Even for a president who loves the TV limelight, it was surprising when Obama traveled to the wilds of Alaska for a full-episode appearance with Bear Grylls on his outdoor survival reality show. But then the reason became readily apparent.
A NewsBusters analysis of the episode reveals just much it was intended to buoy the president's image and push his political agenda.
The running theme of Thursday night's "Running Wild with Bear Grylls? Obama's working hard to save the world from global warming.
The episode is chock full of praise for Obama's efforts to reverse climate change, with scripted exchanges like this one:
Grylls: It’s quite a special moment when we come out of the forest, come over this rise, and, bam, right in front of us is this huge, giant white face of the snout at the end of the glacier. And we just kind of had a moment of taking it in and him realizing this is why he's fought so hard for all he's doing to try and protect our planet.
Obama: You know, most problems in the world, as tragic as they may be, are fixable. You know, you can reverse trends. This is one of those trends where, if it starts accelerating too fast, then we can be too late.
And the show continued to sound more like an episode of "Bill Nye the Science Guy" than a knock-off of "Survivorman."
Grylls: So this whole valley would've been filled with the glacier. I read somewhere that what you've done with your climate change plan is the most significant thing any single human being has ever done to protect the planet.
Obama: Well, you know —
Grylls: And that's amazing. 'Cause there are so many skeptics out there. You know, were you always a convert, or did you take — how did you —
Obama: You know, I am, uh — I'm a big believer in science.
Obama: And, you know, when I started looking at the science, it was indisputable.
Grylls: This must be one of the things that your girls, for example, are most proud of, that you're really making a mark on saving their future planet.
Perhaps Obama's appearance on the show shouldn't be surprising at all.