While on board the International Space Station, Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield captured the imaginations of thousands with tweets, videos and spectacular photos.
But was it all a carefully orchestrated marketing campaign?
No way, says Hadfield’s son, Evan Hadfield.
The younger Hadfield penned a blog denying his father used ghostwriters after an article last month in Ottawa-insider publication Blacklock’s Reporter accused him of such.
“Astronaut Chris Hadfield’s seemingly spontaneous performances in space were the product of a three-year marketing campaign complete with CBC collaboration and occasional tweets ghostwritten by government employees, Blacklock’s has learned,” reads the article.
Blacklock’s obtained documents via the Access to Information Act that they say show government involvement in Hadfield’s social media presence.
“I was quite inflamed when I read the article,” wrote Evan Hadfield on his blog.
According to Evan Hadfield, Blacklock’s has inflated the facts and looked for controversy where there is none.
First, CBC’s collaboration was on the Is Somebody Singing song created with Ed Robertson and broadcast by CBC. It was a planned event andthousands of schoolchildren would join in singing it for Music Monday.
Evan Hadfield also writes that his dad wrote all the tweets sent while he was on the ISS. A few times, the Canadian Space Agency would ask him to tweet about certain things, such as the new $5 bills, but Hadfield would write the tweets and press send himself.
It shouldn’t be surprising that the CSA would ask this of Hadfield, or have a hand in promoting the astronaut, considering he is a government employee and not some sort of freelance space traveller.
“It is deceptive to say that Hadfield’s tweets and interaction was “ghost-written,” packaged or manipulated in the way the author is attempting to make it appear,” wrote Evan Hadfield.
“That which was planned, such as the I.S.S. song, Canadian 5 dollar bill, and puck drop for the Maple Leafs, was done so without any secret intent. At no point was it in any way unclear that there were people on the ground helping him to execute those events.”
If anyone should know, it’s Evan Hadfield, who mentored his father through connecting to us Earthlings with social media.