The White House is defending the plan to have President Barack Obama take questions from YouTube stars known for outlandish stunts and makeup and fashion tips after the State of the Union next week.
“The president is trying to put his ideas in front of as many people as he can,” White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Thursday. “If he can go to an interesting venue where he can attract some people that didn’t tune into the State of the Union address, we certainly would welcome the opportunity to do that.”
The White House announced YouTubers Bethany Mota, GloZell Green and Hank Green will each interview the president after he speaks in front of Congress, using questions drawn from social media.
Reporter Jared Rizzi of SiriusXM radio noted that “for example you and I are both wearing pants, everyone here is appropriately attired. In some of this videos, some people are wearing less than full clothing. They are doing ridiculous things.” (A video of GloZell Green doing the "cinnamon challenge" has racked up more than 40 million views.)
Earnest said he does "expect that all of the people who participate in these interview will be appropriately respectful of the president and the office of the presidency.”
“I do think we consider this to be a unique and interesting way for the president to discuss some of the priorities he will talk about in the State of the Union,” Earnest said. “It should be interesting. Maybe your extensive discussion of how risky this is will prompt even more people to pay attention and tune in and see what the president has to say.”
Here's a sampling of videos from the three: