As I explained in an earlier post (and will recap here), one of the absolutely fundamental requirements for something to be considered legally defamatory in Canada is that (and I am paraphrasing) what is uttered or published must be likely to lower the reputation of the plaintiff in the eyes of reasonable and right-thinking people. Let's expand on that just a bit.
What the above means is that what is published must, in some way, injure or damage the reputation of the plaintiff and, in most cases, this is not that much of an issue. Here's an example. Say I publicly accuse you of being an alcoholic. Almost everyone would agree that that sort of utterance would lower your reputation in the eyes of the community, and would therefore, by definition, constitute defamation. That's not really debatable.
However (and here is the massive however), if you already have a reputation as an alcoholic, then your reputation cannot possibly be damaged by simply pointing that out. Put another way, if one were to ask around about you, and the vast majority responded, "That guy? Yeah, he's an alcoholic," then by definition you have a reputation as an alcoholic and there is no defamation. None. See how that works? And why is this useful to know?
Because the bedrock basis of Ezra's case against me involves insisting that describing him as a "grifter" is defamatory (and I suspect most of you can see where this is going). Normally, calling someone a grifter publicly would be considered defamation, and would allow an action to proceed. However (and here's the important part), that doesn't count if you already have precisely that reputation. In other words, if one were to canvass reasonable and right-thinking members of the community, and dozens, if not hundreds, of them said, "Ezra? Jesus, that guy is a grifter," well, that pretty much puts an end to the action right there. If you can show example after example after example after example after example of various people confirming that part of Ezra's reputation, then, quite simply, according to black-and-white Canadian law, he has no case.
All of the above is why, a while back, I did a quick survey of Twitter to collect examples of exactly this, and I published them back here. As you can appreciate, I think I've more than established the public reputation of both Rebel News and Ezra Levant as icons of griftiness, which is all I am required to do to have this case stuffed through a woodchipper when it gets to court. So what is this latest delightful gift of which I speak? I'm glad you asked.
A helpful reader just pointed me at a delicious article in (of all places) "The Daily Stormer," a rancid publication described by Wikipedia as "an American far-right neo-Nazi, white supremacist, misogynist, and Holocaust denial commentary and message board website." So what exactly does the Daily Stormer have to say that I would find useful? Oh, my.
As you can see by the title of this June, 2019 online article (and no, I'm not going to link to it), DS's Andrew Anglin openly takes a shot at what he describes as the "Grift Right":
And that's when it gets relevant as, not far into the article, Anglin goes after what and who he considers the tippy-top of the right-wing grift iceberg. I give you:
"Grift Base Alpha." My God, could it get any funnier, other than Anglin expanding on this by describing Ezra's faux media outlet as "an assembly line" of grift.
Not content to leave it at that, Anglin introduces the alleged stars of Rebel Media's grift assembly line. Here's Gavin McInnes:
Finally, we have the most egregious griftoid of all, Laura Loomer:
with Anglin taking one more shot at Ezra's Rebel Media, describing it as a "literal grifter factory." Stealing shamelessly from an episode of Seinfeld, "That's gold, Jerry. Gold!"
Seriously, if one wanted to establish to the Court the reputation of one Ezra Levant as a grifter, one could not do any better than another right-wing forum describing Ezra's media outlet as "Grift Base Alpha" and a "literal grifter factory." I swear, with just that one article, I might not even need those dozens and dozens of examples from Twitter.
Thank you, anonymous reader ... I owe you a martini.