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The Rebel Media

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The Rebel Media
The Rebel Media logo.png
Screenshot
Rebel Media screenshot.png
Type of site
Politics
News and opinion
Available in Canadian English
Owner The Rebel News Network Ltd.
Editor Ezra Levant
Key people Ezra Levant (founder)
Website therebel.media
Alexa rank Decrease 1,613 (Canada)
Commercial Yes
Registration Optional
Launched February 14, 2015; 3 years ago (2015-02-14)
Current status Active

The Rebel Media (officially The Rebel News Network Ltd.,[1] stylized as THEREBEL.media, and shortened to The Rebel) is a Canadian far-right[2][3] online political and social commentary media website founded in February 2015 by former Sun News Network personalities Ezra Levant and Brian Lilley. It has been described as a "global platform" for the anti-Muslim ideology, also known as counter-jihad.[4][5][6]

Former Sun News reporter Faith Goldy later joined the outlet.[7] Gavin McInnes, founder of the far-right men's organization Proud Boys, was also a contributor. Lilley, Goldy, and McInnes have all since left the project.[8]

Many of The Rebel's contributors announced their departure – or were fired – in the second half of August, 2017, following Goldy's prominent coverage of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and her interview with The Daily Stormer.

The Rebel Media broadcasts its content on the Rebel Media website and its YouTube channel, which previously peaked on August 16, 2017, at 873,800 subscribers, however with the August departures, it had fallen to a minimum of 842,200 as of August 31. In September–October 2017 the channel has renewed its growth. As of June 19, 2018, it had over 938,000 subscribers.[9]

The Rebel Media has been described as part of the alt-right movement,[10] although it rejected the term after the Charlottesville rally.[11]

History

2015–2017

The Rebel Media was formed by Levant and Lilley following the closure of the Sun News Network. Levant said that his online production would be unencumbered by the regulatory and distribution difficulties faced by Sun News Network and that its lower production costs would make it more viable.[12] Levant has cited Breitbart, the American far-right news hub, as an inspiration.[13] A crowdfunding campaign raised roughly $100,000 for the project.[14] The site soon attracted a number of other former Sun News Network personalities such as David Menzies, Paige MacPherson, Faith Goldy, Patrick Moore, and briefly by Michael Coren.[15]

In the summer of 2015, the channel, led by Levant, launched a campaign to boycott Tim Hortons, a chain of Canadian coffee shops, after it rejected in-store ads from Enbridge due to complaints from customers opposed to the oil pipeline projects being promoted by the ads.[16]

In early 2016, the Alberta government banned The Rebel Media's correspondents from press briefings on the grounds that, because Ezra Levant had testified in court in 2014 that he was a columnist or commentator rather than a reporter, none of his current correspondents could be considered to be journalists. On 17 February 2016, the government admitted that it made a mistake and said that it would allow The Rebel Media correspondents into press briefings.[17] The Canadian Association of Journalists supported preventing government from choosing journalism coverage."[18]

In late 2016, The Rebel Media advocated for accreditation by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to permit its access as journalists to their event. The Rebel Media had previously published articles claiming that the public is being deceived about climate change.[citation needed]

Rebel Media did receive support from the federal Canadian government and three journalism organizations and eventually was granted access by the UN.[19]

Following the Quebec City mosque shooting on January 29, 2017, Rebel promoted a conspiracy theory that the shooting was perpetrated by Muslims.[20][21] In 2017, Rebel Media hired as its British correspondent far-right activist Tommy Robinson, founder of the avowedly anti-Islamic English Defence League. Robinson was convicted of mortgage fraud and using a friend's passport to enter the USA.[22][23][24][25]

In March 2017, one of their corespondents, Gavin McInnes, made controversial comments defending Holocaust deniers, accused the Jews of being responsible for the Holodomor and the Treaty of Versailles, and said he was "becoming anti-Semitic". He later said his comments were taken out of context.[26] McInnes also produced a video for Rebel called "Ten Things I Hate about Jews", later retitled "Ten Things I Hate About Israel".[27][28]

During the 2017 French Presidential Election, Jack Posobiec, The Rebel Media's Washington, D.C. bureau chief, supported far right leader Marine Le Pen and played a role in the 2017 Macron e-mail leaks.[29]

Lauren Southern left the organization in March 2017.[30]

Blowback over coverage of the Unite the Right Rally

Co-founder Brian Lilley quit the Rebel on August 12, 2017, following the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, writing, "What anyone from The Rebel was doing at a so-called 'unite the right' rally that was really an anti-Semitic white power rally is beyond me. Especially not a rally dedicated to keeping up a statue of Robert E. Lee, a man that whatever else he stood for, also fought on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of America’s bloodiest conflict." Lilley accused The Rebel of exhibiting a "lack of editorial and behavioural judgment that left unchecked will destroy it and those around it."[6]

Freelancers Barbara Kay and John Robson also quit the Rebel, and the company was denounced by Conservative MP Michael Chong and Alberta politician Doug Schweitzer of the United Conservative Party.[31][32] Chong, Chris Alexander,[32] Peter Kent, Lisa Raitt, and former interim leader Rona Ambrose had previously disavowed the site.[33][34]

Brian Jean, Jason Kenney, and Doug Schweitzer, who are running for the leadership of the United Conservative Party of Alberta, have condemned the Rebel and said they will no longer grant interviews to the company.[35]

Faith Goldy, a former journalist and online show host of the Rebel, was fired on August 17, 2017, for her participation in a podcast associated with The Daily Stormer.[36] In the course of reporting on the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Goldy argued that they suggested a wider "rising white racial consciousness" in America and characterizing a manifesto by white supremacist Richard Spencer that called for organizing states along racial lines as "robust" and "well thought-out."[37]

Gavin McInnes left the Rebel at the end of August 2017. Levant wrote “We tried to keep him, but he was lured away by a major competitor that we just couldn’t outbid" in an email to the independent news site Canadaland.[38][39]

British contributor Caolan Robertson no longer works for the Rebel.[39] Robertson claims he was fired for "knowing too much" about the Rebel's finances, claiming the company dishonestly solicited donations for projects that were already funded and concealing how that money was spent.[39] He also claimed that Southern was fired for refusing to tape a fundraising appeal for the Rebel's Israel trip after fundraising targets had already been met. Robertson also played audio of Levant offering him thousands of dollars of what Levant himself called "hush money". Levant denies these allegations and says he will present evidence opposing this in court, claiming that he was being "blackmailed" by Robertson and his partner.[3][40][41][42] Levant has since briefly talked about The Rebel's finances in his online show and released a summary on The Rebel's website.[43][44] It was reported that person that negotiated the settlement is the former director of communication for Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Kory Teneycke.[45]

Relationship with the Conservative Party of Canada

During the 2017 Conservative Party leadership race, many contenders, including the eventual leadership winner Andrew Scheer, gave interviews to the outlet.[46]

After the 2017 Conservative Party leadership race, it was revealed that Scheer's campaign manager Hamish Marshall was a director of The Rebel Media. In 2015, Marshall told the National Observer, that he was only involved in the business side of the Rebel.[47] Marshall explained to that he had left the Rebel after the leadership race ended to avoid a conflict of interest, though would not comment about its editorial directions in an interview with Macleans.[48] Scheer told Macleans in 2018, that Marshall past relationship with the Rebel should not be conflated with his selection as campaign chair.[49] It was not until late September that Marshall name was removed from the from the list of directors of The Rebel Media on the federal government's online registry of corporate information.[47] Scheer denounced the outlet due to its coverage of the Unite the Right rally;[50], and stated that he would stop doing interviews with The Rebel Media until its “editorial directions" changed.[39][46] The day after Scheer stated that he would not be granting interview with the Rebel going forward in an interview with the National Post.[51]

On May 31, 2017, in an interview with the Toronto Life, Scheer revealed that his go-to news sources were "CTV, CBC, National Post, Globe and Mail, as well as iPolitics, Huffington Post and even the Rebel".[52]After denouncing of the outlet, Scheer stated that he barely followed them in an interview with CBC on August 17, 2017.[53][54][55]

On October 16, 2017, The Globe and Mail asked Scheer if he knew that Hamish Marshall shared office space with the Rebel during the leadership campaign. Scheer replied that he did not ask Mashall about his firm's many clients and then ended the news conference. Later, a spokesperson clarified that Scheer did not know the specifics of the arrangement. Levant explained that Marshall's IT firm Torch provided client aervices for the Rebel.[56] A 2017 National Post article argued that Marshall implemented the Rebel donation system.[13]

On March, 5, 2018, Conservative MP Alex Nuttall gave an interview to the outlet after he left the second debate during the Ontario Progressive leadership race.[57]

Advertiser boycott

Beginning in May 2017, the Rebel was the target of a boycott campaign by the social media activist group Sleeping Giants whereby advertisers were pressured to withdraw their adverts from The Rebel Media's YouTube channel and website. Within a three-month period in 2017, the activist group claimed that the Rebel had lost approximately 300 advertisers, including CCM Hockey, Mountain Equipment Co-op, Red Lobster, Reitmans, Penguin Books Canada, Volkswagen Canada and Tangerine Bank,[58] along with PetSmart, the Hudson's Bay Company, General Motors Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint, the Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, Ottawa Tourism, Porter Airlines, and Whistler Blackcomb ski resort.[59]

The City of Edmonton withdrew from city advertisements after complaints on social media about the controversial nature of Levant's comments. According to Councilor Oshry, the city would have made this decision regardless of political leanings, because of controversial articles.[60]

Another activist group, Hope not Hate, pressured Norwegian Cruise Lines into cancelling a scheduled Caribbean cruise which was to feature talks by The Rebel Media personalities, many of whom have since left the media website.[39]

WELLS PLUS 6ix Rebel Freedom Fund

In February 2018, Ezra Levant created an investment fund in which people can invest their money into rebel projects such as film and television-style programming, online apps and even real estate-related projects such as studios. The fund will be managed by Wells Asset Management[61]

Notable contributors

UK contributors

Former contributors

See also

References

  1. ^ "Inside Rebel Media: How Ezra Levant built an extreme media juggernaut – National Post". nationalpost.com. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  2. ^ Scott, Mark (16 May 2017). "U.S. Far-Right Activists Promote Hacking Attack Against Macron". The New York Times. 
  3. ^ a b "A fight over a four-bedroom house: The Rebel Media meltdown and the full recording at the centre of the controversy". Globalnews.ca. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  4. ^ "Inside Rebel Media: How Ezra Levant built an extreme media juggernaut | National Post". nationalpost.com. 
  5. ^ Yang, Jennifer (22 October 2017). "A Toronto imam was accused of hate-preaching against Jews. But that wasn't the whole story". The Toronto Star. 
  6. ^ a b Houpt, Simon (August 15, 2017). "Rebel Media co-founder quits over company's perceived ties to right-wing groups". Globe and Mail. Retrieved August 15, 2017. 
  7. ^ "The Rebels". TheRebel.Media. Retrieved 20 February 2015. 
  8. ^ "Gavin McInnes -- Rebel Host". 
  9. ^ The Rebel Media profile on SocialBlade.com
  10. ^ Jason Markusoff (August 16, 2016). "The Rebel's steady spiral downwards". Macleans. 
  11. ^ Rebel Media (2017-08-15), Why The Rebel rejects the Alt-Right, retrieved 2017-10-24 
  12. ^ Gerson, Jen (24 February 2015). "Former Sun News host Ezra Levant launching his own conservative website following network's demise". National Post. 
  13. ^ a b "Inside Rebel Media: How Ezra Levant built an extreme media juggernaut | National Post". nationalpost.com. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  14. ^ "Ezra Levant crowdfunds latest media venture after Sun News goes dark", Metro, 26 February 2015. Retrieved 2 March 2015.
  15. ^ "Michael Coren on Twitter". Twitter. 
  16. ^ "Tempest in a Tim Hortons cup: Enbridge ad debacle births a boycott". Globe and Mail. 5 June 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
    - "Tax Season Tim Hortons yanks Enbridge ads, sparks Alberta backlash". CBC News. 4 June 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2015. 
  17. ^ Edmiston, Jake (17 February 2016). "Alberta NDP says 'it's clear we made a mistake' in banning Ezra Levant's The Rebel". National Post. Retrieved 17 February 2016. 
  18. ^ "Alberta government must reinstate Rebel's access to the legislature: CAJ". The Canadian Association of Journalists. 17 February 2016. 
  19. ^ Craig, Sean (1 November 2016). "UN offers The Rebel press accreditation for climate conference after environment minister's intervention". Financial Post. 
  20. ^ Nagata, Kai (22 February 2017). "Kai Nagata on Quebec City and the ominous trajectory of Rebel Media's Ezra Levant". National Observer. Retrieved February 22, 2017. 
  21. ^ "Canada's Rebel is joining the global class of paranoid, far-right media". Macleans. May 19, 2017. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  22. ^ Graham Ruddick, "ITV defends EDL founder's appearance on Good Morning Britain", The Guardian, 20 June 2017.
  23. ^ "EDL Leader Jailed For Passport Offence". 
  24. ^ Metro.co.uk, Nicole Morley for (20 June 2017). "Piers Morgan calls ex-EDL leader Tommy Robinson a 'bigoted lunatic'". 
  25. ^ "Tommy Robinson is a radical extremist. His hate preaching has no place on our televisions". Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  26. ^ McInnes, Gavin (12 March 2017). "What Gavin McInnes really thinks about the Holocaust". The Rebel Media. 
  27. ^ Sparks, Riley (15 March 2017). "Rebel Media is defending contributor behind 'repulsive rant' that was praised by white supremacists". National Observer (Canada). Retrieved 29 October 2017. 
  28. ^ Reporter, Ron Csillag, Staff (17 March 2017). "Rebel's Gavin McInnes gets flak from CIJA for offensive videos about Jews and Israel". Cjnews.com. Retrieved 29 October 2017. 
  29. ^ "The Rebel's Role In #MacronLeaks". CANADALAND. 2017-05-08. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  30. ^ Lauren Southern (9 March 2017). "Going Independent". YouTube. 
  31. ^ Harper, Tim (15 August 2017). "Is this the beginning of the end for Canada's Rebel Media?r". Toronto Star. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  32. ^ a b "Tension between The Rebel and conservatives erupts anew". Cbc.ca. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  33. ^ "A Growing List Of People Who Have Cut Ties With The Rebel". Canadalandshow.com. 14 August 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  34. ^ [1][dead link]
  35. ^ "United Conservative Party's Brian Jean, Jason Kenney distance themselves from Rebel Media". Globalnews.ca. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  36. ^ "Ezra Levant: Why we had to say goodbye to Faith Goldy". YouTube. 2017-08-17. Retrieved 2017-08-18. 
  37. ^ Lett, Dan (19 August 2017). "Rebel Media's meltdown and the politics of hate". Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved 28 August 2017. 
  38. ^ "Gavin McInnes Leaving The Rebel". CANADALAND. 2017-08-17. Retrieved 2017-08-18. 
  39. ^ a b c d e f g h i "Rebel Media meltdown: Faith Goldy fired as politicians, contributors distance themselves". National Post. 2017-08-18. Retrieved 2017-08-18. 
  40. ^ "Blackmail: Setting the record straight". YouTube. 2017-08-17. Retrieved 2017-08-18. 
  41. ^ Caolan Robertson (2017-08-17), WHY I LEFT THE REBEL MEDIA., YouTube, retrieved 2017-08-18 
  42. ^ Ezra Levant (2017-08-17). "I will release many documents, on a video, in defamation court, and as evidence of extortion to the police". twitter.com. Retrieved 2017-08-18. 
  43. ^ "Rebel Media financial disclosure". The Rebel. Retrieved 2017-08-23. 
  44. ^ "The Rebel's fundraising revealed". The Rebel. Retrieved 2017-08-23. 
  45. ^ "How Kory Teneycke Fits Into Rebel Media's Latest Spectacle". CANADALAND. 2017-08-17. Retrieved 2017-11-19. 
  46. ^ a b http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2017/08/17/andrew-scheer-says-he-won-t-do-interviews-with-rebel-media-until_a_23080706/
  47. ^ a b "Conservatives name former Rebel Media director as 2019 campaign chair". CBC News. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  48. ^ "Andrew Scheer's campaign manager on ending his Rebel ties - Macleans.ca". Macleans.ca. 2017-08-17. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  49. ^ "The confidence of Andrew Scheer - Macleans.ca". Macleans.ca. 2018-03-21. Retrieved 2018-03-21. 
  50. ^ "Mulroney denounced racism in the '80s. Why can't Andrew Scheer right now?: Mochama | Metro News". metronews.ca. Retrieved 2017-10-31. 
  51. ^ "After campus events cancelled, Andrew Scheer says universities have right to decide who gets space". National Post. 2017-08-18. Retrieved 2018-03-20. 
  52. ^ https://torontolife.com/city/toronto-politics/qa-andrew-scheer-new-conservative-leader-determined-beat-justin-trudeau/
  53. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jCSfe5OKb1U
  54. ^ https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/canada/scheer-pressured-to-distance-from-rebel/ar-AAq9MZy
  55. ^ "Andrew Scheer's campaign manager on ending his Rebel ties – Macleans.ca". Macleans.ca. 2017-08-17. Retrieved 2017-10-17. 
  56. ^ "Scheer walks out on media when asked about campaign manager's Rebel ties". The Globe and Mail. 2017-10-16. Retrieved 2018-03-16. 
  57. ^ Rebel Media (2018-03-05), MP Alex Nuttall Storms Out Of Leadership Debate After Patrick Brown Question, retrieved 2018-03-20 
  58. ^ "300 Businesses Pull Ads From Rebel Media". Huffingtonpost.ca. 17 August 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  59. ^ ROBERTSON, SUSAN KRASHINSKY (1 June 2017). "Advertisers bow to pressure to pull ads from The Rebel". The Globe and Mail. 
  60. ^ Mosleh, O. "Edmonton pulls online ads from right wing Rebel Media after social media backlash", 660 News, 7 June 2017. Retrieved 7 June 2017.
  61. ^ "Invest your retirement savings in Rebel Media—or, better yet, in dog toys - Macleans.ca". Macleans.ca. 2018-02-23. Retrieved 2018-02-27. 
  62. ^ Ruddick, Graham (3 January 2018). "Katie Hopkins joins far-right Canadian website Rebel Media". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 January 2018. 
  63. ^ "Ezra Levant: The Rebel's unrepentant commander – Macleans.ca". Macleans.ca. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  64. ^ Rebel Media. #BLMKidnapping: Real Talk with Faith Goldy and Lauren Southern. YouTube
  65. ^ "The mainstream media has gotten very tame (Guest: Barbara Kay)". Therebel.media. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 
  66. ^ Rebel Media. How feminism fueled the obesity crisis YouTube
  67. ^ "Rebel Media Loses Another High-Profile Contributor". Canadalandshow.com. 26 September 2017. Retrieved 29 September 2017. 

External links