Harper’s YouTube snoozefest reaches out to young Canadians, lulls them to sleep
In his live Web video last night, Prime Minister Stephen Harper tried to reach out to Canada’s youth but apparently didn’t stop to look at what normally passes for decent YouTubery. The interview, which ran the gamut of issues from childcare to the economy and even briefly touched on marijuana policy, was predictable and redundant, with Harper repeating the canned responses Canadians have encountered in the papers and on TV.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about the production was the man relaying the questions, Patrick Pinchette. We know that he’s no journalist (he’s a senior VP and chief financial officer at Google), but in last night’s YouTube interview with Harper, he reached a level of sycophantic softness that would have made Ben Mulroney roll his eyes. Pinchette tentatively relayed questions posed by Canadians as if he were worried they would offend Harper, and then inevitably responded with prayer-like gratitude when the Prime Minister answered. “Great. Thanks. I’m sure Harvey will be thrilled with his answer,” Pinchette says after Harper tackles a question about senate reform (at 10:30 in the video). When someone poses a potentially controversial question about the seal hunt (at 19:00), Pinchette and Harper share the stiffest laugh in Canadian history.
Hard-hitting stuff. The whole production definitely would have benefited from a sneezing panda or two.