AstronautLisa Marie Nowak
wore a diaper out to Florida and a cloth coat over her head when she returned to Houston this week. Space flights returning to Earth haven't received as much coverage as her hometown re-entry Wednesday morning.
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TV, radio, and daily print reporters were sent to the homes of Nowak and the object of her affections, fellow astronaut William Oefelein, for hours on end. This is mind-numbing duty for anyone, but the broadcast reporters have it the worst. They not only have to stand (sit, lie down) there, but they have to file a report, even if nothing is happening — unlike print reporters who can just call it a day without writing about it.
So it happened that Wednesday night we had an account like this on KTRH radio where the news anchors turned to the reporter at the Oefelein residence to get his report that well nothing was going on, that he hadn't seen any people around, that he was staring at a building and that he was thinking about asking neighbors if they'd ever seen Novak around there. As if this astronaut doesn't have enough trouble.
Novak wasn't talking either so on television the coverage was reduced to playing her hidden face while she walked from the plane in the company of NASA officials and the arrival at her house of a car with someone bent over in the back seat. Look again, everyone, see if you can't see someone hunched over in the back seat. We'll play it three more times just in case you didn't catch it because God knows we have nothing new to say.