Ezra Levant: The Rebel’s unrepentant commander – Good profile in Maclean’s

Good profile on Breitbart North by Jason Markusoff. Sad that there is a market for this kind of behaviour:

…Media highlighted the “lock her up” chant at Rebel’s rally, in part because there was little particularly new by December 2016 about Alberta economic hurt, carbon tax opposition or anti-NDP rallies; plus, there’s high curiosity about anything vaguely Trumpish penetrating Canada.

Levant chastized them for not focusing on his rally’s content, for two straight nights on his self-titled show, where he treaded lightly on that content and instead reacted to the reaction by news reports and politicians.

“How about just once, we all tell the media-political industrial complex to f–k off?” he ended his rant.

Within days, The Rebel was selling “lock her up” T-shirts, and announced the following week’s rally in Calgary. He hadn’t initially planned it, Levant explains, until that media response.

“As a signal to Canadians that you don’t have to do what Peter Mansbridge says anymore,” he says.

The second rally drew Conservative leadership candidates tacking to the party’s right flank, like climate change skeptic Brad Trost, Kellie Leitch, as well as Chris Alexander again, who had told most outlets he was mortified by “lock her up.” He told this audience his donors and “establishment types” warned him not to return. “I’m not going to fold to a bunch of politically correct people,” he said.

This time, Calgary news reports played it largely straight, leaving little for Levant to pillory. But he found his whipping post on Twitter: a twentysomething radio reporter. “We had a controlled experiment of the media. And Haley Jarmain screwed up,” Levant says.

Jarmain is a university student who also reports for Newstalk 770 radio. After live-tweeting the Calgary rally and filing her radio story, she tweeted about the insults she’d faced that afternoon but excluded from her report: “But I got death threats. Was laughed at. Told that I’m less of a human for my job.” Levant and supporters on Twitter pushed back skeptically: why didn’t she call police about threats on her life, or the rally security? She explained later, on Twitter and her radio station, it amounted to one guy telling her “you’re dead” in the foyer, and didn’t want to risk a he-said/she-said by reporting to the authorities.

The next day on The Rebel, Levant posted a 14-minute piece skewering her as a left-wing, social justice reporter, and promised to go over security tapes with her to catch this would-be-murderer. Voice oozing with sarcasm, he announced a cash reward, and acquired HaleyJarmain.ca and HaleyJarmain.com to redirect to his video. Levant’s Twitter backers mobbed further: called her attention-craving, a faker, part of the lügenpresse. (She and her station declined to comment to Maclean’s.)

Journalists tweeted in Jarmain’s defense and called Levant’s stunt disgusting and bullying. That’s just more media tribalism, he says. But journalists aren’t the only ones who worry about this dark side of Levant. “You want to be controversial; you want to hold powerful people to account for their action,” says Kory Teneycke, a longtime friend and former Sun News president. “But on the flip side, I think you get in trouble if you target people who are smaller than yourself.”

Coren says: “I’ve seen him do and say things that are incredibly hurtful, but I don’t think he actually feels it. He doesn’t know the effect he’s having on people.”

He scraped gutter mud a week earlier, too. An Alberta labour leader criticized a claim about his Edmonton rally size, and Levant threatened to post his profile from dating site Ashley Madison.

To call Levant perennially unrepentant is to call fish damp. That young reporter was “an embedded activist,” he says, the paragon of media skullduggery. “You know what?” he says, as though addressing her. “You can own that for the rest of your life as long as I have the money to keep the domain HaleyJarmain.com. She’ll own that lie. Or, we’ll catch the killer. Either way, it’s a win.”

How the crazies and the pundits give IS exactly what it wants: Tabatha Southey

Great piece by Southey, and take down of those who should know better (David Frum) and those who don’t (Ezra Levant), although she is being unfair to Premier Wall:

Also working overtime for IS’s PR machine this week was former speechwriter for President George W. Bush and current senior editor at The Atlantic, David Frum. Despite the fact it appears that none of the people involved in the Paris massacre were Syrian refugees (statistically, refugees are among the groups least likely to commit acts of terror), Mr. Frum tweeted: “We must accept these peace-loving refugees from ISIS or else they will get very angry and try to kill us.”

What was the thought process there, Mr. Frum? “Good morning, I helped to provide justification for the Iraq war but I still don’t have quite enough blood on my hands, so I’d like to take a moment to characterize an entire nation of people as terrorists, thereby helping to ensure that the most vulnerable among them will suffer”?

Were you simply constrained by Twitter’s character limit there, Mr. Frum? Basic human decency and professionalism were clearly not issues for you.

Mr. Frum’s tweet may literally be the worst joke ever made, and it would be even if it didn’t spread just the kind of disinformation that actual IS murderers labour to disseminate.

What he should know, or admit to knowing, is that IS is not overly keen on Syrians escaping Syria. The optics are bad.

If you’re trying to position yourself globally as a utopian caliphate, Muslims running away from you as fast as they possibly can at grave risk to their lives is seriously bad press.

Muslims fleeing, not embracing you as an even marginally better alternative to the government that won’t stop bombing them, does not look good, and IS is acutely aware of this; no one wants would-be Syrian refugees kept in Syria more than does IS.

David Frum, among others, appears happy to help them out. David Frum: Unpaid Intern of The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

There’s method to IS’s macabre dramaturgy. They want to be depicted as the authentic Muslims, as some evil mystical empire with whom the West is at war, and volunteers queue up to help them.

In reality, IS’s progeny is recruited more at the malls than at the mosques and, in both their youthful demographic and their disaffection distorted into a kind of grotesque idealism, the recruits can seem more like murderous groupies than anything else.

In mentality and, to a certain extent, military capability, IS is more massive Manson family than major martial force.

Their lifeblood is the gratuitous message amplification so many proffer.

Big IS shout-out to Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall, as well, for helping to stigmatize Syrian refugees and for suggesting that the appropriate response to terrorist intimidation tactics is to drop everything and be intimidated.

That’s exactly what his calls for additional security screening of Syrian refugees on top of the measures already in place do – measures that Michel Coulombe, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, this week called “robust … and appropriate.”

The grassroots efforts on IS’s behalf should not be overlooked this week, either; every vile, racist tweet sent is like a bake sale held on IS’s behalf; and, speaking of sales, Sun TV detritus YouTube channel, Rebel TV, is offering black-and-white, very much IS-on-brand “Fuck ISIS” hats, T-shirts and coffee mugs.

This Christmas, Rebel TV wants you to say it with massacre merch.

Former Sun TV personality Ezra Levant high-tailed it to Paris this week to whine that its citizens continue, in the aftermath of last week’s horror, to be philosophical and resolutely secular, and to drink wine in the cafés. Why must they be so French?

Mr. Levant, disappointed rage-tourist and unofficial ambassador for the IS agenda, did not seem to like the fact that the attacks did not bring Paris to its knees. He is perturbed by your joie de vivre, France, by your determination to not let terrorists change you into a vicious, angry, funhouse mirror of your attackers.

President François Hollande announced the country will accept 30,000 refugees as planned.

Vive la France, and, terrorism dilettantes, go find meaningful employment.

Source: How the crazies and the pundits give IS exactly what it wants – The Globe and Mail

Ezra Levant, Sun News Network host, ordered to pay $80,000 in libel case

Accountability. Words (and facts) matter:

But [Judge) Matheson found that at trial, Levant “repeatedly tried to minimize his mistakes and his lack of diligence.”

“The defendant makes a general assertion that none of the words complained of were defamatory due to the defendants reputation,” she wrote. “There is, however, ample evidence before me demonstrating express malice on the part of the defendant.”

Levant also appeared to have little regard for the facts, Matheson found.

“He did little or no fact-checking regarding the posts complained of, either before or after their publication….and with one exception, when he learned that he got his facts wrong, he made no corrections,” she wrote.

The fact that Levant himself is a lawyer ought to have made him aware of the “serious ramifications” of his words on Awan’s reputation, Matheson added.

“Yet, at trial, he repeatedly tried to minimize his mistakes and his lack of diligence,” she wrote.

Levant, meanwhile, wrote on his website that he is reviewing the ruling with his lawyer but plans to appeal “all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary.”

He called the ruling a “shocking case of libel chill” and asked supporters to help him foot the bill for his appeal, which he estimates will cost at least $30,000.

Ezra Levant, Sun News Network host, ordered to pay $80,000 in libel case – Canada – CBC News.

And Jon Kay on Ezra’s ‘business model’ of serial slander:

Jonathan Kay: The weirdest thing about Ezra Levant is he still thinks he’s right

Ezra Levant wrongly accuses Ontario school board of allowing exemptions for Muslim students on Remembrance Day

Never let facts get in the way of sensationalism – or marketing:

The school board memo, which was primarily about the significance of Remembrance Day, included a series of six links directing teachers to online resources.

It was accompanied by 10 photographs, including pictures of Sikh soldiers and veterans, an Ojibwa Canadian veteran of the Korean War, a Mennonite veteran and a Jewish soldier in a prayer shawl carrying a Torah.

“Remembrance Day is a wonderful ‘teachable moment’ – and the Canadian War Museum has lots to offer with resources that are reflective of our Canadian nation – and our equally diverse local population,” read the memo, with a link to a page on the National War Museum site.

Other links included a memorial about the first Canadian Muslim woman to wear a hijab in uniform. There are also links to Google Image search results featuring aboriginal Canadian soldiers, African Canadian soldiers, and Asian Canadian soldiers.

“There were some links included on the memo that were provided for principals and schools doing Remembrance Day ceremonies that helped reinforce the diversity of our armed forces, because that’s sometimes a forgotten element,” said Mr. Scantlebury, who noted that the Greater Essex County is one of the most diverse in Canada.

Mr. Scantlebury said on Tuesday that he was not aware of any student that had requested any special accommodation. He added that he had been receiving calls on the matter for much of the day.

“We feel it’s very unfortunate that this has taken away, somewhat, from what is a very solemn occasion in our schools,” he said.

Mr. Levant’s column ends with a call to sign a petition protesting the school board at LoveItOrLeave.ca. There, Levant’s supporters can purchase T-shirts sporting a Canadian flag design and the statement “If you don’t love it, leave.”

They can also buy tickets to a three-night “Free Speech” tour featuring Levant and Sun Media’s Brian Lilley. VIP seats for the stop in Red Deer, Alta., are priced at $109.85.

Ezra Levant wrongly accuses Ontario school board of allowing exemptions for Muslim students on Remembrance Day – The Globe and Mail.

Jonathan Kay: Sun News’ cynical attacks on Justin Trudeau have crossed the line into anti-Muslim hysteria

Kay nails it:

Moreover: If indeed it is true that al-Sunnah al-Nabawiah mosque remains a religious home for unassimilated Muslim immigrants with radical, un-Canadian views, shouldn’t that be all the more reason for Canadian politicians to let those congregants know that if they want to live and flourish in this country, they need to adapt to our values?

Justin Trudeau’s riding of Papineau is one of the poorest and most diverse in Canada. It is full of immigrants who are wrestling with the process of integrating into Canadian life. What sort of MP would we want for such a riding — one who brags to Sun News viewers about how he wouldn’t set foot within 50 feet of this or that house of prayer, lest he be tainted by association with the teeming Muslim hordes who pray therein … or someone who actually seeks to engage with these people and draw them into the political mainstream?

Jonathan Kay: Sun News’ cynical attacks on Justin Trudeau have crossed the line into anti-Muslim hysteria

Andrew Lawton, also in the National Post, piles on this critique:

 

When the PMO arranged my interview with James, I was looking forward to hearing what the government had done or was doing to address the radicalization alleged at the Al Sunnah Al Nabawiah mosque. Shockingly, what I presumed was the most relevant question to the discussion, appeared to dumbfound James, who skirted it no fewer than three times, offering up only scripted condemnations of Justin Trudeau.

“I think it was completely outrageous. I think it’s completely unacceptable that the leader of the Liberal Party, Justin Trudeau, would associate with a group that allegedly radicalizes Canadians to join al-Qaeda and has even been listed by the Pentagon as a location known to them,” James told me during the live interview.

I asked, “Why is this a politics question and not a question of Canadian public safety and intelligence?”

I was expecting anything but the answer she gave.

“I thank you for that question, but as you know, I probably —I cannot comment on operational matters of national security, Andrew,” she said. “But I think the real question is here — Justin Trudeau knew about this. He knew about this and instead he went into this mosque, did a whole lot of handshaking and trying to win votes. He will stoop at nothing to try to win over terrorist organizations. I can’t believe this.”

Embarrassing. But even intelligent MPs sound stupid when they have to stick to stupid talking points (e.g., Chris Alexander defending the government’s handling of the F-35, among others).

Not sure this helps them.

Andrew Lawton: If Trudeau is schmoozing with terrorists, why aren’t we arresting any?

‘Exceedingly political’ libel case pits free speech advocate Ezra Levant against ‘master of lawfare’

Yet another libel case against Ezra Levant for comments he made against a Muslim Canadian lawyer. While I am not a fan of much of Ezra’s commentary (he has a tendency towards “jihad” against anyone who he disagrees with), these kinds of debates and controversies are best handled in the court of public opinion rather than be the courts.

‘Exceedingly political’ libel case pits free speech advocate Ezra Levant against ‘master of lawfare’ | National Post.

Public Safety Minister ‘Ezra Toews’ relies on fringe Euro-Islamophobe to craft Canada’s Khadr policy | Full Comment | National Post

Public Safety Minister ‘Ezra Toews’ relies on fringe Euro-Islamophobe to craft Canada’s Khadr policy | Full Comment | National Post.

Bordering on contempt of free speech | Columnists | Opinion | Toronto Sun

Bordering on contempt of free speech | Columnists | Opinion | Toronto Sun.