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Media’s Space War Sensationalism Continued


I have a question… how long do you think it takes media companies to  live up to their sensationalist reputations and prove their critics right?

The answer is less than a week.

A few days actually.


Last week Dr. Joan Johnson-Freese and Theresa Hitchens argued in a piece at Breaking Defense that media companies sensationalist and gullible reporting on ‘space war’ is actually making it ever more probable that that’s exactly what will happen… their poor behavior in essence creates a self-fulfilling prophecy.

In the last two years, we’ve seen rising hysteria over a future war in space. Fanning the flames are not only dire assessments from the US military, but also breathless coverage from a cooperative and credulous press. This reporting doesn’t only muddy public debate over whether we really need expensive systems. It could also become a self-fulfilling prophecy. The irony is that nothing makes the currently slim possibility of war in space more likely than fearmongering over the threat of war in space.



Well fast forward a few days and you’ll find an article that talks exactly in the manner that Dr. Joan Johnson-Freese and Theresa Hitchens were describing…


The white paper says that China is committed to the peaceful use of space and opposes a space arms race.

Jones disagrees. He says China continues to develop its military space program.

“It’s not accurate at all because China has one of the world’s most advanced military space programs. They use space flight for most aspects of their military—communication, surveillance, weather forecasting. But one of the rising trends in China is the fact that they have a very aggressive development program for anti-satellite weapons. They’ve been able to hit satellites in low orbits for quite some time.”

Jones says China has the ability to attack satellites in geostationary orbit or ones that are in a lower Earth orbit.

That means, “they can probably try to knock out America’s GPS satellites in the event of a war,” says Jones.


*bolding my own


Kind of lends a lot of credence to their arguments when the article reads like this…

*China is working on their own scientific exploration of space*

*China specifically states their peaceful intent*

*random guy gets quoted, turns article into a play on people’s fear, leaves out context, death and destruction*


We went from some pretty straightforward science to war and fear in 5 seconds flat. That’s pretty crappy if you ask me. And really… it’s not hard to see how people lose trust in “the media” when so many dumbass, war promoting, narratives spew out of their offices.

One thought on “Media’s Space War Sensationalism Continued”

  1. i just realized the authors literally described it as a self fulfilling prophecy… if i weren’t my own editor i’d be embarrassed right now… but i am so who cares #writing101

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