Don’t take my word for it. The same headline appears word for word at the Daily Beast. It precedes an article by Matt Wilstein detailing the president’s appearance last night on NBC’s “Running Wild with Bear Grylls.” Wilstein writes somewhat breathlessly:
[T]onight was the night that America finally saw Barack Obama tackle the wilderness of Alaska with the famous risk-taker Bear Grylls. Back in September, the president traveled to Alaska where he participated in various events that aimed to highlight the perils of climate change in a state that could see its landscape altered drastically as temperatures rise.
I didn’t tune in, but having seen Obama throw a baseball, I’m confident I didn’t miss much raw masculinity, though maybe I’m mistaken. Wilstein quotes the president as having said into the camera at one point, “To be with Bear in the woods, it doesn’t get any better than that.”
For those who missed the show and wished they hadn’t here’s a highlight reel that shows, among other things, Obama chowing down on a fish that a bear has partly eaten:
The headline is occasioned by a point in the show where the necessity of drinking one’s urine in survival situations arose. Obama reacted to that prospect by observing:
I suppose, in extremis, it’s something that I would do — if the alternative was death. It’s not something I’d make a habit of. And I probably wouldn’t do it just for a TV show.
I would have guessed that even an Obama admirer like Wilstein, who worked on the president’s re-election campaign, would have found the use of the Latin in extremis pretty dorky. Instead he regarded the comment as one of many “funny quips” Obama made throughout the show.
Here’s another that Wilstein failed to mention: “I’m a big believer in science.” Now that’s funny!