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  • Theranos. Fyre Fest. WeWork.

  • What do these things have in common with outer space?

  • Well, Desi Lydic has the answer in a special report.

  • Mars. Humanity's sidepiece.

  • The worse our relationship gets with Earth,

  • the more we lust after that cold, unattainable hunk

  • just out of reach.

  • Which is why everyone went wild for Mars One,

  • a private company who, in 2012, offered four lucky earthlings

  • a one-way ticket to Mars.

  • Mars One has selected its final 100 contenders

  • to form a colony on the foreign plant.

  • NEWSWOMAN: That is actually happening in life.

  • People are being offered a one-way ticket to Mars.

  • LYDIC: Yet thousands still signed up

  • and paid application fees

  • for a chance to go to Mars forever.

  • Who would do that?

  • My name is Leila Zucker, and I'm an emergency medicine physician.

  • What would make someone want to take a one-way trip to Mars?

  • You know, aside from just being a woman

  • on this planet right now?

  • It's been almost 50 years since we went onto the Moon.

  • It's time to go.

  • So, you're telling me

  • you would choose space over your husband?

  • I would.

  • My husband is okay with that

  • because if you love something, you have to let it go.

  • Are you sure you don't just need a little bit of space?

  • Like, I tell my husband that I've got book club once a week.

  • There's no book club.

  • I barely read.

  • It's not really about that.

  • We need to make humans a multiplanet species.

  • LYDIC: Unfortunately for Leila and 99 other finalists,

  • there's only one problem.

  • NEWSWOMAN: Mars One now filing for bankruptcy.

  • LYDIC: Was Mars One ever a real thing at all?

  • The more that I looked at it, I kind of felt like,

  • mm, this is, like, not a real thing at all.

  • They didn't have any kind of real money.

  • They weren't working with SpaceX.

  • Their idea was they make reality TV shows.

  • But where do you get the money before that

  • to pay for the scientists, the gear,

  • everything else that goes into actually getting you there?

  • You know what they should have done?

  • They should have done a pyramid scheme.

  • I had a very successful pyramid scheme going in college.

  • It was basically like Herbalife but with 100% cocaine.

  • -Uh-huh. -I would sell it.

  • Then I had other people selling it.

  • I would take a cut of it.

  • It's pretty great.

  • That sounds like you were just selling drugs.

  • What are you, a cop?

  • Like I told those prosecutors,

  • I'm gonna need a second opinion.

  • So I turned to real-life astronaut Chris Hadfield.

  • Mars One had no spaceships.

  • They gave everybody the impression

  • that you could just go buy, um,

  • a spaceship that could take you to Mars,

  • but those spaceships don't even exist.

  • They still have to be invented.

  • Mars One was a scam.

  • They bilked people out of a million dollars,

  • and when they just went broke recently,

  • they still owe somebody else another million euros.

  • Right, but you don't... you don't mean a scam scam.

  • You just mean they told the world

  • that they had a thing,

  • but they didn't actually have the thing,

  • and they couldn't deliver on the thing.

  • That's what scams are.

  • LYDIC: What kind of magician can pull off an illusion this big?

  • I had to find the man behind it all,

  • Mars One CEO Bas Lansdorp.

  • I didn't want him to be suspicious,

  • so I started off slow.

  • Is Mars One a scam?

  • Uh, Mars One is definitely not a scam,

  • and I think that if you take a real good look at our website,

  • you cannot be convinced otherwise.

  • LYDIC: As everyone knows, the best way to check

  • to see if something is a scam is to see if it has a website.

  • And like any legitimate space venture,

  • Mars One offers sweet merch

  • and a chance to donate monthly.

  • Don't forget that in '61 when Kennedy said

  • we're going to the Moon before the end of the decade,

  • they basically had nothing.

  • LYDIC: Okay, if President Kennedy

  • and 400,000 people working for NASA

  • could turn a dream into a moon landing,

  • maybe Bas and his team could get us to Mars.

  • How many people do you have on staff at your company?

  • Uh, there's ten people currently working on Mars One.

  • -Ten people? -Yes.

  • How many of the ten are scientists?

  • So, uh, there's, uh, three engineers

  • currently involved in Mars One, and the others are more

  • on the storytelling part of the company.

  • Seven of the ten are more involved

  • -in the storytelling process? -Yes.

  • So, if I invest in Mars One,

  • am I investing in a space program

  • or a media story?

  • Investors are really investing in a... in a media company

  • that's selling the story.

  • LYDIC: So, all this time, Mars One was nothing more

  • than a sales pitch sold to us as news?

  • How could the entire world be fooled

  • by this one Dutchman?

  • The media.

  • Sorry, uh, you said the-the media?

  • Yeah. MIT was putting out papers

  • about how Mars One's plans were gonna actually kill

  • the people within 68 days of arriving

  • because they would suffocate to death.

  • But then you would turn on the news,

  • you would see this kind of, like, softball coverage.

  • What items would be on your bucket list?

  • What do you need to check off before you go to Mars?

  • These people are really going, everybody.

  • There are two things she will really miss about Earth:

  • her husband of 22 years

  • and her favorite food, hamburgers.

  • The media perpetuated

  • and-and magnified the lie.

  • Ugh. Yeah, media's the worst.

  • The first step in becoming a truth-telling journalist?

  • Informing Leila that she's been scammed.

  • That doesn't make it a scam.

  • In order to have a scam, you have to be fooling someone,

  • and you have to be stealing from them.

  • And nobody has really paid anything

  • other than the original, um, application fee.

  • So if it... If you're not stealing

  • and you're just fooling somebody,

  • it's innocent?

  • It's an innocent lie

  • that makes life on Earth more magical.

  • -Like Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. -Basically.

  • -Basically, yes. -Or like when you tell your husband

  • you only slept with his father once.

  • You know, little lies that make people happier.

  • We say it's only gonna take ten years

  • and it's only gonna take six million dollars

  • and we know those aren't true.

  • But in order to pursue these dreams,

  • sometimes we take small liberties.

  • Everybody is allowed to dream.

  • But the media's job is not to report dreams--

  • it is to report the facts.

  • Exactly. A journalist's job

  • is to seek the truth and to stay sharp.

  • And the best way to stay sharp is with Herbacaine,

  • the only herbal supplement made of 100% cocaine.

  • Herbacaine.

  • Mmm, that feels good.

  • (exhales)

  • Mars One had a story to sell,

  • and like the customers of my herbal supplement,

  • most of the media bought it without examining the product.

  • That's how you end up in a world

  • where Theranos gets the coverage that it did.

  • It's how Fyre Festival happened.

  • And there's really big consequences

  • for things like that happening.

  • Maybe that explains Mars One.

  • When you live on a planet where facts no longer matter

  • and the media legitimizes something

  • that was fundamentally empty from the beginning,

  • it's no wonder people want to escape.

  • But fighting for a world where truth counts

  • is a mission I can believe in.

  • Just tell me when we get there.

  • (cheering and applause)

  • Desi Lydic, everybody.

Theranos. Fyre Fest. WeWork.

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Was Mars One Ever a Real Thing? | The Daily Show

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/23
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