 1961 when United States President John F. Kennedy famously announced, “this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before the decade is out, of landing a man on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.”
This dream was realized eight years later in an event that captured the world’s attention when Armstrong made, “one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” According to Canadian actor Ryan Gosling, who portrays Armstrong in the movie, the American flag is omitted from the movie because the moon landing “transcended countries and borders.” While acknowledging that he may have “cognitive bias” because he is a Canadian, Gosling stated that the moon landing was not an American achievement, but “a human achievement.”
Certainly, the moon landing was an advancement for all of humanity; however, it was also an unmistakably American accomplishment. As noted by U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), “The American people paid for that mission, on rockets built by Americans, with American technology & carrying American astronauts. It wasn’t a UN mission.”
If the world had to wait for the United Nations to reach the moon, we might still be waiting. In fact, only one country has ever sent an astronaut to the moon, the United States. Senator Rubio claims the exclusion of the American flag is “total lunacy.” Clearly, he is right to be outraged by the politically correct nature of this movie. It is another example of Hollywood foisting its biased anti-American agenda on American audiences. Pretty soon, moviegoers will become exasperated at these tactics and will start boycotting the theaters. At that point, Hollywood will be in even deeper trouble than it is today.
If First Man was a science fiction movie there would be no problem. Instead, it is depicting an actual event and, thus, should be as historically accurate as possible. Omitting a key milestone such as Neil Armstrong and his fellow astronaut, Buzz Aldrin, planting the American flag on the moon is downright insulting and unforgivable.
Not only does First Man feature a Canadian in the lead role, but it is directed by a French-Canadian, so there was obviously not a proper appreciation for the fact that the moon landing was strictly an American achievement. In fact, Gosling claimed that Armstrong did not view himself as an “American hero.”
Whether he did or not, there is no mistaking that Neil Armstrong was certainly a major American hero, one of the biggest in our 242-year history as a nation. This was understood by President Barack Obama who called Armstrong, “among the greatest of American heroes.”
Before he died in 2012 at the age of 82, Armstrong elaborated on why the American flag was left on the moon surface. He said, “In the end, it was decided by Congress that this was a United States project. We were not going to make any territorial claim, but we were to let people know that we were here and put up a U.S. flag. My job was to get the flag there.”
Not only did he succeed in that job, but Armstrong and Aldrin, inspired generations of Americans to join the space program and “shoot for the stars.” Overall, American flags from six Apollo missions were left on the moon’s surface.
All the courageous astronauts involved in the Apollo missions were heroes and showed what amazing feats can be accomplished by a combination of American ingenuity, grit and perseverance. It a complete disgrace that an American movie refuses to recognize such an American triumph, but, instead, has sacrificed it on the altar of political correctness and globalism.
Jeff Crouere is a native New Orleanian and his award winning program, “Ringside Politics,” airs locally at 7:30 p.m. Fridays and at 10:00 p.m. Sundays on PBS affiliate WLAE-TV, Channel 32, and from 7-11 a.m. weekdays on WGSO 990-AM & www.Wgso.com. He is a political columnist, the author of America’s Last Chance and provides regular commentaries on the Jeff Crouere YouTube channel and on www.JeffCrouere.com. For more information, email him at [email protected]