Reality Show Traps Two Senators on a Desert Island. Why Stop There?


Appropriations Subcommittee meeting in session.
Discovery Channel

Republican Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake simply cannot get enough of desert islands. He keeps popping off to them to get away from it all and work on his survival skills. You never know when the ability to start a fire might be useful to end a boring subcommittee hearing.

But his latest stunt is dragging a senator from across the aisle with him and filming what happens for reality television. A new show for the Discovery Channel, called Rival Survival, is sending Flake and Democratic New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich to a remote location in the Marshall Islands. The Hollywood Reporter notes:

The duo will be given a modest choice of items from which they can select only three. They're forced to use the limited resources and work together as they attempt to spear fish, build shelter and find enough water to survive for a week on Eru in the Marshall Islands, where the reefs alone are littered with venomous stonefish, lionfish and scorpion fish.

Flake is a conservative republican who served in the U.S. House of Representatives for six consecutive terms, from 2001-13, before he was elected to the U.S. Senate. He's a reformer who has backed immigration reform. Heinrich, meanwhile, is a conservationist and strong progressive and a member of the Senate's Energy and Natural Resources Committee who backs education, health care and Social Security. The duo is described as being polar opposites and were often at odds in the Senate.

Eru, meanwhile, is home to the wreckage of downed WWII aircraft and the largest shark sanctuary in the world with more than 2 million square miles of protected waters.

So far they only appear to have done this one episode (which will air Oct. 29), but they're hoping for a series. Sadly, the way the Reporter describes it, they won't continue on sending legislators off into the wilderness and out of our hair. They'll be looking for other volunteers and they aren't even all that committed to the concept of sticking only to "rivals."

Back in 2012, we classified Flake as one of the more libertarian-leaning candidates for office, and ReasonTV interviewed him in 2011. Watch below: