Saturday, January 30, 2021

Rebel News "Grifters gonna grift" edition, episode 3,726.

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.


Unknown said...

Would registering as a third-party diminish Ezra and Rebel's claims to being legitimate "journalists", legally and/or informally?

Anonymous said...

Why shouldn't Ezra be allowed to appeal? I thought everyone had a right to appeal, and it seems that freedom of speech and freedom of the press is important. So what's the problem here?

CC said...

You have a fundamental misunderstanding of the appeal process. Let me explain.

First, an appeal is not just because you dislike the original ruling. You need to provide an actual *basis* for the appeal, typically an obvious error in law or fact made by the original judge. It is not the job of the appeal court to re-hear your case because you want a different ruling; rather, it is their job to listen to your argument that the original ruling was *wrong*, and that's all. And given the reasonableness and robustness of the original ruling, it's not at all clear where you would argue there was an error. Ezra violated election advertising law. The end.

As for your argument regarding free speech or freedom of the press, that's another misunderstanding you have. An appeal is restricted to arguing the points of the original ruling. In this case, Ezra would be free to, perhaps, argue that the election advertising law was mis-interpreted, or mis-applied, or whatever, but it's not at all clear that it was. In fact, it seems that it was applied perfectly appropriately so, again, there is no palpable error identified here.

Any argument that tried to argue the larger constitutional issue of freedom of speech or freedom of the press would be summarily kicked to the curb, not only because it's not relevant here, but because there's no case for it. No one said Ezra couldn't publish his book, or put up lawn signs, or any of that other stuff. The law simply required him to register as a third-party advertiser, and that's it, and that's the only argument he could make, and it would fail dismally.

Most importantly, Ezra would know all this. He *knows* there is little to no basis for an appeal. So if anyone is ready to cough up cash for this proposed appeal, they might want to keep that in mind.

I'm just trying to be helpful.

Anonymous said...

So what happens if Ezra raises $100,000, then just pays the $3,000 fine and never appeals? Is that fraud?

Foog said...

"So what happens if Ezra raises $100,000, then just pays the $3,000 fine and never appeals? Is that fraud?"

Please. Fraud is such a nasty word. Why don't we just cal it "the appeal is pending" and leave it at that.