1) Describe the attitude of members of the US government towards the possibility of alien contact.
The members of the US government ask the psychologist Norman Johnson to write a report on how to react to a possible meeting with aliens. They think that aliens could really exist. Their questions and considerations are very specific; this means that the US members think for a long time about aliens and that they take the situation seriously. However, during the conversation with Johnson becomes clear that the government only wants to know about how the aliens can be destroyed.
„Your report must take that point clearly. About the nuclear vulnerability of these aliens.“ (ll. 30-31)
They want to play down the thought of aliens, so that no panic can originate in the population. So this report should serve to prevent a possible panic.
3) a) According to the text, what role would the media play in the event of alien contact?
The media would play a very big role. The story would spread very quickly, because the media would try to make a big story from the situation. This would lead to a mass panic in the population, because many people trust in the media.
3) b) Explain the importance of „media moments“ (ll. 15-16) for politicians in democratic countries.
Media moments are important for the politicians, because the parties get the attention of the voters. By the interest of the media the politicians can spread their message better. They maybe can win electors, so that by the next choice the party can be successful.