Rebel Is Severely Wounded
The Rebel is in trouble.
While they have always been the target of mainstream media, politicians and left-wing activists, things seem to have come to a head with the Rebel Media employee Faith Goldy’s attendance at a Unite The Right event in Charlottesville and her subsequent appearance on a podcast known for its race talk and discussions of the Jewish Question. Despite Goldy’s firing, several prominent Rebel employees pulled out.
In a Facebook post put up by Rebel contributor, Brian Lilley, on August 14, 2017, (which was subsequently deleted) Lilley cited the “lack of editorial and behavioural judgment” embraced by the Rebel, and while I’m certain this related to many other stories produced by the Rebel, it came on the heels of Goldy’s attendance at the Charlottesville rally, an event where some of the attendees were known to be open racists and anti-Semites. It’s difficult to speculate the real reasons for Lilley’s departure. His statement that the Rebel had increasingly used “harsh tones” to discuss both Islam and the migrant crisis was suspect. His use of the “us and them” phraseology, typical of hard-left university types, could lead us to believe that perhaps Lilley’s personal politics have shifted left. Time will tell. Regardless, shortly after Lilley’s resignation, National Post contributor Barbara Kay as well as John Robson also resigned from the Rebel.
To add insult to injury, three days later, Rebel contributor Caolan Robertson released a damning YouTube video. The audio from a meeting between him and Ezra Levant referenced “hush money” and threats to sue Caolan and his partner if they chose to talk about the Rebel’s fundraising tactics, with Ezra in his own words giving the example of another man he chose to sue for $95,000.00, with the intent to “keep him in a five-year f*cking trap”. In the video, Caolan alleged funds raised by the Rebel, that were supposed to be earmarked for charitable causes, were being misappropriated. He alleged Lauren Southern was fired for her refusal to produce a video asking for additional funding for the Rebel’s Israel trip, as she knew the full amount of the fundraising had already been reached. In the same audio, Ezra asked in a round-about way for Caolan and his partner to speak highly of the Rebel, something both Lauren Southern and Jack Posobiec did after they parted ways with the Rebel.
Perhaps most damning were Caolan’s allegations that the Rebel’s petitions were ploys to receive emails that could be later used to extract donations and his allegation that the Canada Revenue Agency would be auditing the Rebel. As you’ll recall this was the day that Ezra released a video explaining why he had to let Faith Goldy go, that he had advised her not to attend the Charlottesville rally and that her appearance on the neo-Nazi podcast, the Daily Stormer, had gone too far.
Two days after that, current Conservative Party leader, Andrew Scheer said in an interview with the CBC that he would no longer grant interviews with the Rebel Media. He cited inclusivity and his desire not to “give legitimacy and a platform” to organizations that run counter to this. He also cited the “nature of the coverage” given by the Rebel, in addition to their journalistic integrity.
Similarly, Michael Chong had previously stated that he wouldn’t grant interviews to the Rebel, but when we consider that Chong really isn’t on the political right or a real conservative, there’s no love lost.
The Rebel has been hit from all sides, both within its own organization and externally, which is unfortunate, as they've served as one of Canada's wealthiest sources of alternative media. The Rebel has acted as a line of defence against the tax-payer funded CBC, an outfit so blatantly left-wing you’d have to be deliberately lying to deny it.
Accordingly, we need to do whatever is in our power to save the Rebel.
It would appear, however, that based on a video released by Ezra Levant on August 23, 2017, the Rebel already plans to take steps to ensure its survival. Ezra’s video details plans to save the organization, specifically, putting more resources into management for the business side of things. He admitted to editorial issues due to his own inability to cope with time constraints and volume and the company having grown from 8 people to nearly 50 in a few short years. He plans to hire a managing editor to ensure the factual accuracy of their content. More importantly, he accepted Caolan Robertson’s challenge, and published the company’s financials, which appear to be in order. In the same video, he details the Rebel’s accounting and process of crowdfunding fully. I hope Ezra’s plan for survival is successful. The Rebel is a much-needed Canadian resource nowadays.
If I could add to Ezra’s plan for survival, it would be this: He needs to dump Laura Loomer. No one likes her.
Loomer's stunt of rushing the stage of Caesar was viewed as gauche all across the political spectrum. Extremely suspect is the fact that donation pages (both freelaura.com and wesearcher.com) had been erected four hours before she was even in the building. The goals listed on these donation pages were $25,000.00, an amount that any reasonable person knows far exceeds the reasonable fees for a lawyer or fines for disorderly conduct. Best estimates show Loomer having received nearly $13,000.00 after everything was said and done.
Her political stunts were not limited solely to interruptions, however, as you will recall that in June of 2017, she put a burqa on the “Fearless Girl” statue—a tactic so counter-productive and low-rent, it was sure to guarantee that people would be turned away from any right-wing arguments relating to women’s rights and Islam.
Perhaps Loomer’s shadiest stunt was taking to Twitter to announce that her tires had been slashed, “Someone just slashed my tire…I’m honestly speechless. 1 week after someone doxed me.”
It didn’t take long before some bright bulb on Twitter discovered her tires were significantly aged and that the ‘slash’ was actually just a crack that had occurred due to age-rot. Even Michelin USA weighed in on the controversy, tweeting, “It’s hard to say what could have happened here. It looks like the tire is severely cracked. We’d recommend an inspection.” A testament to her maturity, Loomer tweeted the following after receiving a storm of tweets calling into question the validity of the ‘slashing’: “If you don’t stand with me, then I don’t stand with you. I’m not going to defend people I disagree w/ when they won’t defend me or my tire.”
Whether Loomer was behaving deceptively in order to gain sympathy, or is just plain stupid, what can be said is that she’ll probably need to dip into her freelaura.com funds in order to replace her six-year-old tires.
Secondly, the Rebel needs to find more tasteful means of securing funding. I know they receive no government aid and rely completely on donations, but even I found it in exceptionally poor taste when I attended a Rebel event and they passed around a collection basket. I’m not sure how they’ll do it, but collection baskets and a constant nagging request for funding are seen as off-putting by many.
Thirdly, I would suggest that Ezra Levant and everyone who works for him realize that they will never be accepted by mainstream Conservatives. Plastic conservatives like Michael Chong aside, any right-wing resource is labeled by the mainstream media as ‘racist’, ‘non-inclusive’ and ‘poorly sourced’. If the majority public perception is that the Rebel is bad, no politician in their right mind would engage with them, regardless of whether the charges made against them are true. Politics is a game of wearing the face of a moderate to win, and of public perception. Politicians will never accept the Rebel.
The Rebel needs to stop caring whether politicians approve of them, and focus their efforts on reporting on truth and the topics that no one else will cover. Levant, after all, will never hold public office and, accordingly, has nothing to lose, but they also might find that being the counter-culture to both the left and the mainstream right might attract more viewers.
Lastly, even though it would appear that the Rebel has engaged in no inappropriate behaviour relating to their crowdfunding and private donations, it would be in their interest to regularly publish their financials for their audience.
I personally hope the Rebel survives.