Huffpost Canada ca
THE BLOG

Featuring fresh takes and real-time analysis from HuffPost's signature lineup of contributors

Warren Kinsella Headshot

Is Ezra Levant's Rebel Media Letting In The Wrong Kind Of Rebels?

Posted: Updated:
Print

"I'm becoming anti-Semitic." That's what he said.

Not good.

To put a fine point on it, that's what Rebel Media's Gavin McInnes said on a video, found here.

gavin mcinnes
Gavin McInnes attends 'Creative Control' New York Premiere at Sunshine Landmark on March 3, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images)

Here's some other things he said:
  • "God, [Jews are] so obsessed with the Holocaust. [...] I don't know if it's healthy to dwell."
  • "I felt myself defending the super-far-right Nazis, just because I was sick of so much [Holocaust] brainwashing."
  • "...much less than six million [were murdered in the Holocaust] and they starved to death and they weren't gassed."
  • "[A man-made famine that killed millions in Soviet Ukraine was caused] by Jews. That was by Marxist, Stalinist, left-wing, commie, socialist Jews."
  • "[WWII caused the Treaty of Versailles, which was caused] disproportionately influenced by Jewish intellectuals."
  • And, as noted, "I'm becoming anti-Semitic."
I don't think there can be any doubt those statements are deeply anti-Semitic, but in case you have any doubt, they were enthusiastically promoted -- and celebrated -- by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke, and America's current neo-Nazi leader, Richard Spencer:

Around the same time McInnes made his statements, another Rebel Media person, Lauren Southern, abruptly left the organization. Southern also counts Spencer and assorted neo-Nazis and white supremacists among her fan base. There is a lot of speculation online that she is more aligned with the National Policy Institute's Richard Spencer than with Rebel Media's Ezra Levant. Personally, I don't know if that's true: I haven't spent five seconds watching any of her many videos.

Now, am I fan of the Rebel website? Full disclosure: not really. That's particularly the case after Rebel's Faith Goldy defended a far-Right pedophile in a bizarre effort to slime me for, um, being critical of pedophiles.

Anyway. Rebel's founder, Ezra Levant, and I have a long, long history. We've slammed each other, we've sued each other, we've gone after each other. When Sun News Network started up, Kory Teneycke asked us to enter into an armistice, and so we did. It's held ever since, and I've been content to let other people fight with Ezra. Been there, done that.

Is Rebel Media so free-speechy that it will now give an uncritical platform to Holocaust denier rhetoric?

And I will give Ezra credit for this much: one, he built the Rebel thing from the ground up, and he has turned it into a significant player in the Canadian media universe. It's not a news service, not by a long shot -- it's simply a web platform for Right-wing and far-Right-wing opinion -- but it's not inconsequential.

Two, Ezra is not an anti-Semite. Not just because he's Jewish -- Ezra has been more critical of other Canadian Jews than Jim Keegstra, Ernst Zundel and Paul Fromm put together. He's not anti-Semitic because, basically, he's not anti-Semitic.

So what, then, is he doing keeping the likes of Gavin McInnes on the payroll? What is the truth about alt-Right heroine Lauren Southern and her speedy departure? Is Rebel Media so free-speechy that it will now give an uncritical platform to Holocaust denier rhetoric?

Some say all this means the end of Rebel Media. Personally, I doubt it. They seriously underestimate Ezra Levant.

But is it all deeply unsettling, and pretty off-brand, too. When Ezra Levant is prepared to play host to the likes of Gavin McInnes, spouting anti-Semitic filth, well...it's not good.

For him.

Follow HuffPost Canada Blogs on Facebook

Also on HuffPost: