Press freedom applies to everyone – even The Rebel

Ezra Levant is the president of The Rebel News Network Ltd.

JEFF MCINTOSH/THE CANADIAN PRESS

Ezra Levant is the president of The Rebel News Network Ltd.

It’s become standard practice for the Liberal government to refuse to accredit me or other reporters from my company, Rebel News, at press conferences. Other right-leaning reporters are banned, too. But, at a recent press conference at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre, during a visit by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, there I was, smiling at Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland from the front row.

I had been smuggled into the room by the former director of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency.

Okay – that sounds more dramatic than it really was. The former director of the CIA is Mr. Pompeo himself. And he didn’t really smuggle me in. But he did let me walk into the news conference as part of his own delegation, which included U.S. journalists. And I doubt he told Ms. Freeland about it.

That’s just as shocking as if it had really been a CIA operation: The only way I was able to attend a news conference by my own government was with the assistance of a foreign government.

It happened in the summer, too, when Ms. Freeland co-hosted a media freedom conference in London along with her then-British counterpart, Jeremy Hunt.

There, Ms. Freeland gave a speech and invited journalists to a question-and-answer session. But her staff singled out two of the seven reporters who showed up and told them they would not be welcome.

There just wasn’t enough room for all seven, they said. The Globe and Mail, CTV, CBC, Global TV and Al Jazeera could come. But the two conservative reporters could not – Andrew Lawton, the former Sun newspaper columnist who now writes for True North Canada; and Sheila Gunn Reid, a reporter for my company, Rebel News.

Mr. Lawton and Ms. Gunn Reid had been accredited by the British government, which organized the conference. Both had crowdfunded their travel from Canada. It was literally a conference about media freedom. But not for journalists with the wrong politics.

The other journalists waiting to talk with Ms. Freeland – including the Al Jazeera reporter – were stunned by her attempt to de-platform Mr. Lawton and Ms. Gunn Reid. And to their credit, they refused to attend the news conference without them.

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Faced with a boycott, Ms. Freeland blinked and grudgingly allowed some media freedom at the media freedom conference. Ms. Gunn Reid got to ask her questions. Why had Ms. Freeland asked the UN to ban Ms. Gunn Reid from their conferences? Why had the Liberals refused to respond to her Access to Information requests?

Ms. Freeland’s answer was shocking, especially in juxtaposition to what she had just said in her official speech: “We all need to defend our independent press – even, and perhaps especially, when it criticizes us.”

That’s the script she read when she was onstage with celebrities such as Amal Clooney. But when it was just Canadian reporters, Ms. Freeland let the mask slip.

“You are here asking me a question, and that’s my choice and my decision,” she said. In fact, her choice had been to exclude Ms. Gunn Reid. But do press freedoms really require her permission?

“I do also think that it is important for governments, for countries, for multilateral organizations to be thoughtful about media organizations that are truly independent and truly impartial,” she continued.

Ms. Freeland didn’t explain that accusation. She had no problem inviting Al Jazeera, the state broadcaster of Qatar. Later that day, she privately welcomed the Foreign Minister of Pakistan to the conference – one of the most brutal censors in the world.

Ms. Freeland did not reject censoring journalists. She justified it, if it was “thoughtful.” She ended by accusing Rebel News of being white supremacists.

It’s standard now.

Indeed, the Parliamentary Press Gallery – the reporters’ guild that controls access to many media conferences – has banned us without notice, explanation or any appeal. China’s state broadcaster, Xinhua, is a member of the Parliamentary Press Gallery. But we’re banned.

Not everyone appreciates our point of view. But we clearly speak to many Canadians. Our reporters have been accredited by governments around the world, in places such as Sweden, the Netherlands and India, and even in partly free countries such as Iraq and Morocco. Only Canada has banned us.

I’m not surprised the Liberals don’t like us. We ask prickly questions. But that’s part of our democratic system. If you need help understanding the problem, imagine if former prime minister Stephen Harper had banned liberal journalists from his government events.

Ms. Freeland’s conduct is remarkable given her former career as a journalist.

Liberals need to know how freedom of the press works – it’s a gift you have to give to your opponents, if you want it for yourself.

Thank you, CBC. I can’t believe I’m writing those words, but I mean it. — Ezra Levant

 

The Rebel

Thank you, CBC. I can’t believe I’m writing those words, but I mean it. — Ezra Levant

 

 

Did you know that Sheila Gunn Reid and I were at a media freedom conference in London, England?

It was a remarkable experience because it was co-sponsored by the Canadian and U.K. governments. Governments and freedoms don’t mix at the best of times. But the U.K. and Canada are particularly censorious these days.

But there were some amazing moments. Not only did Sheila find herself in an alliance with CBC and CTV against Canada’s foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, but I had a chance to confront Pakistan’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Shah Mehmood Qureshi.

You can watch all our videos at MediaFreedomConference.com.

But here’s a quick selection of my favourite videos from the week:

Twitter has been warning users around the world that their tweets were violating Pakistani law. This has been going on since last year (at least), and it even happened to me!

That’s why I took my chance to challenge Pakistan’s Foreign Minister on this issue.

Click here to watch my video to see this censorious thug’s response.

Sheila Gunn Reid made strange friends and allies at the Defend Media Freedom Conference when a miracle happened after Chrystia Freeland’s staffer announced that only The Rebel and Andrew Lawton would not be allowed to attend a scrum.

Mainstream media journalists from outlets including the CBC, CTV and The Globe and Mail all refused to attend the event unless Sheila and Andrew were allowed, too.

Click here to watch that video.

To my surprise, I was invited to be part of a panel of young journalists!

I’m really not that young anymore, but I was happy to participate.

As you can see in my video, the younger reporters weren’t as dedicated to free speech as I am.

I hope you enjoyed these videos, you can watch all our reports from inside the Defend Media Freedom Conference, at MediaFreedomConference.com.

Your’s truly,

Ezra Levant

P.S. We were the only independent media organization at this conference — everybody else was demanding subsidies or censorship. So we need your help to hold our politicians accountable because if we don’t do it, no-one else will.

UN official admits there is NO LEGAL DEFINITION of “hate speech”

UN official admits there is NO LEGAL DEFINITION of “hate speech”

The Rebel
 

Ezra Levant and Sheila Gunn Reid are in London to cover the so-called Defend Media Freedom Conference, which is being run by the British and Canadian governments.

During a question and answer session, Sheila asked UN Special Rapporteur on Free Speech, David Kaye, about the UN’s campaign against “hate speech and Islamophobia”.

His answer will shock you.

David Kaye admitted that there is no legal definition of “hate speech”. You almost have to hear it to believe it.

WATCH our video to see his full statement:

If globalists organizing a censorship campaign haven’t decided on a legal definition for “hate speech”, how on earth can we trust them not to use it to silence their critics — critics like The Rebel?

Yours truly,

The Rebel Team

Three Rebel journalists have been assaulted in three weeks. Enough is enough — we’re fighting back, and we need your help  

Three Rebel journalists have been assaulted in three weeks. Enough is enough — we’re fighting back, and we need your help

 

Assault on Keean Bexte

Our Calgary reporter, Keean Bexte, was assaulted by a leftist activist while he was covering the United We Roll pro-pipeline convoy in Ottawa.

Keean covered the official speeches by the United We Roll folks. But as we do, we like to cover what the critics say — often just because they are so inarticulate, it’s sort of amazing. So Keean was amongst the antifa just asking them for their views. And he was talking to one guy — the guy with the aviator glasses, when some other leftist thug sneaked up on him and just hit him.

Now, obviously, it didn’t deeply hurt Keean. But it was shocking. And it damaged his phone. And more to the point — it was an assault.

This is him:

Thug.png

And the cops — just did nothing. In fact, worse than nothing — Keean told me that police, who were literally standing right there, police said to him if he wanted to make a complaint, he should call the police department. They were right there. But they couldn’t care less.

Assault on David Menzies and Efron

A couple of weeks ago, two other Rebel journalists were attacked. Again, they weren’t beaten to a pulp; I don’t think they were hurt; but so what — you can’t punch a journalist.

A manager at the Radisson Toronto East manhandled David Menzies, and our cameraman Efron earlier this month.

You can’t punch people. We were lawfully on that property; that Radisson manager then asked us to leave, and we were about to leave, Menzies even started to say he was leaving, but before that manager even finished his sentence, he just punched David and Efron, and punched our gear.

We filed a lawsuit in the Ontario Superior Court of Justice, against the Radisson Toronto East hotel, and their manager David Strong, on behalf of our employees, David and Efron.

We’re not suing for millions. We know that they weren’t wounded for life. The money isn’t even the point — we’re suing for just $10,000 each, a total of $20,000. We’ll pay far more than that in legal fees. We’re suing to make a point — you can’t hit people. Even if you disagree with them. You can’t do that, whether your a person, or a multi-billion dollar corporation like Radisson.

Not the first time Rebel journalists have been hit

Of course, this isn’t the first time a rebel journalist has been assaulted. The worst was when some male feminist named Dion Bews hit our Sheila Gunn Reid — at a women’s march, no less.

The CBC actually took the side of the thug in their news reports, trying to humanize him and paint him as the victim. In the end, Dion Bews was convicted, but because of a court error, he got off with a slap on the wrist.

So we sued Bews in civil court for more than a year, and we finally got justice in the form of a court order.Here’s what the judge who upheld our lawsuit against that thug Dion Bews had to say:

Mr. Bews is entitled to his political views, and the Plaintiff and The Rebel are entitled to their political views.  Mr. Bews however, was not entitled to commit assault and battery because his political views differed from those of the Plaintiff or The Rebel.

You can read the entire decision, here.

So we did that. It cost us more than $30,000 in legal bills. Bews had to pay Sheila just $3,500 and for the rest of his life he’ll be known as the cowardly male feminist who hits women.

Help identify the Antifa thug

If you can help identify the Antifa thug who hit Keean, then please email tips@therebel.media with his identity. We’ll keep you confidential. If you are the first to positively ID him, we’ll pay you $500.

Don’t take the law into your own hands. No vigilantism, please. Just tell us who he is, and we’ll do the rest — we’ll put him to the law, as we did with Dion Bews.

Thug_1.pngThug.png

So this is him, two different perspectives. That’s who hit Keean. In Ottawa. So he’s probably from there. He seemed to be someone who protests a lot; he seems to be political. My suspicion is that he’s some public sector union thug who protests every day, and when he saw our people, he wants to do more than protest — he wanted to punch a conservative.

Help fund our lawyers

The second thing I need your help with is to pay for the lawyers.

If Sheila were a Liberal, if David and Efron and Keean were Liberals, not only would they not have been attacked, but if they were, police would take care of everything. They didn’t charge the Radisson manager, and they didn’t lift a finger in Ottawa. So, we have to pay for justice.

The lawsuit for Sheila cost us more than $30,000. It wasn’t about the money. It was about defending our people, standing up to bullies, and letting the world know that if you come for the rebel, we’ll come for justice. (By the way, David, Efron and Keean didn’t ask me to do this. I’m choosing to do this. Because I am grateful to them for suffering for our journalism, and because it’s right.)

I’m going to need $500 to pay the bounty to identify this thug, because the police don’t plan to investigate. And then I’m going to need $30,000 to sue him, and $30,000 to sue the Radisson.

Do you think that’s wasteful? Do you think that’s a luxury? I don’t. It’s my way of saying to Keean and David and Efron that I value them and I respect them and I want to treat them how I would want to be treated if I myself were assaulted by a left-wing thug.

That’s my goal — $60,500. If you can help me cover those legal bills, please do. I promise to keep you posted on the case.

This is part of the price of being a conservative in Canada. But I think we have to pay it. If you think so too, please help us out by contributing below.