It’s disingenuous for Ezra Levant’s fairweather friends to pretend that it’s only after Charlottesville that the Rebel media empire has gone too far.
Art by Noel Ransome
Please keep Ezra Levant in your thoughts and prayers over the coming days. Surrounded by enemies on all sides and abandoned by his fairweather friends, the Rebel Commander may finally be facing the alt-right media's equivalent to the Appomattox. The last light of Truth in this country is about to be extinguished.
You know—the Rebel's Truth. That a fifth column of secret jihadis are flooding into Canada posing as fake refugees; that gender-neutral bathrooms will usher in a wave of sexual assault and rape; that the mosque shooting in Quebec City may have been a false flag by radical Muslims; that the Liberal government was going to use Bill M-103 to establish Sharia Law in Canada; that thousands of migrants drowning in the Mediterranean is a cause for celebration; that Christendom was long overdue to rise up and cleanse the scourge of Islam from the Holy Land. The secret Truths that the Social Justice Warriors in our cuckolded media establishment don't want you to know.
But in the wake of white supremacists marching on Charlottesville, Virginia, the Rebel is suddenly a bridge too far for many conservatives. I can understand the disgust. The car attack that left one anti-racist protester dead and 19 more in hospital—an attack captured on camera by the Rebel's Faith Goldy not long after she heckled counter-protesters on Periscope—is utterly monstrous, as is the hate-fuelled movement that enabled and encouraged it.
Levant was quick to distance himself and his outlet from the alt-right following the Charlottesville demonstration. But many of his co-contributors felt the damage was done. Brian Lilley, one of the Rebel's co-founders, publicly broke with Levant over concerns that the outlet's coverage was too sympathetic to white supremacists. Contributors Barbara Kay and John Robson also stepped back from the outlet, as well as high-profile Conservative MPs like Lisa Raitt and Michelle Rempel. (Canadians are still waiting to hear from the other 23 Conservative MPs who made guest appearances with the outlet.)
Congratulations one and all for mustering the moral courage to denounce neo-Nazism, which is literally the political equivalent of saying "cancer is bad for you." We look forward to seeing you all rehabilitated as men and women of conservative conscience who will go onto make a career explaining to the normies what the word "cuck" means.
It's just a shame that those only now stepping away from the Rebel are doing too little, too late.
It is a little suspicious that the Rebel's coziness with the alt-right is only now morally troubling for Canada's principled conservatives. It's strange that Lilley's journalistic conscience was untroubled by working with a media outlet that helped disseminate false information in an effort to sway the French election.
It would be unfair to blame the Rebel for alumna Lauren Southern's new career as a right-wing vigilante in Europe. But why is sympathetic coverage of white nationalism only troubling when Faith Goldy goes to report on a white nationalist march in Virginia and not when she visits Bethlehem to call for a new Crusade? Or when she hosts a video bemoaning "white genocide in Canada"?
It is impossible for anyone involved with the Rebel to be claiming that they never meant to be affiliated with the alt-right, or that the outlet has only recently crossed a line. Any sense that the outlet was being played as a useful idiot for white supremacy rather than a willing participant in the right-wing rage economy now flourishing both on and offline can now be put to rest. No amount of hairsplitting between alt-right and alt-lite—as though there is a meaningful distinction between people who entertain white nationalism out of conviction and those who do it for fun and profit—could obscure the fact that the lion's share of the Rebel's contributors have been drawn to racist revanchism like moths to a flame since the outlet's inception.
A lot of conservative politicians in this country spent the last two and a half years making their bed on the Rebel's website and now they're going to have to lie in it. You don't get to build your brand on racist provocation only to make a clean cut as soon as people see it for what it is. The crescendoing nationalist dogwhistle was a feature at the Rebel, not a bug.
There has always been an irony to the way Ezra Levant and other media reactionaries would assume the mantle of "rebels" even as they went to bat for any number of profoundly regressive ideas and institutions, or the way they would claim to be the vanguard of a counterculture while they built careers out of being aggressively square. It is only fitting that the Rebel Commander now looks poised to join Lee, Jackson, Forrest, and all the others being pulled down across the continent.
Follow Drew Brown on Twitter.