Charlie Angus Calls Justin Trudeau "Zoolander"

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Mighty Middle Mighty Middle's picture
Charlie Angus Calls Justin Trudeau "Zoolander"

Tweeting

"Zoolander does diplomacy. The Liberals Spring Break Tour of India has attempted some level of gravitas by announcing how we have just celebrated our 100th year of confederation."

https://twitter.com/CharlieAngusNDP/status/967048799897161729

Appropriate? Or out of line? How would people react if Jagmeet Singh was called "Zoolander" for inviting the press to his wedding engagement?

 

 

6079_Smith_W

I notice he's getting raked for it, but having heard this piece on As It Happens, I'd say it is fair comment. When Singh does a tour of Germany with a daily change of lederhosen then we can see whether people talk about that or not.

http://www.cbc.ca/radio/asithappens/as-it-happens-thursday-edition-1.454...

voice of the damned

There's arguably, and I say "arguably", a slight undertone of homophobia in the epithet, given that the original movie mocks the fashion industry, which is stereotypically perceived as overrun with gay, or at least "effeminate", men.

Though I'd be quick to add that someone could pick up on the phrase, and use it, without really considering those implications.

Sean in Ottawa

The NDP should think about the name calling cuteness and just stop.

I do not know why they think it works with the public. It gets media attention but it makes them look to cute for words -- which is what the accusation against Trudeau really is anyway.

I think the NDP caucus should generally leave the comedy to the professionals for the most part and when they get into it make the humour less about the attack and genuinely funny. I cringed when Layton did it and when Mulcair tried (and often failed). sometimes when the other party is being stupid and superficial it is better not to get involved and instead do something to show contrast rather than comment on what the population can already see.

Too many politicians cannot just take the win but have to maximise the life out of it till at best it is a draw and both lose respect.

Mighty Middle Mighty Middle's picture

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

The NDP should think about the name calling cuteness and just stop.

I do not know why they think it works with the public. It gets media attention but it makes them look to cute for words -- which is what the accusation against Trudeau really is anyway.

I think the NDP caucus should generally leave the comedy to the professionals for the most part and when they get into it make the humour less about the attack and genuinely funny. I cringed when Layton did it and when Mulcair tried (and often failed). sometimes when the other party is being stupid and superficial it is better not to get involved and instead do something to show contrast rather than comment on what the population can already see.

Too many politicians cannot just take the win but have to maximise the life out of it till at best it is a draw and both lose respect.

Agreed

 

SocialJustice101

That's something I'd expect from a Conservative MP.    Mocking people isn't very progressive.

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

I don't necessarily have a problem with this. It's pretty juvenile but it's innocuous. Having said that,if the NDP want to be taken seriously they should focus on policy rather than comedy.

Pogo Pogo's picture

I agree that superficial ridicule as a rule should be avoided and doesn't look good on the NDP. However Trudeau does open himself up to this with his focus on celebrity.

Sean in Ottawa

alan smithee wrote:

I don't necessarily have a problem with this. It's pretty juvenile but it's innocuous. Having said that,if the NDP want to be taken seriously they should focus on policy rather than comedy.

Yes as I have said here many times, the NDP gets less attention and they complain a great deal about it. Knowing this, they need to be careful what they make of the time in the sun. The party should avoid low value attacks, low value comments and humour and focus on the stuff that is truly significant and then that will get covered. If they say ten smart things in a week and a dumb joke that joke will be their coverage for the week and what people will remember.

Sean in Ottawa

Pogo wrote:

I agree that superficial ridicule as a rule should be avoided and doesn't look good on the NDP. However Trudeau does open himself up to this with his focus on celebrity.

He does and the media and Conservatives can spend their public relations assets exploiting this. The NDP does not gain from being the one to crack the joke. They might gain from being the competent alternative to the sitcom. The Conservatives have more attention generally and if they want to spend some of that capital in this way that is their choice. The NDP can laugh at the joke privately and be glad it was said but they should not be in on the act. It detracts from what they should be doing.

Time to trust that a good joke will get made by someone else and not having to be the one to do it.

Pogo Pogo's picture

It is not like that they would throw up a NDP policy discussion if Charlie Angus hadn't said this. Media attention is not transferable in that way. Only during an election will they make even a lame attempt at parity.  So I don't see the point of this taking away from our other coverage. I would be curious what it does to the brand - but I would need see some empirical research to back up any opinion as often the results are counter-intuitive.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Mighty Middle wrote:

Tweeting

"Zoolander does diplomacy. The Liberals Spring Break Tour of India has attempted some level of gravitas by announcing how we have just celebrated our 100th year of confederation."

https://twitter.com/CharlieAngusNDP/status/967048799897161729

Appropriate? Or out of line? How would people react if Jagmeet Singh was called "Zoolander" for inviting the press to his wedding engagement?

 

 

Inviting the press to your wedding isn't comparable to anything Derek Zoolander did as a character.  The only way a "Zoolander" reference-and for the record, I'm not defending the idea of namecalling as a party political tactic-would work with Singh would be if he kept the party far more centrist than people expected...then, you could claim he "can't turn left".

WWWTT

Finally Charlie is using his creativity to ridicule Justin. And Justin deserves it of course! Zoolander is kind of weak and feeble compared to my standards but it’s at least a start. 

Mighty Middle Mighty Middle's picture

WWWTT wrote:

Finally Charlie is using his creativity to ridicule Justin. And Justin deserves it of course! Zoolander is kind of weak and feeble compared to my standards but it’s at least a start. 

If you read the twitter responses to this tweet, hardly anyone is praising Charlie for his creativity in his word usage.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
If you read the twitter responses to this tweet, hardly anyone is praising Charlie for his creativity in his word usage.

Geez.  How long ago was the first comment calling him Zoolander?  If Angus isn't getting props, it's not because it isn't at least 10% funny, it's because it's just derivative.

Ciabatta2

Didn't someone do up a "Zoolander or Justin" quiz during the last election?

I think humour is underused in politics but this is just old

Pondering

No big deal. The election will be decided in the last weeks. It is a reflection of Angus style, old fashioned politics. That's the problem. There has been a shift. Singh is taking the high ground and refusing to attack Trudeau. He focuses on policy and projecting himself. 

Having said that it's possible the strategy is good cop/bad cop.  This comment is attached to Angus not the NDP. People who don't know about Zoolander will just miss the reference and not care about it. People who get the reference will probably snicker or laugh and move on. There will be no anti-bullying messages from children. 

It wasn't really name-calling. It was humourous political commentary using a movie reference. 

It does show why he wouldn't have been a good choice as national leader. 

WWWTT

Mighty Middle wrote:

WWWTT wrote:

Finally Charlie is using his creativity to ridicule Justin. And Justin deserves it of course! Zoolander is kind of weak and feeble compared to my standards but it’s at least a start. 

If you read the twitter responses to this tweet, hardly anyone is praising Charlie for his creativity in his word usage.

Who cares? Charlie actually calls these people out and gives them the proper label they deserve! Why pander to someone who isn't going to vote NDP?

WWWTT

Pondering wrote:

No big deal. The election will be decided in the last weeks. It is a reflection of Angus style, old fashioned politics. That's the problem. There has been a shift. Singh is taking the high ground and refusing to attack Trudeau. He focuses on policy and projecting himself. 

Having said that it's possible the strategy is good cop/bad cop.  This comment is attached to Angus not the NDP. People who don't know about Zoolander will just miss the reference and not care about it. People who get the reference will probably snicker or laugh and move on. There will be no anti-bullying messages from children. 

It wasn't really name-calling. It was humourous political commentary using a movie reference. 

It does show why he wouldn't have been a good choice as national leader. 

Actually every election is different or has somewhat changing influence. If you're so good at predicting, then why not predict the lottery numbers?

Actually this isn't "old fashion politics". The NDP is making criticism of the PM's approach to leadership. That's his freekin job!

Sounds like you're downplaying Angus's actual bonafide criticism of Justin as "just a joke". There's actual merit in Charlie's critique! But you don't want to make the PM look too bad now do you really? Just admit it, you're not really interested in seeing the NDP hold the liberals accountable for the consequences of their actions. You're more interested in seeing the NDP prop up the liberals so they can maintain the status quo.

Mighty Middle Mighty Middle's picture

WWWTT wrote:

Who cares? Charlie actually calls these people out and gives them the proper label they deserve! Why pander to someone who isn't going to vote NDP?

If that is the case then he should have left this tweet up, which many saw as a criticism towards Jagmeet Singh inviting the press to his engagement anouncement. Tweeting a few days after Jagmeet Singh very public enagement announcement (with the press invited)

"When a party believes that better instagram tricks or gala planning is the path to success we lose touch. Our movement is about building grassroots"

As the Hill Times reported

He also liked a reply to his tweet from former NDP MP Laurin Liu that urged party insiders to pay attention to what Mr. Angus was saying because Canadian social democracy “always has been and always will be a movement of the grassroots.”

After quickly scrubbing the tweet, Mr. Angus posted another version almost three hours later that excluded his take on the direction of the party.

https://www.hilltimes.com/2018/01/24/biotechnology-151/132162

alan smithee alan smithee's picture

Pondering wrote:

No big deal. The election will be decided in the last weeks. It is a reflection of Angus style, old fashioned politics. That's the problem. There has been a shift. Singh is taking the high ground and refusing to attack Trudeau. He focuses on policy and projecting himself. 

Having said that it's possible the strategy is good cop/bad cop.  This comment is attached to Angus not the NDP. People who don't know about Zoolander will just miss the reference and not care about it. People who get the reference will probably snicker or laugh and move on. There will be no anti-bullying messages from children. 

It wasn't really name-calling. It was humourous political commentary using a movie reference. 

It does show why he wouldn't have been a good choice as national leader. 

I wonder if you'd feel the same if someone called Singh,Apu?

I don't have a big problem with what Angus said. But it was juvenile and not the news attention you want. You want that attention to focus on policy not comedy.

By the way,Zoolander is a pretty homophobic term as well as a movie. I'm surprised no one is bringing that up.

Pogo Pogo's picture

The thing with labels is that they only work when there is credibility.  Taliban Jack worked for a bit as the NDP was against the mission, but over time it fell apart once it was noted that invasion force was indeed negotiating with the Taliban. Zoolander Trudeau will work if Trudeau is seen as superficial and will fall apart if he shows substance.  The fact that it is not new makes a case for it sticking.

6079_Smith_W

I know it kind of got lost in the rest of this nonsense, but the Indian pulse import tariff didn't get dealt with. This is a big deal for Saskatchewan, which grows 70 percent of the world export market of lentils.

Though not for long.

 

progressive17 progressive17's picture

Angus is a face of the old boys locker room NDP. There are enough of these types in the Conservatives and Liberals.

Pondering

WWWTT wrote:
 Actually every election is different or has somewhat changing influence. If you're so good at predicting, then why not predict the lottery numbers? 

Bookies don't take bets on lotteries. There are no precedences to consider, no polls. I generally give my logic for what I think is happening and will happen. It is all speculation so far out from the next election. My opinion could change before the next election or during it. I hope Singh shocks everyone and becomes the next PM of Canada but I don't see it happening. I am so taken with him that I wouldn't be shocked if he held Trudeau to a minority, although I don't think even that is likely this time around. 

WWWTT wrote:
 Actually this isn't "old fashion politics". The NDP is making criticism of the PM's approach to leadership. That's his freekin job! Sounds like you're downplaying Angus's actual bonafide criticism of Justin as "just a joke". There's actual merit in Charlie's critique!

I don't think many people will pick up on that aspect. I think most will see it as making fun of Trudeau for dressing up and as a personal attack even if they agree that he looked ridiculous and should have known better. 

WWWTT wrote:

 But you don't want to make the PM look too bad now do you really? Just admit it, you're not really interested in seeing the NDP hold the liberals accountable for the consequences of their actions. You're more interested in seeing the NDP prop up the liberals so they can maintain the status quo.  

I'm very happy that Singh is focusing on inequality and speaking against P3s and the growth of precarious work. Those are substansive issues. 

Maybe "old-fashioned" isn't the right word although it feels like it. Maybe a better way of putting it is a political "phase". Call it a Harper backlash. Maybe it's generational. People just aren't responding to attack politics the same way. It turns people off. Trudeau's "positive" approach to politics is appealing to people. 

mark_alfred

Sean in Ottawa wrote:

The NDP should think about the name calling cuteness and just stop.

I do not know why they think it works with the public.

This is more Charlie Angus and his personal style than it is anything to do with the NDP approach overall.  During the leadership campaign Angus often engaged in name calling with people on Twitter, with "troll" being a favourite epithet to toss at people (other leadership candidates would just ignore silly twitter posts).

Mighty Middle Mighty Middle's picture

mark_alfred wrote:

This is more Charlie Angus and his personal style than it is anything to do with the NDP approach overall.

The whole NDP narrative a year before the election was that being party leader is not an entry level position. In fact at one point Mulcair said he was going to "wipe the floor" with Trudeau in the debates.

Pogo Pogo's picture

And he should have.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
This is more Charlie Angus and his personal style than it is anything to do with the NDP approach overall. 

If the party is OK with a former leadership candidate making precious "jokes" like this then it doesn't have "nothing to do with" their approach, overall.  Their overall approach, evidently, is to say "hehe... Zoolander!", not "please stick to policy statements when you're standing in the shade of our flag".

But we should cut Angus some slack here.  What else has he got?

Sean in Ottawa

The NDP has often gone for cheap humour that diminished over the last 20 years. To say this is just Angus now is ridiculous even if he is the most recent.