President Barack Obama taped an episode of “Running Wild with Bear Grylls” on Sept. 1 as part of a strategy to promote climate change.
The unlikely duo, under the watchful eye of the Secret Service, hiked and visited the Exit Glacier—a south Alaskan river of ice that has shrunk by 1.25 miles in recent decades.
Despite petitions encouraging the president to participate in some of Grylls’ more “extreme” exploits, what really happened was scaled down to “interesting,” according to The Washington Post, who quoted White House press secretary Josh Earnest.
Earnest also claimed during a press briefing that while the president’s main objective during the unique meeting was to talk about global conservation, the episode itself served another purpose.
“I think it’s just sort of an admittedly unorthodox but legitimately interesting way for the president to reach an audience that obviously cares about this conversation,” Earnest said.
Obama’s appearance on Gryll’s show, which will air later this year, is the latest in a series of White House efforts to reach new audiences. Many of these efforts have focused on utilizing diverse communication mediums such as social media and digital news.
Maggie Brown, a BYU nursing student, was quick to point out that “He (Grylls) is probably not the ‘expert’ Obama should be talking to,” with regards to climate change.
Known as a TV outdoorsman who regularly eats bugs and drinks his own urine to survive in the wild, Grylls is not considered a typical political consultant.
When BYU students were asked what they thought President Obama and Bear Grylls could possibly need to discuss to warrant such an unorthodox meeting, they came up with some rather “interesting” responses themselves.
Boston Handley, a construction management student, quipped that Grylls educated the president on “how he could survive the remainder of his term.”
Amanda Schroeth, after admitting that she could not think of any reason why they would meet because “they are such a weird combination,” likewise joked that the meeting was arranged to “show the president what life will be like after the presidency.”
More serious responses theorized the duo talking about the upcoming presidential election, economic disparity and wildlife conservation.