Just a few observations ... recall from just a few months back that Rebel News' Ezra Levant pleaded publicly to help pay off (in its entirety) $380,000 worth of loans, and the drooling yobs of Rebel Nation came through:
Oddly, in the couple of months since that massive windfall, the masthead at Rebel seems unchanged; there have been no new apparent hires, and the quality of journalism seems as misleading and valueless as ever.
On the other hand, it's public knowledge that, in the last few months, Rebel's Ezra Levant has:
- settled a defamation suit with CJPME (terms confidential),
- lost two anti-SLAPP motions, which puts him on the hook for not only his own legal fees, but the entirety of the other parties' costs, and
- is currently fighting a $200,000 defamation suit in Edmonton.
It would be massively irresponsible to speculate that these things were in any way related.
I'm just trying to be helpful.
P.S. While it goes back to 2017, it's worth rehashing Ezra's legal and financial beatdown at the hands of Khurrum Awan, as documented in Frank magazine:
a beatdown that was followed by Ezra's unsuccessful appeal to the Supreme Court of Canada, which surely cost a few more dollars, all of which raises the obvious question -- are any of Rebel News' long-time, faithful sponsors getting at all tired of handing over their cash month after month and year after year, only to open their browser to see Ezra having to fork over tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees and judgments and costs?
Is there a single member of Rebel Nation who's been heard to mutter, "You know, I keep sending in all this money to hear the other side of story, and all I see is Ezra in court on a regular basis"?
And more specifically, are there any current journos working for Rebel News, almost certainly getting little more than a subsistence salary, watching all this money pour in from one fundraiser after another and wondering when any of it is going to trickle down to them?
One wonders when any of those gullible doofs are going to start asking questions.
P.P.S. A completely unreliable source suggests that Ezra is, indeed, planning to appeal those two anti-SLAPP losses, which would give him the opportunity to blow even more money on lawyers and costs. Just in case anyone cared.
Maybe a dumb question, but how do we know that Rebel actually got $450,000 in donations? If you check the donation page, there's no transparency as to where the donations are coming from, or their amounts, all you see is the apparent total figure. Who's to say that Ezra isn't fudging the donation numbers to make it LOOK like they're getting all that money, just to make them look popular? Maybe he still had a lot of that original loan left over, and quietly moved it into this fundraiser to pad the numbers, just so he could say, "You like me! You really like me!!" I can't believe there are that many people who would hand over that much to Ezra without any accountability or transparency.
The Rebel doesn't appear in most instances to link contributions to specific initiatives - money pours into a general input called "donations", which appears to pay for the Rebel's multiple lawsuits (both those it pursues and those it defends against), as well as the Rebel's own operations, without any systematic reporting linking contributions to outputs or outcomes.
Since the failure of the Rebel's original grandiose plans for advertising and program sponsorship, and their ineligibility for federal, territorial or municipal programs designed to support actual journalism, Ezra has made a polemical virtue of necessity, bragging that his inability to attract sponsors or attract funding is proof of his "independence" (he's never explained how the Shillman fellowships some of his more odious contributors received don't contaminate his innocence)>
However, bragging about being funded "exclusively by readers" doesn't obscure that fact that ANYONE - any individual, right-foundation, political party, lobby group or corporation - can make any size of donation under name they choose. Curiously, Ezra seems to have no problem drumming up cash to send crews to UN conference involving the environment or tobacco use, two industries for which he was a paid lobbyist.
It will be interesting to see how this new alliance with the right wing "Epoch Time" propaganda machine works out. I suspect there may be quite a bit of new money pouring in soon.
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