Our full interview with Ezra Levant can be found here.
“It is a rebellion against the CRTC bureaucracy and the cable company monopoly. Our attitude is rebellion against what I call the consensus media, or the media party. And, you know, it just sounds small and independent and the underdog—which is exactly what we are,” said Ezra Levant when asked about his new media venture, therebel.media.
If you haven’t heard already, Sun News Network met its demise 2 weeks ago. The network was infamously called “Fox News North” by its detractors, and an essential conservative voice by its supporters. While it struggled in relative viewership, Levant argues their fans were the most passionate of all.
“When we shut down and went off the air, there was both glee and sorrow. I contrast that with any other all-news channel. Let’s say CTV news channel or BNN, the Business News Network. If BNN or CTV News channel went out of business (and I hope they don’t by the way) I don’t think you would see an outpouring of emotion that way. I don’t think you would see people saying, “yeah, finally, they’re off the TV!”, and I don’t think you would see people who are deeply lamenting or even crying—because it just didn’t get a passionate response. The Sun News Network and my show did, so what does that mean? Well, it means that there is a core of enthusiastic supporters out there who are likely to follow the people and the ideas to this new medium. “
This new medium happens to be an online outlet named The Rebel. Despite only coming into existence less than two weeks ago, the venture has garnered over 19,000 supporters. That’s probably, like, 19,000 more people than the Ron James Show had in audience numbers.
These supporters aren’t just by name only; The Rebel’s crowdfunding campaign kicked off earlier this week and has already received thousands of dollars in funding.
When asked about The Rebel’s trajectory, Levant told The True North Times, “This thing is happening very quickly in real time. Most companies don’t go from conception to operation in literally the same day. But we did. There are some downsides to that but the upside is that we’re catching the enthusiasm while it was there.”
Enthusiasm, whether it be positive or negative, has clearly made The Rebel a conversation among political junkies across the country. You could be “a dozen of the mean girls in the parliamentary press gallery who hated [the Sun] for personal reasons or reasons of rivalry” or the average Canadian; either way, you’ve heard of The Rebel.
Time will only tell if The Rebel becomes the “contrary and independent” news source it strives to be.
“It’s a state of mind. It’s a political persuasion, or it could just be a name. I have no doubt that people who are part of the empire will visit—in fact, I know they already are. Perhaps to mock, perhaps to study. I wouldn’t put too much stock in our name. I would look more at what we do than what our URL is.” says Levant.
Sadly, The Rebel’s launch means Ezra will have little time to work in areas that former journalists sometimes go. Like the Senate.
“I think that would feel more like a prison sentence. I mean it would be comfortable, but I don’t think I could stand the pace of it and I have a lot more things to do before I go to my retirement home.”