Everyone around the world fell in love with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week when he intuitively explained quantum computing to a reporter at a press conference.
But now some people are wondering just how ‘intuitive’ it really was.
According to Canadian political blogger J.J. McCullough, it was absolutely not. In fact, it was completely staged and – perhaps a little hyperbolic – described by McCullough as an example of the North Koreanification of Canadian political reporting.
McCullough, who was at the press conference where Trudeau gave his remarkable explanation, described it like this:
“To summarize, the PM went to a place and learned about a thing. During the speech that followed, he excitedly suggested he wanted to talk about the thing he just learned. A reporter was disinterested in playing along, and tried to ask a more relevant question, but Trudeau ignored him and launched into what was clearly a pre-prepared treatise on the thing.”
You can see Trudeau saying these words earlier in the day right here (at 13:47):
And it’s true – Trudeau completely ignored a question about Canada’s terrorism strategy to talk about something he had earlier said he was hoping he’d have the chance to.
Here’s what the reporter asked:
Morning sir, I was going to ask you to explain quantum computing but.. [trails off as audience laughs] When do you expect Canada’s ISIL mission to begin again and are we not doing anything in the interim while we prepare?
Trudeau skirting a question of substance is of secondary concern to McCullough, who places the blame solely on our media’s lovestruck coverage of the exchange. Not one outlet bothered to put Trudeau’s response in context, opting instead to pursue the gushing narrative that’s saturated his term as PM so far.
“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,” he writes.
Is this another case of a love-struck media crushing on Canada’s Prime Minister (loving the sound bite, ignoring the subtext), or is it simply a feel-good moment from a leader who likes to have a little more fun than his Baby Boomer predecessors?
One thing’s for sure, our current obsession with the perfect mic drop tends to end conversations rather than start them.