20 October 2014

Sex and the Trudeaus: Son and Hair

Justin Trudeau's memoir was released this morning, two days after what would've been his father's 95th birthday, one year (less a day) before the next federal election. The former is a coincidence.

Reviews are already in. Hours before pub date, customer critic "Page" posted a one-star review under the title "Shows how arrogant JT really is" at chapters.indigo.ca. This, of course, begs a question: Just how arrogant do you have to be to dismiss a book you haven't read?

By comparison, the attack dogs at Sun News have been slow off the mark. Who can blame them? They're still gnawing on last week's Chatelaine profile of Trudeau and his young family. Why just hours ago, it posted as its "VIDEO OF THE DAY" a segment dealing with same from Michael Coren's Agenda.

"I'm not going to pretend that I read Chatelaine magazine; I'm not sure many people read Chatelaine at all," said Coren of Canada's highest circulation magazine. This country's most incompetent book reviewer went on to describe the article as "one of the most callow, fawning pieces I have ever seen". Paige MacPherson of Sun News joined in to form a most impassioned circle jerk. Said she of the article:
It talks about Justin in this glowing fawning sort of a way, as well as his wife and his children, and it's certainly I don't think befitting of the title of the article, which we showed there, 'Is Justin Trudeau the Candidate Women Have Been Waiting For?'. Well, as a woman, at the end of this article I have no idea if he's the candidate that I've been waiting for because it doesn't say anything about him as a politician or as a candidate for prime minister of our country.
As a man, I won't presume to weigh in on the issue, except to note that the title takes the form of a question. We agree on that right? Can we also agree that its author, Carol Toller, has a good deal to say about Trudeau as politician?

Michael Coren seizes bullshit by the horns in focusing on the above photo:
People don't usually, as an entire family, in their clothes, get into the swimming pool unless they're all mentally ill. They've obviously been told by the photographer, "Let's do this. It's warm enough. We'll take the photo." And we're meant to think this is normal Trudeau behaviour.
Two things about this statement:
  • Michael Coren is either forgetting – or trying to remind, none too subtly – that Justin Trudeau's mother suffers from bipolar disorder. The affliction is thought to be hereditary, dontcha know.
  • In the article, Ms Toller writes that "someone" suggested the family jump in the pool. Trudeau, we are told "laughs it off, then pauses as though he can see it – how it’ll play on the page, how it’ll showcase their sense of fun, project a 'Canadian political dynasties are just like you' insouciance."
How it'll play out on the page? How it'll "project a 'Canadian political dynasties are just like you' insouciance"? Really? In an article that "doesn't say anything about him as a politician"?

By this point, Sun was reporting – incorrectly – that Chatelaine had endorsed Justin Trudeau. Things moved from being underhanded, ignorant, clumsy and stupid to otherworldly when Coren pretended to be very familiar with Chatelaine – which, you'll remember, is a magazine he doesn't read. "They always profile political figures in an infantile way", said the host, comparing the family profile to an opinion piece the magazine had published eight years earlier. Ms MacPherson then ruined the narrative:
I have to say, in fairness, there was a lifestyle piece on Stephen Harper and his family as well, but it was nowhere the glowing, fawning piece this very long – basically – essay on how wonderful and carefree the Trudeaus are. It was nothing compared to that.
You see, the real problem with "Is Justin Trudeau the Candidate Women Have Been Waiting For?" isn't that it's a puff piece, but that it's puffier than the one written about the Harpers.

Just about the worst part to a fellow like Coren is this line: "Many voters aren’t sweating the details: They already like what they see in Trudeau – his storied lineage, his youthful energy, his awesome hair."

"How could any journalist sleep at night having written 'awesome hair' in a profile of a man who might well be the next prime minister?" the host asked.

I suggest Coren consult his colleagues at Sun News, who have described Mr Trudeau's hair as "great" (Brian Lilley), "great" (Lorne Gunther), "great" (John Robson), "luxurious" (Monte Solberg), "fantastic" (Simon Kent), "beautiful" (Ezra Levant) and "beautiful" (Ezra Levant, again). Christina Blizzard remarked that the Liberal leader has "nicer hair than Harper". Does it say something about Sun that so many of its men, and so few of its women, obsess over Justin Trudeau's hair?

Michael Coren himself has written about the man's "great hair". My favourite of his articles is the one in which he writes of Trudeau's "nice hair, good looking, cute smile, famous and clever dad, 'interesting' mum."

That's right, "'interesting' mum."

However does Michael Coren sleep at night?

1 comment:

  1. There's always a lot of backlash around political memoirs. Although I'm not a Justin Trudeau supporter or a Liberal, I'm looking forward to reading this book.