When we think of Neil Armstrong landing on the moon, I’d guess almost every one of us pictures him and Buzz Aldrin planting the United States flag on the lunar surface. In a new movie, First Man, which was shown at the Venice Film Festival Thursday, the scene was conspicuously absent.

When asked why, lead actor Ryan Gosling said that everything involved in getting to the moon “transcended countries and borders.”

He continued:

“I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it,” he told reporters. “I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible.”

No, Ryan, it was not widely regarded “in the end” as a human achievement, and how you “choose to view it” is rewriting history.

In April, 1961, the Soviet Union’s Yuri Gagarin was the first man to explore space, when he circled the earth in his Vostok spacecraft and returned safely. On May 25, 1961, President John F. Kennedy announced a goal for the United States to send a man to the moon, specifically casting it as a crucial part of winning the battle between freedom and tyranny (emphasis mine):

“…[I]f we are to win the battle that is now going on around the world between freedom and tyranny, the dramatic achievements in space which occurred in recent weeks should have made clear to all of us, as did Sputnik in 1957, the impact of[ this adventure on the minds of men everywhere… Now it is time to take longer strides—time for this nation to take a clearly leading role in space achievement, which in many ways may hold the key to our future on Earth. …we have never made the national decisions or marshaled the national resources required for such leadership. We have never specified long-range goals on an urgent time schedule… Space is open to us now; and our eagerness to share its meaning is not governed by the efforts of others. We go into space because whatever mankind must undertake, free men must fully share…

“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth. No single space project…will be more exciting, or more impressive to mankind, or more important…and none will be so difficult or expensive to accomplish…

“I came to this conclusion with some reluctance, but in my judgment this is a most serious time in the life of our country and in the life of freedom around the globe, and it is the obligation, I believe, of the President of the United States to at least make his recommendations to the members of Congress….”

Fox & Friends host Pete Hegseth hit the nail on the head when he said:

“Uh, here’s what I think: Ryan Gosling is an idiot. OK? He’s a global citizen who thinks a bunch of humans got together and said, ‘We’re going to go to the moon.’ No. One country, compelled by capitalism, by free people, with a vision, said, ‘We’re going to do this.’ Part of it is a space race to beat the Russians because the Cold War matters. Yet revisionist actors in Hollywood then preach to us that it was a human achievement, and Americans had nothing to do with it?”

Adding to Gosling’s idiotic comments are these from a HuffPost writer as she tried to smear Hegseth.

Of the omission, Gosling told The Telegraph that it was excluded in an effort to show Armstrong’s humility. “I think this was widely regarded in the end as a human achievement [and] that’s how we chose to view it. I also think Neil was extremely humble, as were many of these astronauts, and time and time again he deferred the focus from himself to the 400,000 people who made the mission possible,” he said.

Gosling’s remarks also align with what Armstrong himself said when he landed on the moon: “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Sadly, it appears that writer honestly believes that Armstrong was virtue signaling with those words. Lemme see if I can help her and Gosling out. Even though Armstrong was an extremely humble man and shared credit with the thousands of people who made the lunar landing possible (which he should have, since he didn’t build the spacecraft or rocket engines or anything himself), it was still an American achievement, not a global achievement. And, Armstrong was correct when he said it was “one giant leap for mankind,” but he wasn’t saying that all of mankind was responsible for that achievement, and it didn’t transcend borders.

I’m pretty sure the Russians weren’t too happy on July 20, 1969. Why? Because it wasn’t their achievement, and they were our enemies. They wanted to wipe the American dream off of the face of the planet. We’d do well to not forget that, and to be sure our children are educated about American exceptionalism.