The false assumption is that this stuff has to be boring. It doesn’t. Technology provides a way to make this stuff much more dynamic. Our success is not going to be tied to the content we produced, but the ways we present that content. You’ve got to give people multiple ways in, talk to them on devices they rely on, and on platforms they embrace. You have to go to them rather than waiting for them to come to you, and you have to do it in a way that recognizes that not everybody consumes media in the same way.
We cover politics the way that ESPN covers sports. We cover the players, we cover the game, we cover the culture. We don’t just provide you with box scores. The narrative, the drama, the throughline is so crucial to what we do. So from the perspective of last night, you have a woman who by 19 years old was married and divorced and had a young daughter and was living in a trailer park. She took a paralegal course, went to Texas Christian University, graduated first in her class, then went to Harvard Law School and graduated with honors. She is a folk hero because her personal story is so great.
Does providing the livestream runs counter to that narrative-focused approach, though? I mean, it’s a straight feed from the senate chamber—just raw information, not a carefully crafted story.
I would actually say it’s the best reality show going. It inherently has its own narrative. There are some times where you need the art of crafting a narrative. Then there are times when you go, “This thing just writes itself.” The Texas legislature just writes itself.
So you just get out of the way.
There are very few bipartisan issues in Texas these days. and there are very few things the left and right agree on. They both agree that they’re not being told the full story, that the press is filtering the info that they’re getting. One of the things about a livestream is it’s completely nonpartisan. Watch it unfold and draw your own conclusions.
Did you see a wave of donations because so many people watched the livestream?
Let me read you some statistics. As of this afternoon, we have received 419 membership signups—and 99 percent of those were new members—from people in 35 states. We’ve received $23,571 as of this afternoon. They’re donating through our site and through Google Donate, which is a feature of the YouTube channel we have. The average gift is $56.
I mean, there were more than 182,000 people on our YouTube livestream at one point. This has been a win for us in just about every single way.