BUSINESS

Rebel Media Has Lost 300 Advertisers In Past 3 Months: Group

Ezra Levant's news organization cheered on and rationalized white nationalist protesters in Charlottesville.

08/17/2017 17:26 EDT | Updated 08/18/2017 14:18 EDT

Hundreds of businesses advertising on Canada's notorious Rebel Media website have pulled their ads within the past three months, according to an online campaign targeting ultra-right-wing websites.

The campaign, Sleeping Giants, told HuffPost Canada by Twitter that some 300 businesses have responded to public pressure to remove ads from the website that many argue incites hatred.

Among the most recent cancellations announced on Sleeping Giants' Twitter feed were CCM Hockey, Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Red Lobster, Reitmans, Penguin Books Canada, Volkswagen Canada and Tangerine Bank.

Earlier cancellations included The Bay, Porter Airlines, Roots and TD Bank.

Sleeping Giants told iPolitics that the pace of cancellations accelerated in the wake of the deadly white nationalist violence this past weekend in Charlottesville, Va., which left counter-protester Heather Heyer dead and 19 others injured.

Rebel Media was streaming the Charlottesville protest live when a car plowed into counter-protesters on Saturday. Prior to that, the Rebel's Faith Goldy appeared to rationalize the white nationalist protest, referring to the protesters as "patriots." Among the protesters were members of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazis.

More about the fallout from the violence in Charlottesville:

The Rebel, launched by controversial personality Ezra Levant after the Sun News Network folded in 2015, has been embattled by controversy ever since.

Well-known media personalities, including Brian Lilley, John Robson and Barbara Kay, have ended their relationships with the site. Prominent Conservative Party members, including leader Andrew Scheer, have distanced themselves from the site and said they would not do interviews with Rebel Media personalities.

Levant himself sought to distance his website from the white supremacist "alt-right" movement in a column on Monday.

More from HuffPost Canada:


He said that though he was enamoured with the "alt-right" when he first heard the term a year ago, he now no longer supports it because it "has changed into something new, especially since Trump's election. Now the leading figure — at least in terms of media attention — is Richard Spencer, and other white nationalists."

Levant, who calls himself a "proud Jew," stressed that "we are not alt-right. ... That term now effectively means racism, anti-Semitism and tolerance of neo-Nazism."

The rapid turning of the public mood against Rebel Media has some commentators questioning openly whether the site is on its last legs.

But Levant has said the site has never been particularly reliant on advertising. In tweets this week, he asserted that Rebel Media has more subscribers than the Toronto Star, one of Canada's largest-circulation newspapers.

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