You can imagine the lede: "Today marks 40 years since the humankind first set foot on the moon, one of the most dramatic examples to date of just how badly the federal government mismanages everything it touches."
Of course, nobody would dream of reporting that story. Instead, the Apollo Project, which culminated in the 1969 moon landing, is universally viewed as having been one of the most significant and successful ventures our nation has ever undertaken. It was also initiated at the behest of President John F. Kennedy, and was the work of a federal agency, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). And it was extremely expensive, costing more than $150 billion dollars when adjusted for inflation, and employed "400,000 Americans and required the support of over 20,000 industrial firms and universities."
Today, Fox News headlined its moon landing coverage by declaring 1969 to have been "The Year that Changed America." And yet, at the same time, the conservative media is doing whatever it can to destroy the very notion that the federal government should play a role in reforming the American healthcare system – or a role in anything else, for that matter. Our government, we are told, is corrupt, wasteful, and incompetent. Government bureaucrats can't do anything right. And the sums of money they want to spend are unjustifiable, dooming us to suffer under a perpetual mountain of debt.
So, it begs the question: when will Fox News declare the Apollo Project to have been a pork barrel-ridden boondoggle? When will Neil Armstrong's first steps on the moon be seen not as a symbol of our country's ability to overcome all odds, but instead as the first steps on our long march towards dreaded socialism?
Here's a better question: when will the right-wing media admit that some of our greatest national achievements have been made possible by dedicated men and women working with and for our government?