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By Louis Jacobson, PolitiFact senior correspondent
During her take-no-prisoners foreign policy speech on June 2, Hillary Clinton reminded listeners of controversial things that Republican presidential rival Donald Trump has said over the years.
At one point, Clinton said, “Donald Trump says climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese.”
Did he? Yes, though he later said it was a joke.
The original source of this claim was a tweet Trump sent on Nov. 6, 2012, as we noted in a January 2016 fact-check of a similar claim by Clinton’s Democratic opponent, Bernie Sanders.
Trump’s tweet said, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
So Clinton certainly has evidence to support her claim. But we should also note that Trump backed off his claim after Sanders noted them in January on NBC’s Meet the Press, calling the Chinese link a “joke.”
On Jan. 18, after Sanders had attacked Trump’s climate change views in the Democratic debate, Trump told Fox & Friends, “Well, I think the climate change is just a very, very expensive form of tax. A lot of people are making a lot of money. I know much about climate change. I’d be — received environmental awards. And I often joke that this is done for the benefit of China. Obviously, I joke. But this is done for the benefit of China, because China does not do anything to help climate change. They burn everything you could burn; they couldn’t care less. They have very — you know, their standards are nothing. But they — in the meantime, they can undercut us on price. So it’s very hard on our business.”
Trump may call the mention of China’s role a joke, but he certainly has a lengthy record of using the word “hoax” to describe climate change. (For the record, in 2014 we rated the claim that climate change is a “hoax” Pants on Fire.)
On Dec. 30, 2015, Trump told the crowd at a rally in Hilton Head, S.C., “Obama’s talking about all of this with the global warming and … a lot of it’s a hoax. It’s a hoax. I mean, it’s a money-making industry, okay? It’s a hoax, a lot of it.”
That’s three times using “hoax” in one sentence. Trump has also used the word on Twitter since his 2012 tweet.
On Jan. 25, 2014, Trump tweeted, “NBC News just called it the great freeze — coldest weather in years. Is our country still spending money on the GLOBAL WARMING HOAX?”
On Jan. 29, 2014, Trump tweeted: “Snowing in Texas and Louisiana, record setting freezing temperatures throughout the country and beyond. Global warming is an expensive hoax!”
That same day, he tweeted, “Give me clean, beautiful and healthy air — not the same old climate change (global warming) bullshit! I am tired of hearing this nonsense.”
Trump also called climate change a “hoax” on the Jan. 6, 2014, edition of Fox & Friends.
In addition, he said on the Sept. 24, 2015, edition of CNN’s New Day, “I don’t believe in climate change.”
And on Jan. 18, 2016, Trump said that climate change “is done for the benefit of China, because China does not do anything to help climate change.”
We didn’t find Trump using the word “hoax” in the months since our previous fact-check, but he hasn’t backed off his aggressive skepticism of climate change and policies designed to alleviate it. In fact, he’s enshrined opposition to climate change efforts as a key part of his platform.
In a high-profile speech on energy policy in North Dakota on May 26, 2016, Trump attacked “draconian climate rules.” He advocated rescinding “all the job-destroying Obama executive actions, including the Climate Action Plan” and said he would “cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.”
“President Obama entered the United States into the Paris Climate Accords unilaterally and without the permission of Congress,” Trump said. “This agreement gives foreign bureaucrats control over how much energy we use right here in America.”
Clinton said, “Donald Trump says climate change is a hoax invented by the Chinese.”
Trump did tweet that view in 2012, though he made efforts earlier this year to describe that remark as a “joke.”
However, Trump has repeatedly called climate change a “hoax” in speeches, tweets and media appearances, and while he hasn’t necessarily repeated the charge that China “invented” climate change, he has said as recently as Jan. 18, 2016, that action on climate change “is done for the benefit of China.”
We rate the claim Mostly True.
Hillary Clinton, foreign policy speech, June 2, 2016
Bernie Sanders, comments on NBC’s Meet the Press, Jan. 24, 2016
Donald Trump, tweet, Nov. 6, 2012
Donald Trump, tweet, Jan. 25, 2014
Donald Trump, tweet, Jan. 29, 2014
Donald Trump, tweet, Jan. 29, 2014
Donald Trump, comments on Fox & Friends, Jan. 6, 2014 (accessed via Nexis)
Donald Trump, comments at a rally in Hilton Head, S.C., Dec. 30, 2015 (accessed via Nexis)
Donald Trump, “An America First Energy Plan,” May 26, 2016
Wall Street Journal, “Donald Trump: ‘I Don’t Believe in Climate Change,’ “ Sept. 24, 2015
Mother Jones, “This Is the Stupidest Anti-Science Bullshit of 2014: A catalogue of shame,” Mon Dec. 22, 2014
Mother Jones, “13 Tweets That Definitively Prove That Donald Trump Is Not a Scientist; The reality TV star has a long history of firing the facts,” June 16, 2015
Talking Points Memo, “Sanders: Trump Thinks ‘Climate Change Is A Hoax Invented By The Chinese,’ “ Jan. 17, 2016
Business Insider, “TRUMP: I was joking when I said the Chinese ‘created’ the concept of climate change,” Jan. 18, 2016
Huffington Post, “Donald Trump On Climate Change: ‘I Believe It Goes Up And It Goes Down,’ “ Sept. 22, 2015
Daily Mail, “Trump insists it was a ‘joke’ when he claimed the Chinese invented global warming,” Jan. 18, 2016
PolitiFact, “Global warming is a hoax, says Louisiana congressional hopeful Lenar Whitney,” Aug. 1, 2014
PolitiFact, “What Donald Trump said about the Chinese inventing the ‘hoax’ of climate change,” Jan. 24, 2016
Washington Post Fact Checker, “Here’s a guide to Clinton’s claims about Donald Trump,” June 2, 2016
E&E Daily, “Trump’s energy speech today: substance or sound bites?” May 26, 2016
Associated Press, “Trump Uses Energy Speech to Outline General Election Pitch,” May 26, 2016
Time magazine, “Donald Trump Promises to Cut Regulation on ‘Phony’ Environmental Issues,” May 26, 2016
Some of my greatest memories are sitting in a foldout seat of plastic and metal with a number engraved, gazing out onto a field of green. When given a chance to remember and embrace the nostalgia, the collection of cherished snapshots flows through my mind (the original Instagram).
Fourth down, a minute to play, playoffs on the line. The chance to finish the all-elusive “perfect game.” The last penalty shot.
Reflecting on watching the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field with my family as part of our holiday vacation. A loss against the Bengals felt like a devastating blow; it’s not logical or rational why we care so much as fans. Monday mornings are always a little bit happier with a win or shadowed by a loss.
My fiancé is a Jets fan but supportive of my love for the Steel Curtain. In fact, an upcoming Jets vs. Steelers game was the driving force behind our decision to host our wedding in Steel Country. Yes, this is true. It’s going to be great no matter who wins the game. (That’s a lie. Really hoping for a “W” for the black and gold!)
Beyond my everyday fan support, my life has been made the better through sports. Notably because of the experience of taking a once-in-a-lifetime tour of U.S. stadiums and arenas with my mentor/aunt/friend Erica in 2008. I was going through a particularly rough breakup (aren’t they all?) and in desperate need of a change. Erica had just published GameFace: The Kick-Ass Guide for Women Who Love Pro Sports and wanted to explore a new book signing/meet-the fans concept. Instead of the standard signings at bookstores, we would venture to local bars, restaurants and sports stadiums to do giveaways and signings.
Our tour brought us the highs and lows that only sports can provide. Erica and I (along with 60,000 fans) witnessed the season-ending injury of Tom Brady. We shouted and jumped up and down along with the rest of the Chicago Cubs fans when they clinched the NL Central Championship. And we experienced the wind-defying Candlestick Park (me for the first time) with an amazing hot dog in-hand.
Our journey brought us from the east coast and back via planes, trains and automobiles (and even a couple of boats). The heartbroken young woman who set off that fall day for the sports book tour came back forever changed. I love being a fan. I love sports.
“Do you know who Wu Chuanyu is?” Mao Zedong asked a group of swimmers from Wuhan in 1958. “Is there anyone now who can do better than him? You should learn from Wu Chuanyu and surpass him!”
The first question was rhetorical. Wu would have been a household name for any swimmer; he’d won China’s first ever gold medal, in swimming, at the 1953 Fourth World Festival of Youth and Students (WFYS) held in Bucharest, Romania. The People’s Republic of China (PRC) had sent a delegation of eighty athletes to the event to compete in men’s and women’s basketball, volleyball, track and field, and swimming, but the 25-year-old’s win was the highlight of the trip. Wu instantly became a media sensation in China: his image graced the front cover of New Sport and PRC leaders arranged for foreign reporters to interview him.
Perhaps it seems unsurprising that Mao would praise Wu as a model for others to emulate given his own penchant for swimming. (Mao’s famous Yangtze swim may have caught the headlines in 1966, but his private doctor noted that for years the leader had spent more time at the swimming pool than in offices.) Wu’s superstar status was, however, atypical in China in the 1950s — internationally known Chinese athletes were few and far between, and he was the only swimmer among them. To this day, Wu’s win in the men’s 100-meter backstroke in Bucharest is still cited in Chinese sports yearbooks and official publications as “the first time that the five-star flag was hung.” Chinese participation in socialist bloc competitions became regular during these years, and Wu was one of the first successful athletes to emerge. The PRC leadership found such model athletes helpful in relaying to ordinary citizens the importance of international sports participation for the nation.
Following the Second World War, the WFYSs were founded by the World Federation of Democratic Youth and the International Union of Students. In the first decade, they took place every two years in the Soviet-led socialist bloc — Prague 1947, Budapest 1949, Berlin 1951, Bucharest 1953, Warsaw 1955, Moscow 1957. Given the sponsorship and locales, they are generally understood to have been fronts for Soviet interests. They were a common feature of the international socialist landscape to promote friendship, unity, peace, and similar ideals. Festival organizers also strove hard to make these events high profile and attract the attention of media worldwide. The socialist bloc and Soviet-leaning nations like China sent large delegations, but representative delegations from many other countries also attended the festivals. For several weeks every other year, these mega-events became sites for the circulations of and interactions between young people from many countries. Political and academic meetings, cultural events, sports, and sightseeing were all on the agenda; festival guides and maps in multiple languages were distributed to attendees. And a significant component of each festival — as indicated by event programs and the high numbers of athletes listed in delegation rosters — was sports competition.
The oft-told story about PRC sport in this period is the battle with the Republic of China (Taiwan) for sole recognition by the International Olympic Committee. However, the WFYS provided a more fruitful space for those in the Chinese sports world to forge new connections, and for Chinese athletes to compete internationally at a time when their Olympic participation increasingly seemed like a pipe dream. Soviet and socialist bloc athletes, among the best in the world, attended these festivals. A brochure for the 1951 Berlin WFYS boasted the attendance of world-class athletes and boldly stated that the festival was “the only international event where every aspect of the culture and sport of all the peoples of the world finds its highest expression.”
China sent its very first WFYS delegation of athletes to Berlin, two years after the official establishment of the PRC in 1949. For the new leadership, the appeal of participation in the WFYS was primarily about fostering “friendly” relations with new political allies and promoting a positive national image. But it was also about legitimacy of the new regime at home and abroad. The leadership had been working hard to establish its control nationwide, while also rebuilding a country devastated from years of war and sending off its soldiers to fight in the Korean War (or as it’s known in Chinese, the campaign to “Resist America and Aid Korea”). International sports competition, though on the Chinese radar in these years, was understandably less about producing top competitive athletes and more about strengthening the socialist state’s legitimacy and political solidarities.
Athletes like Wu were nevertheless important members of new networks in sport. The socialist world of sport in the 1950s was particularly transnational in this respect. Translations of various materials — sports news, technical handbooks, and articles on or by famous coaches and athletes — circulated throughout the Eastern bloc and China. People also made their way around via state-sponsored visits. China received official sports delegations at home and sent their own abroad, not just to mega-events like the WFYS but also to smaller events and on goodwill tours. Athletes and coaches also traveled for the purposes of training abroad or exchanging technical skills.
Sometimes, in the case of China, a potential future coach or athlete could be “found” through the nation’s participation in an event like the WFYS. What’s rarely mentioned about Wu — and he was not the only one — is that he was barely a Chinese citizen by the time he competed in Bucharest. Born and raised in Indonesia, Wu was ethnically Chinese and had “returned” to China (hui guo) following his second-place performance for the Indonesian team at the Third WFYS in 1951. In other words, PRC leaders recruited him explicitly to compete for the new socialist state, which must have been difficult given that he initially did not speak Chinese and had to communicate through translators using English. Leading up to Bucharest, Wu was sent to the Soviet Union with a larger sports delegation. There he completed several weeks of training with top Soviet swimming coaches and, according to Chinese sources, made rapid improvement.
Arguably the most famous Chinese athlete of the early 1950s, Wu also set a precedent for future PRC athletes when his international success won him official roles beyond sport. In September 1954, Wu was the only athlete named as a representative to the First National People’s Congress (NPC). Other famous athletes from the 1950s later held similar positions, or became prominent sports leaders. Some became coaches and traveled in the 1960s and 1970s to African and Asian countries as part of official exchanges to build “friendship” and solidarity. We often don’t think of athletes or coaches as particularly interested in politics, but my anecdotal research suggests that in China they were highly conscious of their diplomatic importance. Unfortunately, we’ll never know about Wu. A month after his appointment to the NPC, at the age of 26, he tragically died in a plane crash while on his way to resume training in Hungary.
It’s time we talked about Tinder. Or The Stindies as it is known in certain circles (just mine really). I joined the world that is Tinder a month or so after my break up, originally on a dare. I was skeptical about this app and was worried about my privacy. Plus, let’s face it, guys can be dicks online. But I like to think of myself as a bit of a yes man, so after a drink or two at a friend’s BBQ, low and behold, Tinder was downloaded and a profile created.
I’m not going to go into what Tinder is like. What I will say is this: I’ve been lucky to have conversed and met with nice enough guys. There are definitely female friends that have copped abuse when they haven’t been interested in a guy or responded quickly enough. Having said all that, it somewhat annoys me that I have to consider myself ‘lucky’ that I have been treated with respect by another human. This is one of those shitty things about being a woman (but let’s face it, being a woman is fucking awesome, so I wouldn’t change a thing).
So onto the story of the Disbelieving Lawyer.
Now, when I tell this story in real life, Disbelieving Lawyer (DL) is actually known as Narcissistic Wanker. But as we have already had a character called Narcissist Guy, I’ve given him a new alias. He will however, always be remembered and thought of as Narcissistic Wanker.
DL and I met on Tinder. He had great texting game, and appeared confident and fun. There were jokes about each of us assessing each other and ascertaining whether we would pass each other’s compatibility test on the date before committing to the second part of our arranged date (essentially, brunch, and if we liked each other, we would go for a wander around the lake).
So on a fine Saturday morning, DL and I met up for brunch. The Disbelieving Lawyer is a good looking guy with good conversational skills. Very initially, I was enjoying myself and genuinely felt enthusiastic. But as our date continued, the more he spoke, the more annoyed I was getting. You see, DL liked to talk. A lot. About himself. Even questions he asked of me began with him answering them for himself. He was also quite boastful of every little achievement. I’m all for being proud of your achievements. But this was something else. A kind of being boastful for existing attitude, let alone achieving (and naturally he had achieved; did we mention yet he was A LAWYER? No? Best to mention it again. LAWYER LAWYER LAWYER LAWYER LAWYER).
The brunch finishes and we go for this walk. I’m quite keen to leave and am plotting my exit strategy when the Disbelieving Lawyer suggests we sit down by the lake. I’m immediately suspicious and beginning to feel stuck. Of course, my instinct was right and he took it upon himself to kiss me. I’m all for a pash. But this was a first date, after brunch, before midday. It’s like consuming alcohol before lunch. It’s frowned upon. But the worst was to come. Because not only did he kiss me, before our lips locked (and by golly, the memory is making me want to hurl), he suddenly puts his finger on my lips and whispers, “Go slow”.
Talk about being inauthentic and just all round fake. I felt I was in an episode of Bold and the Beautiful. It was so manufactured, the whole freaking thing. And I desperately wanted out. He kisses me again and begins to stroke my hair, telling me that I’m beautiful and have shiny hair. At this point I’m hoping some sort of emergency happens, perhaps a drowning in the lake so that I might legitimately jump into the water to escape.
Finally I tell him I need to make a move as I have plans and we walk back to our cars. He kisses me again and I thank him for brunch (he insisted on paying and the good girl in me felt obliged to be polite). He walks away without saying anything, not even good bye, and I yell out, “Hey! This is where you’re meant to say you’re welcome!” His response?
DL: “You’ll have to wait to find out if you were worth it.” And with that he makes a dramatic turn and walks away.
Now I hope you understand where the name Narcissistic Wanker came from.
So here I am, praying to all the gods, asking them to please, PLEASE don’t make him text me again. But as is the way of the world, the guys you LIKE don’t text, and the ones you DON’T LIKE, DO text. Two days later, I receive a text from DL. Now there is no way paraphrasing can do this exchange justice, so here it is, word for word (with names and locations changed/omitted for privacy):
DL: “Attention RS, hope Monday’s treating you well. I just wanted to say that I enjoyed brunch the other day. The company was ok too 😛 I’m going to be a little busy this week, and in <interstate> until next Monday afternoon but would love to catch up over a glass of whisky early next week. When are you free?” — Monday, 5:06pm.
RS: “Hi DL. It was lovely to meet you on Saturday, however, I didn’t feel a connection. So despite your tempting offer of whisky, I am going to have to decline. All the best with your training and discovery of Canberra.” — Tuesday, 1:09pm.
DL: “RS, I’m a little confused. You told me you had a lot of fun, and that you wanted to introduce me to <bar> (and your housemate!) before we then kissed goodbye. Is everything ok? I’d love to give you a call this afternoon.” — Tuesday, 2:24pm.
RS: “I did enjoy myself but on reflection the connection wasn’t what I was after. I apologise if my enthusiasm has led to confusion. It was genuine enthusiasm despite my current feelings on the situation. I don’t want to waste your time or mine so best to say so now.” — Tuesday, 3:14pm
DL: xxxx called. No voicemail message was left — Tuesday, 6:07pm.
DL: “RS, I realise this is an indulgence (on my part) but what happened to your feelings after we parted company on Saturday? Surely this isn’t one of the ‘mind fucks’ you told me you intended to play? We had a lot of fun/chemistry on our first date. I’m sorry for not getting back to you sooner, but surely deeper conversations and connections will evolve with time?” — Tuesday, 6:22pm.
DL: “Evidently not. 😛 Good luck with <profession>, Tinder, and finding the one.” — Thursday, 5:24pm.
And there we have it. The Disbelieving Lawyer could not BELIEVE that someone could have a different opinion to him and/or change their mind. Not only that, he was OFFENDED that I could not see that we had chemistry. BUT WE HAD CHEMISTRY! Oh, did we? Shit, my bad. Right, well let’s jump into this relationship immediately.
I’m not sure what he thought his texts/bullying would achieve. Was I meant to start swooning and think, ‘Jeepers, of course my feelings on the situation are completely wrong! I’m such a female for thinking I know what I want and don’t want. I’m so glad a man told me what to feel and think instead. I feel so safe in the world knowing I can trust what a man says AND NOT MY OWN FUCKING ASSESSMENT OF THE SITUATION. I am most grateful to you, Disbelieving Lawyer, for making me see the light and the error of my ways.’
But you know what. It wasn’t all bad. This is the most requested dating story from my friends. And so a little part of me is grateful for the experience. But goddammit, if anyone ever tries to kiss me while simultaneously telling me to go slow ever again, I will fucking cut you.
I have only ever owned one dog. Her name was Ranger and she was the best thing I have ever known. When I close my eyes I still see her brown eyes open wide, staring back at me with pupils exuding more love than I knew existed. Ranger was always there for me. If you don’t know the love of a dog, it’s a love more pure and innocent and simple and strong than any other. If you don’t know the love of a dog, I am sorry. There’s no sadness in the love of a dog. But then again, nothing is sad until it’s over. Then everything is.
I don’t know what it is that makes me a dog person. All I know is that I have always loved dogs and I make happy sounds the moment I see one. Something about them fits me — their willingness to love, their need for approval — I don’t know. My brain is sick. It’s broken like so many backyard swing sets of neglectful kids, needing so much the care of a dad and a can of oil. It squeaks and groans with every passing moment and every stray gust of wind. Every squeak, a negative thought about myself reminding me how broken I am. She helped me fight that. Ranger was always there for me. Every day as I struggled to get out of bed, she was there. She was there with those same soft brown eyes reminding me that something in this world still loved me. Cuddling with her in bed and napping made her day. It made my day too. Every time she wanted to be with me was ammunition to use against my own mind. Every time it told me how awful I was, I could return volley with a memory of Ranger wanting to be with me. She gave me evidence that my mind couldn’t be entirely right. She always wanted to be with me, even when I didn’t.
Having a responsibility, a living thing that depended upon me to survive, was good for me. She had food costs and vet bills that I had to factor into my life. When earning money to feed myself wasn’t motivating, knowing that she needed me was. Every morning she would wake me up because she needed me to take her outside. She was the routine that I so craved.
When I had Ranger, I was stable. I wanted to move forward and join Swahili in Fort Worth. I made some fast plans, taking advantage of friendships in the city, and moved. The first place I landed was in a brother’s house with my friend, Lonzo. He didn’t like pets and didn’t have a back yard, which meant that Ranger wasn’t welcome. I was so blinded by my ambition to do Swahili that I didn’t think much of not having her. Being in that house allowed me to be with one of my closest friends, to use him to hold me up, to help fend of the wolves hiding in my neurons. Ranger was always there for me. I wasn’t there for her.
Time washed on. Lonzo got married and moved out. The other brother wanted to sell his house. I moved into an apartment with my cousin, Seth. He brought his dog — I didn’t think bringing ranger would have worked out. My parents started to look for a new home for Ranger. She was spending day after day in their backyard, alone. It wasn’t fair to her. My parents, gracious in their agreement to take care of her this long, weren’t in a position to do it any longer. They found her a new home and a new family. I hope she loves them as much as she loved me.
Seth got married and moved out. Faced with an empty house again the termites ate away at my brain’s supports. Within months I crumbled.
At this moment I don’t think I will ever be able to hold myself up. I don’t like that fact. I try to convince myself otherwise but so far it is true. It’s only in looking back that I see how important Ranger was for me. She gave me all the building blocks I needed to let me have a go at a normal life. The kind of life everyone else seems to get with so little effort.
There is also a large chance that back then my depression and anxiety weren’t as bad as they are now. Maybe I am just fitting her in to explain my successful years. Maybe I’m finding patterns where none actually exist. I don’t care. She did help me become a better person — even if only in my mind. Then again, what part of this isn’t in my mind? I was too headstrong and foolish to make room in my life for her. It’s something I will forever regret. All these memories are on my mind because of Sailor. Sailor was Braden and Rachel’s lovely dog. I’ve dog sit for them a few times and she was the closest now to what Ranger was to me then.
Sailor was a giant lovable oaf that just wanted to cuddle and chase sticks. She knew plenty of tricks but would only ever perform them for new people. I’ve often said that she could understand English. You could tell her what you wanted her to do and she would do exactly that. Even more amazing is how much Braden and Rachel loved her. You could tell how excited Sailor is by her bunny hops. Every time she saw them, she hopped and hopped and hopped. Sailor made me remember in a way I thought I could again.
Sailor had cancer. After battling for a while, they lovingly put her down. I miss her so much for me and for them.
I’m trying to beat my brain back into place. I am seeing a doctor and on am on medication. It’s not going well. I sleep most of the day. When I’m awake there is only a flood of negative thoughts. I isolate myself more and more because I think i will only disappoint the people I see. I’m thankful to have loving parents who let me stay in their home. At twenty-seven I worry about my future. Will I always need people to hold me up? It’s my greatest desire in the world to get another dog. My parents, who have been selfless and wonderful throughout this all, don’t want a inside dog. In a normal person’s life that isn’t a problem. They would just save up and find a place to live and go on with their dreams. But here I am. Incapable of accomplishing that, feeling constantly more negative for being incapable. I live in a circle of despair. Here I am, writing a thousand words on how miserable my easy American life is. I am ridiculous. My brain mocking me.
Full disclosure: I love live-streaming video. I’m a regular user of Periscope, Facebook Live and Blab, and I have made thousands of connections through live-streaming platforms.
I’m currently living in Louisville, Ky., partnering with Humana on a groundbreaking project designed to help introduce live-streaming to community organizations participating in the company’s Bold Goal initiative.
Without stretching the pun too far, it’s a remarkably bold approach — getting started with live-streaming can be intimidating, and it’s truly inspiring to see an organization like Humana believe in the power of the medium.
But live-streaming isn’t a be-all, end-all. There are many well-documented concerns with live-streaming that currently deter it from truly becoming mainstream.
To me, the top concern is the value proposition to a viewer throughout the broadcast. The biggest challenge to a broadcaster is consistently “How can I provide value from beginning to end?” Unlike more traditional media, the broadcaster is directly and constantly informed of the size (and composition) of the audience. If you’re not delivering value to a viewer — they’ll leave. Having myself been on more than 800 live broadcasts, and having watched thousands more, I’ve definitely learned that oftentimes, less is more.
Imagine you’re watching a live video of someone walking through the streets of a big city. A 15-block walk — I’ve done it six times to Humana headquarters here in Derby City — takes about 30 minutes.
In the course of that 30 minutes, perhaps you’re shown a bridge. A pizza shop. A new bar. An antiques gallery. And a significant local monument.
In between those moments, a lot of walking. Might there be conversation of interest during that walk? Probably — but is it worth 30 minutes of your time to see those aforementioned five highlights? (Maybe, maybe not.)
But is it worth 30 seconds of your time to see those five highlights?
That, to me, is why Snapchat is in such an advantageous position right now: an immense concentration of value in a short amount of time.
I could point you to a thousand other blog posts about the importance of time. Snapchat wins by giving the creator the best opportunity to concentrate value in a short amount of time.
In the weeks to come, you’ll see me using live-streaming to highlight organizations committed to improving the health and wellness of the Louisville community. The dialogue we’ll stream will be eye-opening, thought-provoking and impactful.
But we won’t stop there. Snapchat is an important part of my storytelling repetoire. Using Snapchat to conduct interviews limits both the interviewer and the subject to 10-second-or-less sound bites — the exact flavor that are the lifeblood of ‘evolved’ video mediums like TV.
I’d reference you back to the well-known ‘What is the ROI of a your mother?’ conversation by Gary Vaynerchuk. (Language predictably NSFW.)
For me, the ROI of Snapchat as a journalism tool is immense. I use Snapchat to conduct interviews that forego the chatter and skip right to the heart of the matter. (The ‘value bombs,’ if you will.)
Snapchat done right allows the viewer to absorb more value in less time. In fact, professional mastery of Snapchat, in my mind, is contingent on perfecting the art of using less time to say more: Saba Sedighi, Ben Phillips, Shaun Ayala, Joel Comm and Ryan Pena immediately come to mind.
I hope you’ll follow me on my journey as I continue to learn from those artists and more, while helping amplify the messages of organizations making Louisville healthier every day. I’ll be streaming regularly from my Facebook page, www.facebook.com/TeamStrub, as well as on Periscope at http://chris.live. You can find me on Snapchat here.
Chris Strub is the first man to live-stream and Snapchat in all 50 U.S. states. You can get his book, ‘50 States, 100 Days: The Book,’ here.