On takeoff day, television accomplished the very opposite of what NASA had planned for it. Television's immediacy was meant to involve us all in a pageant certifying NASA as a worthy beneficiary of continued and increasing funding. Instead, television revealed NASA's lack of control over the situation.
This year, Urban Outfitters sold a "vintage" Kent State sweatshirt tastefully splattered with red paint while Donald Sterling's racial comments cost him his NBA franchise. It's been a raucous year in the public arena, expressed perfectly by a parade of PR blunders that is as impressive in scope as it is in sheer absurdity.