Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is many things: a feminist, an advocate for human rights, and, of course, your woke Canadian political bae. But is he possibly also a sensitive, deep-voiced, square-jawed, blue-eyed, well-dressed faker? Yes. The answer is yes.
Trudeau made the viral rounds with a video of him merrily explaining quantum computing to a room full of physicists at the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics this weekend.
“I was going to ask you to explain quantum computing,” a reporter said, jokingly. But then Trudeau actually did it, and the crowd went wild, and the satisfied sounds of blog quotas being met rang out across the internet.
But the backlash against this suspiciously handsome man has finally begun. In an irritable blog post yesterday, Vancouver-based cartoonist and politics writer J.J. McCullough pointed out that Trudeau specifically asked to be asked about quantum computing:
After a tour, he staged a brief photo op with some scientists and gave a short speech about how his government believes in funding science yada yada. Then, at one point he said this:
“You don’t have to be a geek like me to appreciate how important this work is. Although I have to tell you, when we get to the media questions later I’m really hoping people ask me how quantum computing works because I was excited to deepen my knowledge of that this morning.”
Trudeau asked! He stage-managed this whole deal! After spending the morning learning about quantum computing! Ask him again today and he might have clean forgotten it all, the way you do the morning after your chemistry final. “What about quantum computing?” you’d say, and he’d only gaze at you vacantly, emitting a glistening string of incredibly photogenic drool.
McCullough calls it—perhaps a little too stridently— “the North Koreanification of Canadian political reporting” in his headline, arguing that the press is so busy slavering over Trudeau they’re forgetting to do their jobs:
What is being falsely presented as a story of a scrappy prime minister resisting a hostile press is actually a story of a slavishly subservient press who are actively shaping their reporting to suit the government’s needs.
But he’s not alone in thinking we’re getting a little too hot and bothered about Trudeau to actually hold him accountable in the way that politicians need to be. The same reporter went on to ask a more serious question about Canada’s role in defeating ISIS, which is much harder and politically fraught. Trudeau was dodging a question and making some nice headlines in the process. He was doing the politician thing.
A lot of this criticism is coming from the right, who are using strong words like “plant,” but, you know, they’re not entirely wrong here:
There you have it: this throbbingly handsome man, like so many before him, is lying about something, or is possibly just three kids balancing on each other’s shoulders inside a very well-cut suit. Why does this always happen?
Trudeau speaking at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, April 1, 2016. Photo via AP