American media can't make up its mind whether to swoon over or slam Canada's incoming prime minister less than 48 hours after he swept his Liberal Party back to power.
E Online is already hailing Justin Trudeau as a "beautiful, sticky-sweet specimen," declaring his wife Sophie Gregoire as the "luckiest woman in the world."
"Call us thirsty, call us cray, we'd write love poems for Justin Trudeau all day (see what we did there!?). Honestly, can you blame us for acting like this?" rejoiced E Online.
NBC News also got in on the act, noting that Trudeau once did a partial striptease for charity and had also beaten Conservative senator Patrick Brazeau in the boxing ring three years ago.
But NBC also took a more sober view, stating that Trudeau ended nearly 10 years of Conservative rule, and would likely usher in an era of progressive policies.
"By contrast, Trudeau has pledged to attend the U.N. climate conference in Paris in November and to introduce a national plan for combating climate change within 90 days of that summit," noted NBC. "The 43-year-old is pro-abortion rights, proudly declares himself a feminist and says he would work to legalize marijuana 'right away' based on the system used in Colorado. He has also pledged to 'end tax breaks for the wealthy, to give Canadian families more money to raise their children.'"
CNN blasts Trudeau
While some media south of the border went wild over Trudeau's sex appeal, CNN commentator Sean Kennedy condemned "fickle," Canadians for rejecting Harper in favour of Pierre Trudeau's "gaffe-prone but well-coiffed son."
He praised Harper for cutting taxes and balancing the budget, but did not mention that the former Conservative leader had run several annual deficits in a row prior.
Writing just after a divisive and bruising election campaign that descended into a 'culture war' over niqabs and anti-terror legislation, the CNN pundit overlooked how political debates likely contributed to a number of hate-based attacks in the campaign's final days, including an assault on a pregnant and veiled woman in Montreal.
"When Harper introduced anti-terror legislation called C-51, or 'Canada's Patriot Act,' after prominent attacks inspired by radical Islam, the wing nuts of Canada's left came out of the woodwork, painting the Prime Minister as a tyrant in the making. His inaction on climate change - a shrewd move for a near-petro state - enraged the eco-warriors," wrote Kennedy.
"But the final straw came when Harper took a stand for an inclusive, but fully Westernized and assimilating Canada — banning the niqab, or face veil, from being worn at citizenship swearing-in ceremonies. The din of the 'culturally sensitive' left's cries was deafening — 'racist,' 'Islamophobe' and 'anti-immigrant' entered the normally polite Canadian discourse."
Fox News offered a more sober analysis of Trudeau's election win on Oct. 20, covering implications for the Keystone XL pipeline, Syrian refugees, combat operations against the Islamic State, support for Israel, and climate change policy.
"Environmentalists labeled Harper a climate change pariah for pulling out of the Kyoto Protocol and protecting the oil sands region of Alberta — which has the world's third largest oil reserves," Fox reported. "Trudeau has vowed to do more on global warming and has said he'll consult with Canada's provincial premiers before he heads to the Paris summit on climate change in November. Trudeau said Canada's years of being a less enthusiastic actor on climate change are behind Canada."
The New York Times noted in an Oct. 21 piece that the biggest change in a Trudeau-run Canada would be one of tone.
"Mr. Trudeau has spoken of scrapping Mr. Harper’s emphasis on military solutions and Cold War talk abroad, and returning Canada to active participation in international bodies like the United Nations," the Times noted. "Gone, he has said, will be the combative, lecturing approach Mr. Harper adopted toward the Obama administration over the Keystone XL oil pipeline project."
"And gone, too, will be the Conservative habit of pushing policies at home that were popular with Mr. Harper’s right wing but divisive to the larger electorate, like the sweeping anti-terrorism laws that were passed after a gunman attacked Parliament last October. Mr. Trudeau has promised to amend those laws."
The Washington Post's Oct. 20 headline focused on Trudeau's stated intent to pull Canada's six fighter jets from the US-led campaign against the Islamic State, but that it would likely not hurt relations between Ottawa and Washington, as the White House expected Canada to continue playing a role in the global fight against terrorism.
The LA Times's report commented on Trudeau's liberal stances on marijuana and immigration, and analyzed how he won the election, saying that the turning point for him came at the Aug. 6 debate when he put up a stout fight against his opponents, despite low expectations.
New media catch a feel for Trudeau's new wave
Prominent news website Politico focused its Oct. 19 coverage on implications for the Keystone XL Pipeline that Harper staunchly backed while prime minister. The controversial Canada-U.S. pipeline has so far not been approved by the Obama administration, in part due to fierce resistance to the project from environmentalists on both sides of the border.
Politico warned that green-minded voters shouldn't celebrate just yet. It stated:
"...even the Liberal victory could ultimately disappoint greens who turned Harper’s persistent cheerleading for Keystone and withdrawal from the 1990s Kyoto climate pact into a political liability. That’s because while the Canadian Liberals have vowed to be stronger on the environment than Harper has been, they also promise to give individual provinces greater power to decide on their own carbon-cutting strategies."
News site Alternet recapped on Oct. 20 how Trudeau guided his party from third place just four years after the Liberals' near-fatal 2011 defeat, but noted that the PM-designate was also an oil industry supporter and was often in agreement with Harper government policies during his time as an opposition leader.
However, Alternet also ran a separate piece on Trudeau's desire to legalize marijuana that same day, describing it as a "seismic shift" for North America and a complete about-turn from Stephen Harper.
"But don't expect it to happen overnight. The Liberals said they would create a task force with input from experts in public health, substance use, and law enforcement to design a new system of taxed and regulated marijuana sales. Once the task force has done its work, a bill will have to be crafted and then passed in Ottawa," stated Alternet.