Justin Trudeau's visit to Washington grabs attention of U.S. media

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's official visit to Washington appears to be generating enormous interest on both sides of the border, as American media outlets offer unusually detailed coverage about Trudeau's background and Canadian politics.

'His presence serves as a reminder of the kind of fun we're not having,' writes Boston Globe commentator

Justin Trudeau's official visit to Washington generated huge coverage by American media outlets on Thursday, with photos and videos of the prime minister splashed prominently across U.S. news websites. (Politico/CBC News screenshot)

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's official visit to Washington appears to be generating enormous interest on both sides of the border, as American media outlets covered not only the joint Canada-U.S. policy announcements and official events Thursday, but also offered unusually detailed context about Trudeau's background and Canadian politics.      

Rebecca Ostriker took a tongue-in-cheek approach in her commentary for the Boston Globe Thursday, contrasting "the famously dreamy new prime minister of Canada" with the current roster of U.S. presidential hopefuls.

"For many U.S. citizens unhappy with our current crop of presidential candidates, his presence serves as a reminder of the kind of fun we're not having," Ostriker wrote. "Photo ops with cute panda cubs? A leader who knows his stripper name? A woman honoured on the country's banknotes? No, we get gridlock in Congress and debates filled with insults."

CNN posted a series of videos about the prime minister on its website, including one called "Who is Justin Trudeau?" The montage featured archival photos of him as a child with his father, former prime minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau, video of Justin Trudeau's election night win last October, the attack ads run against him by the Conservatives during the campaign — and even a photo of Trudeau's famous charity boxing match against then Conservative Senator Patrick Brazeau in March 2012.

Politico's Luiza Ch. Savage took a more serious tone in a background piece for American readers called "5 things you may not know about Justin Trudeau," including tidbits like Canada's recent welcoming of 25,000 refugees, his decision to pull fighter jets out of the war on ISIS, and his election while "promising budget deficits." 

NBC News posted an Associated Press story calling Trudeau a "charismatic and youthful liberal leader intent on maintaining tight ties with the United States." Video showed U.S. President Barack Obama welcoming Trudeau to the White House Thursday morning, including some hockey "trash talk" between the two. NBC also delved into the "who is Trudeau?" question, posting video of his swearing-in as prime minister in Ottawa.   

Fox News was more restrained than some of its American media counterparts in its coverage of Trudeau on Thursday. It offered a straight-up Associated Press news story on its website, focused on U.S.-Canada ties, as well as Trudeau and Obama's expected discussions on trade and the environment. But the story also acknowledged Trudeau's bigger-than-usual profile in the U.S., saying he "channels the charisma of his father" and that Pierre Trudeau was "one of the few Canadian politicians known in America."


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