Great speech. Lousy bedside manner.

The late William Safire drafted a speech for President Nixon to read in case the Apollo 11 Astronauts became stranded on the moon. It’s a great speech.

Truly great.

But in Safire’s directive to the President at the end of the speech, he wrote about widows-to-be and described a ceremony that was to take place “After the President’s statement, at the point when NASA ends communication with the men.”

Does this mean that NASA was planning on cutting off communication with Armstrong and Aldrin prior to their death? Mission Control decided that they couldn’t stay on the line while our first extraterrestrial astronauts died?

“Good luck with the asphyxiation, men. Over and out.”

Strikes me as a tad insensitive.