When the White House announced that President Obama would be interviewed by YouTube sensations Bethany Mota, GloZell, and Hank Green, the press corps seems to have collectively rolled its eyes, according to Mediaite.
“As the traditional political press has done before when the president has opted to give interviews to Entertainment Tonight or People magazine, there was a sense that Obama bypassing the hard-hitting questions in favor of lightweight outlets that wouldn’t dare ask him the tough questions.”
Except that wasn’t what happened at all.
Each of the three interviewers had their poignant and powerful moments, but what struck many watching the interviews was that Bethany Mota, a 19 year old mostly known for her fashion and make-up tips on YouTube, asked the President one of the only questions anyone has ever asked him about Boko Haram.
The question, according to Mediaite?
“Asked what more the U.S. could be doing to help prevent more death and destruction in Nigeria at the terrorist group’s hands, Obama said we have tried to help the government there but that it ‘has not been as effective as it needs to be’ when it comes to finding the missing schoolgirls and protecting its citizens.”
Fans on Twitter seemed very impressed.
Bethany Mota asking Barack Obama about Boko Haram is not a thing I thought I would see in my lifetime.
— Todd VanDerWerff (@tvoti) January 22, 2015
While others seemed furious that the President would sit down in such an “undignified manner,” as well as accepting Mota’s request that he take a selfie with her and the other interviewers.
— Wayne Acree (@Wayne8734) January 24, 2015
According to Politico, reaching out to YouTube personalities was a generational bridge.
“… part of an effort to bring his State of the Union message to Americans who don’t access more traditional media.”
Much like when Bill Clinton appeared on the Arsenio Hall Show and played the saxophone, the President and the White House are exploring methods of connecting with those who are most disengaged from politics, and most necessary to its ongoing success — young Americans. After all, many of his policies revolve around trying to help them out; why shouldn’t the message be presented to them in a way that matters and is relevant? After all, Bethany Mota has over 8 million viewers on her YouTube channel, and young voters were significantly down in the midterm elections, according to CBS. It’s really not hard to understand why the President might be trying to get these potential voters engaged.
You can see the full interview with all three interviewers here
What do you think of President Obama’s interviews with Bethany Mota, GloZell, and Hank Green? Tell us in the comments!