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Sir Patrick Moore Has Gone Off His Rocker

By Keith Cowing
NASA Watch
May 10, 2007

Moore blames women for ‘banal’ TV, BBC

“British TV standards are deteriorating because the BBC is “run by women”, astronomer Sir Patrick Moore has said. The Sky at Night host also described female newsreaders as “jokey” and called for separate channels to cater for the needs of the different sexes. “I think it may eventually happen,” the 84-year-old told the Radio Times.”

Editor’s note: I got this bizzare set of emails from “David J Cook” – someone who lists himself as a FRAS (Fellow Royal Astronomical Society) and AMInstP (Associate Member of the Institute of Physics – UK). I have developed a rather thick skin over these years and don’t really take too much offense from things like this (calling me “uneducated, ignorant” – quite possibly true – but calling me a “racist” is totally uncalled for). As far as I am concerned, anyone who does not dispute or disagree with Moore’s despicable comments about women, is making a tacit endorsement of what he said.

From: David J Cook FRAS, AMInstP
Subject: Re: NASA Watch Feedback
Date: May 10, 2007 10:02:34 AM EDT
To: [email protected]
Reply-To: david@…..

Re your reply:

A typical and predictable response from an uneducated, ignorant and racist American:-

“Sorry, – feedback has been quite the opposite. I’d be embarrassed if I were from the UK. I see “FRAS” on your name. As such I’d be doubly embarrassed if I were you.”

– since you lack not only manners but also intelligence, you have resorted to abuse, the common reaction of people like you to others who are superior to them.

You are a disgrace to your country. Every American I know would be ashamed of you.

You spend your whole time denigrating competent people, while you yourself are a complete non-entity.


—– Original Message —–
From: “Keith L. Cowing”
To: “David J Cook FRAS, AMInstP”
Sent: Thursday, May 10, 2007 2:52 PM
Subject: Re: NASA Watch Feedback

On May 10, 2007, at 8:14 AM, David J Cook FRAS, AMInstP wrote:

Re your blog

You should moderate the tone of your posts.

COWING: Excuse me? The man is a misogynist. Stay tuned. I am inclined to post even more on this topic.

Sir Patrick Moore FRS, FRAS, OBE, CBE has contributed more than anyone else now living to modern astronomy, and the public awareness of it. His friends have included Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Clyde Tombaugh, and most of the Apollo, Gemini and Mercury astronauts, to name just a few.

COWING:I don’t care who his friends are – or if he even cured cancer – he said horrible, inexcusable things about women – and I do not agree with what he said.

It does your repuatation no good at all when you are disrespectful to public figures like him; the public see your posts as just another rant on a blog, not a scientific site.

COWING: Sorry, – feedback has been quite the opposite. I’d be embarrassed if I were from the UK. I see “FRAS” on your name. As such I’d be doubly embarrassed if I were you.

Comments? Send them to [email protected]. Your Comments thus far:

Keith, Patrick has been off his rocker for at least 25 years. He was a great supporter of spaceflight and astronomy education but always an extreme right-wing conservative, if I remember correctly he ran for political office as a candidate of his own personal right-wing party. So his misogyny is not a stunning surprise to me and I applaud you for condemning it. I met him 25 years ago when I was running my college astronomical society and got him to come give a talk. He was much taller than I expected! But even then we were aware of, and embarrassed by, his political beliefs.

– Jonathan McDowell

I suppose, then, Mr. Moore would like to see more shows like “Benny Hill”, which was produced by a man?

Keith: Sir Patrick is historically incorrect, not just politically incorrect

In a fun twist of irony, the TV shows that Sir Patrick Moore used to like but now he faults for becoming “PC – making women commanders, that kind of thing” were created only because of women’s leadership, and one began originally with a female character as second-in-command.

Sir Patrick Moore said to the BBC, “I used to watch Doctor Who and Star Trek, but they went PC – making women commanders, that kind of thing. I stopped watching.”

Sir Patrick obviously did not realize that he was being historically incorrect while also being politically incorrect.

Both of the TV shows he mentioned came about in the early 1960’s because of determined female producers and female studio executives who were willing to take risks that the men weren’t. Fans should appreciate the foresight and talents of Verity Lambert (for Doctor Who) and Lucille Ball (for Star Trek).

In the pilot episode of Star Trek, the second-in-command was a capable woman character, Majel Barrett, who was demoted to become Nurse Chapel in the series (she was also Gene Roddenberry’s wife). They wanted to show a woman in a leadership role, but that was considered too unrealistic for the times.

“Star Trek was rejected by MGM, Warner Brothers, and Columbia as being too expensive and unconventional. In 1962, Lucille Ball and Desilu Studios hired Gene Roddenberry as executive producer for a starting fee of $1,250 per episode plus 37.5% of the profits. Star Trek became one of television’s greatest successes, and Desilu and Roddenberry earned millions of dollars.” — from “Money Secrets of the Rich and Famous” by Michael Reynard, 1999

“[Lucille Ball’s] work running a studio … brought us such major television series as MISSION: IMPOSSIBLE and STAR TREK, Ball’s true legacy can be found in her understanding of the possibilities of television before it understood itself.” — PBS

“Verity Lambert OBE is a British television and film producer. She is best known as the founding producer of the science-fiction series Doctor Who, a programme which has become a part of British popular culture. Lambert was a pioneer woman in British television; when she was appointed to Doctor Who in 1963, she was the youngest and only female drama producer working at the BBC.” — Wikipedia

(While Wikipedia should be fact-checked, this info appears to be correct, based on my preliminary research and on other websites such as )

– from Andrea Schweitzer, Ph.D., Little Thompson Observatory

Keith, thank you for sticking up for women! – Andrea Schweitzer

NASA Watch founder, Explorers Club Fellow, ex-NASA, Away Teams, Journalist, Space & Astrobiology, Lapsed climber.