The new Premier of Ontario Kathleen Wynne
Credits: Dave Thomas/Toronto Sun/QMI Agency
A fawning young guy, apparently dazzled by all the lights, action, cameras after Kathleen Wynne was sworn in as the province's first gay woman premier, asked a fashion question.
"Big fan," gushed radio reporter Maurie Sherman.
As if he hadn't embarrassed himself enough, he followed up with a cliche: "You must be on Cloud 9," as the eyes of the entire press gallery collectively rolled in contempt.
Turns out radio guy is from the pop music station KISS FM - which doesn't usually cover Queen's Park.
He was unused to asking premiers fashion questions, he admitted. Funny, I've been around here for almost 17 years and I can't recall him asking any premier anything.
Apparently, now that we've got a lesbian premier, he can make an exception.
"You're an absolute lover of the pantsuit," he blathered.
"How do you expect to win us over in the fashion department?"
Wynne was only momentarily floored.
"I have skirts," she admitted.
"I just thought sitting at the front, I'd wear pants today," Wynne said.
Like it was any of his business.
"As you say, it's not a question you'd be asking a man if he were standing in this position, but I'm happy to share with you my sartorial choices over the coming weeks," she said.
Turns out Wynne's office was told ahead of time that her admirer wanted to ask the question and to watch for the guy waving at her.
"We knew he was going to ask a question," Wynne press secretary Kelly Baker told me.
"We didn't approve his question," she said.
According to an apologist piece posted online at Canada.com, Wynne's office went along with the odd-ball question because they want to attract younger people to politics.
"The idea that anyone would try and inject some celebrity-level levity into Ontario provincial politics was evidently too much for a few of those who are conditioned to the tedium of the provincial legislature," said the online post, adding "opportunistic politicians often say a whole lot of nothing as outsiders wonder how billion-dollar boondoggles proceed under the radar."
Under the radar? Really? How do you know about that boondoggle if not through the media?
Here we are, tedious reporters worrying about boring stuff like whether kids will get extra-curriculars in school, when we really should be worrying about the important stuff - like what the premier's wearing.
Sherman is quite the self-promoter. In 2009, he made the news when he proposed to his boyfriend onstage at a Mariah Carey concert in Las Vegas. And in 2010, he claimed to have gone on a blind date with former Toronto councillor Adam Giambrone.
If a straight guy had asked the pantsuit question, he'd have been labelled homophobic.
Oddly, gay people seem the ones most upset by Wynne's outfit.
Their attitude seems to be, we thought we'd got ourselves a lipstick lesbian.
Fine, she's gay, but does she have to dress so butch?
For the record, I thought Wynne looked smart and elegant.
Perhaps covering politics will become like covering a Royal Tour - where press people send around a daily run-down of what - and which designer - Kate or the Queen are wearing.
"The Premier is wearing a lime green polyester pantsuit she picked up at Joe Fresh in Loblaws, topped with a fascinator in the shape of the Legislature that she bought at the gift shop."
Meanwhile, unless you are a political sycophant, it is unprofessional to tip off politicians about questions ahead of time,
Don't like that? Well, isn't that a KISS-off?