My pal Phil Plait takes on Katie Couric for her boneheaded criticism of NASA on the CBS Evening News.

First, Ms. Couric:

NASA’s requested budget for 2007 is nearly 17 billion dollars. There are some who argue that money would be better spent on solid ground for medical research, social programs, and in finding solutions to poverty, hunger, and homelessnees… I can’t help but wonder what all the money could do for people right here on planet Earth.

Part of Phil’s response:

The money spent on space has direct results here on Earth as well. The irony is that the ability of Katie to appear to millions of people (well, fewer every day according to her ratings — oh, snap!) is due to the space program. Or does the term “satellite TV” mean something I’m missing? Maybe she could ask whoever the weatherman is on her show if (s)he thinks the space program is a waste of money. Does she think about all the instruments and the designs of the planes she flies on which owe their existence to the first “A” in NASA’s name? Look, I know a lot of people don’t know this stuff. I know, too, that NASA could do a better job of talking about this kind of stuff. I also know Ms. Couric is not a journalist, but c’mon, she plays one on TV. It’s simplicity itself to actually, y’know, do some research.

The whole thing’s here. If Katie had a little less scientific knowledge, she’d qualify for a job in the Bush administration.