Ted Byfield: 10,000 words to describe the rise and fall of Ezra Levant
I had a singular experience last week. I read the longest newspaper story I’ve ever seen. No, it did not concern the assassination of the American president, nor a nuclear attack by North Korea, nor the catastrophic fiscal collapse of the Ottawa government. None of the above.
The astonishing fact is that what filled nearly the whole front page, plus five full inside pages of the National Post newspaper and ran to something like 10,000 words was an account of the rise and fall of a Canadian journalist. Except that he hasn’t quite fallen, and now with this avalanche of free publicity to sustain him, he isn’t likely to. Nor did this gargantuan tome provide any valid reason why he should fall. It was, in other words, as badly reported as it was overwritten.
The man’s name is Ezra Levant, a graduate lawyer from Calgary who opted to go into both the media and politics instead of law. He wrote columns for our magazine, Alberta Report, until it folded, and my son Link and I wrote columns for Ezra’s magazine, the Western Standard, until it folded. Then Ezra moved to Toronto as a commentator on the Sun newspapers’ television channel until it folded as well. (So, alas, it goes with Canada’s conservative media.) But that’s when Ezra came into his own.
He established, some say in his basement, what he called TheRebel Media, an online television news and commentary show that lives up to its name in every possible way. But its audience zoomed upward and with good reason. It covered all the news that the “respectable” media tended to avoid.
This proved fortunate for our province of Alberta. A socialist government took over in 2015 because the conservative ranks had split into two parties. In the circumstance, neither at first provided an effective opposition. This role was effectively filled by the Rebel Media, which the government unsuccessfully tried to ban from the press gallery.
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