Oh, yawn, here we goes again, with Ezra Levant howling in outrage over alleged censorship and harassment:
followed by the obligatory passing of the begging bowl:
To no one's surprise, the above is a massive misrepresentation of what happened, as one can read here in the actual judgment, but allow me to summarize. The violation had nothing to do with writing a book or "criticizing a politician," it had to do with the clear and obvious violation of Canada's election laws, as the summary makes abundantly clear:
And what does this mean? Let's continue reading, shall we?
Let me translate that for you. The violation had nothing whatever with simply writing a book; rather, it had to do with the fact that the book was clearly and admittedly published to coincide with the election, and therefore should have required Ezra and Rebel News to register as a third party, which would have obligated Ezra to:
This is not a difficult concept; Ezra could have avoided all of this utterly contrived outrage if he had simply registered as a third party under Canada's election laws. Instead, one suspects that Ezra deliberately flouted the law, precisely so he could be convicted of a violation as the basis for raising a hundred grand from his horrifically gullible followers for an utterly doomed appeal. I swear, if the citizens of "Rebel Nation" were any dumber, they'd be Joe Warmington.
POTENTIALLY INTERESTING DEVELOPMENT: Two issues to address here, based on recent developments.
First, commenter below asks whether third-party registration would, in some mysterious way, diminish Rebel News' reputation as a legitimate media organization, to which one can reasonably reply, "HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!" No, really, I doubt it's physically possible to injure the reputation of Rebel News in any way, given that it is widely accepted as complete and utter garbage as it is. But that brings us to our second, more tantalizing point.
Overnight, I was gifted with an unsigned note (through an anonymizing remailer), suggesting that, despite Ezra's plea for $100K+ to fight this outrageous violation of free speech and free expression and freedom of the press and yadda yadda yadda, neither Ezra nor Rebel has any serious intention of appealing this fine, and the logic goes like this.
First, given Ezra's legal background (as crippled and deranged as it is), he would almost certainly realize that an appeal is doomed to failure. An appeal needs to be based on actual error in fact or law and, as you can see in the ruling above, the findings in the ruling are quite reasonable and are solldly based in black-and-white Canadian election law. There is nothing that is obviously incorrect or erroneous and, short of clear mistakes, an appeals court will simply let the ruling stand, and Ezra would know this, so any appeal has little to no chance of succeeding. But there's a more interesting observation.
As much as Ezra wants to feign outrage over the ruling, all of the available evidence suggests he knew this ruling was likely, and that he is actually secretly delighted, as it gives him the opportunity to froth at the mouth, and yammer on about being censored by Trudeau, and on and on and tediously on. And why would one think this?
Because Ezra has been down exactly this road before with Rebel's oil patch trailer trash Alberta Bureau Chief Sheila Gunn Reid and her utterly valueless (and allegedly ghost-written) piece of crap polemic "Stop Notley," which was also published to curiously coincide with the last Alberta provincial election, and which raised precisely the same issues:
In other words, Ezra is clearly aware of election law rules, which leads one to speculate (as was suggested to me) that Ezra published his book deliberately to provoke, hoping for precisely what happened as the basis for shrieking hysterically about censorship, and pleading pathetically for tens of thousands of dollars to fight the man, even as he realizes there is little chance of success, further suggesting that he might, in the end, not bother with the appeal, pay the $3,000 fine, and move on.
This is all wildly speculative but it makes a certain logical sense and, in the end, Ezra gets another KFC bucket full of cash:
which, if true, would surprise absolutely no one.