#196 Ezra's Very Bad Week
CANADALAND
#196 Ezra’s Very Bad Week
It's been, to put it mildly, a shit week for Rebel Media's self-styled 'Rebel Commander' Ezra Levant.
August 21, 2017

It’s been, to put it mildly, a shit week for Rebel Media’s self-styled ‘Rebel Commander’ Ezra Levant:

– Following the tragedy in Charlottesville last weekend, Rebel Media co-founder Brian Lilley, and periodic columnists Barbara Kay and John Robson all severed their ties to the organization;

– By Thursday it was learned that Rebel mainstay and Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes was moving on. According to Levant, he’d been poached by an organization with deeper pockets;

– The same day, Levant announced he’d fired popular Rebel personality Faith Goldy after her appearance on a neo-nazi podcast;

– A bombshell video from two disgruntled former Rebel staffers was released alleging Levant was paying ‘hush money’ to keep quiet about the company’s business practices;

– A disavowal came out from Conservative leader Andrew Scheer, who says he will refuse all media requests from the organization until its ‘editorial direction changes’ (whatever that means);

Press Progress revealed that Levant was receiving funding from an anti-Muslim think tank;

– And even the much-hyped Rebel Cruise was cancelled.

The CANADALAND team pulled out all the stops this week to cover the flurry of announcements, and CANADALAND Editor Jonathan Goldsbie joins Jesse to walk through the week’s developments.

Levant declined our request to come on the show, instead asking that we direct our inquiries to him via email. We sent 17 questions on Friday afternoon but had not heard back as of publishing this episode Monday morning. He did, however, send this statement in response to a separate Friday inquiry by Goldsbie:

Robertson and John made a series of increasing extortion requests in a series of meetings in the UK. I reluctantly agreed to them. But when even the final written agreement was amended with hand-written additions; and then even when that was signed, they started phoning our administrator demanding more money still (and to be paid in advance); it finally dawned on me that they would never stop asking for more, so I flew to London.

What also worried me was that their legal agreements (that they signed) required them to return our property, including the footage they claim they have of Tommy Robinson saying things that would put him in jeopardy. More than a week after they signed the agreement, which called for the “immediate” return of such footage, they had not done so. So: more demands for money; and a refusal to return the footage despite repeated friendly requests.

My goal in London was to make it clear that I would pay for severance, but not hush money. That’s why I split it in two categorically — their selective edit makes it seem like the hush money was my positive idea, rather than my derisive decision to label it honestly.

Their bad faith couldn’t be clearer — and it is something that your antagonistic coverage has not addressed. They broke the deal. Not just the first deals. But the final deal. They took the money and broke the deal. They knew they would break it — they secretly recorded me as we spoke. Bad faith on top of bad faith, yet you cover them as if they’re honest and straightforward.

Before most of Ezra’s bad week went down, we had an opportunity to speak with National Post columnist John Robson about why he walked away from The Rebel. Listen to our interview here.

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