They started with weightlessness as the reason, they did drop the R-word in the middle (can’t throw out all credibility), but only in passing, then reinforced the weightlessness meme again at the end.
I see it like this (because this is how it is); you can’t get the money if you aren’t offering the hope of something exciting (like a Mars colony) or something excitingly catastrophic (like the end of the world unless government has total control). Therefore you can’t come out and say that a Mars colony is a stupid idea because then you lose your funding.
In fact you’d have to live underground on Mars, or die of radiation. If you’re going to live underground, well, you can do that here on Earth much more easily and cheaply. AND…you don’t want to do that anyway, because living underground forever is boring, so forget the whole thing.
On second thought, no; I’m wrong about all of that so give me a hundred billion dollars and I’ll get you’re dumb ass to Mars. You’ll need to pay in advance.