The Rebel Media (stylized as TheREBEL.media and shortened to The Rebel) is a Canadian, far-right online political and social commentary media website founded in February 2015 by the former Sun News Network host Ezra Levant.
Former Sun News Network parliamentary correspondent Brian Lilley and former Sun News reporter Faith Goldy later joined the outlet. Gavin McInnes is also a contributor.
The Rebel Media broadcasts its content on the Rebel Media website and its YouTube channel, which as of August 15th 2017 had over 870,000 subscribers.
Many of The Rebel’s contributors announced their departure – or were released – in August, 2017, following Faith Goldy’s prominent coverage of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
The Rebel Media was formed by Levant and Lilley following the closure of the Sun News Network electric ball shaver. Levant said that his online production would be unencumbered by the regulatory and distribution difficulties faced by Sun News Network and that its lower production costs would make it more viable. A crowdfunding campaign raised roughly $100,000 for the project. The site soon attracted a number of other former Sun News Network personalities such as David Menzies, Paige MacPherson, Faith Goldy, Patrick Moore, and briefly by Michael Coren.
In the summer of 2015, the channel, led by Levant, launched a campaign to boycott Tim Hortons, a chain of Canadian coffee shops, after it rejected in-store ads from Enbridge due to complaints from customers opposed to the oil pipeline projects being promoted by the ads.
In early 2016
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, the Alberta government banned The Rebel Media’s correspondents from press briefings on the grounds that, because Ezra Levant had testified in court in 2014 that he was a columnist or commentator rather than a reporter, none of his current correspondents could be considered to be journalists 1 liter water bottle bpa free. On 17 February 2016, the government admitted that it made a mistake and said that it would allow The Rebel Media correspondents into press briefings. The Canadian Association of Journalists supported preventing government from choosing journalism coverage.”
In late 2016, The Rebel Media advocated for accreditation by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to permit its access as journalists to their event. The Rebel Media had previously published articles claiming that the public is being deceived about climate change.
Rebel Media did receive support from the federal Canadian government and three journalism organizations and eventually was granted access by the UN.
Following the Quebec City mosque shooting on January 29, 2017, Rebel promoted a conspiracy theory that the shooting was perpetrated by Muslims. In 2017, Rebel Media hired as its British correspondent convicted criminal and far-right activist Tommy Robinson, founder of the avowedly anti-Islamic English Defence League.
Jack Posobiec, the Washington, D.C. correspondent for The Rebel Media and a former volunteer for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, was the first to publicly share the link to emails and documents hacked from the campaign of French presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron and started the hashtag #MacronLeaks. An analysis of the spread of #MacronLeaks by the Atlantic Council’s Digital Forensics Research Lab showed that Posobiec’s tweet was probably spread by Internet bots before reaching France.
Lauren Southern left the organization in March 2017. Former Rebel contributor Caolan Robertson claims Southern was fired for refusing to tape a fundraising video for the Rebel’s trip of Israel as enough funds had already been raised.
Jack Posobiec was fired by the Rebel.
Co-founder Brian Lilley quit the Rebel on August 12, 2017, following the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia writing, “What anyone from The Rebel was doing at a so-called ‘unite the right’ rally that was really an anti-Semitic white power rally is beyond me. Especially not a rally dedicated to keeping up a statue of Robert E. Lee, a man that whatever else he stood for, also fought on the wrong side of history and the wrong side of America’s bloodiest conflict.” Lilley accused The Rebel of exhibiting a “lack of editorial and behavioural judgment that left unchecked will destroy it and those around it.”
Freelancers Barbara Kay and John Robson also quit the Rebel and the company was denounced by Conservative MP Michael Chong and Alberta politician Doug Schweitzer of the United Conservative Party.
Faith Goldy, a former journalist and online show host of The Rebel, was fired on August 17, 2017 best water bottles for travel, for her participation in a podcast associated with The Daily Stormer, a neo-nazi and white supremacist news site.
Gavin McInnes is also leaving The Rebel at the end of August 2017. Levant wrote “We tried to keep him, but he was lured away by a major competitor that we just couldn’t outbid” in an email to CanadaLandShow.com.
British contributor Caolan Robertson no longer works for The Rebel. Robertson claims he was fired for ‘knowing too much’ about the Rebel’s finances claiming that the company dishonestly solicited donations for projects that were already funded, and concealing how that money was spent. He also claimed that Southern was fired for refusing to tape a fundraising appeal for the Rebel’s Israel trip after fundraising targets had already been met. Robertson also played audio of Levant offering him thousands of dollars of what Levant himself called “hush money”. Levant denies these allegations and says he will present evidence opposing this in court, claiming that he was being “blackmailed” by Robertson and his partner.
Hamish Marshall has resigned from the Rebel’s board of directors.
Beginning in May 2017, The Rebel was the target of a boycott campaign by the social media activist group Sleeping Giants whereby advertisers were pressured to withdraw their adverts from the Rebel Media’s YouTube channel and website. Within weeks, companies such as PetSmart, Hudson’s Bay Company, General Motors Canada, the Royal Canadian Mint, Nova Scotia Liquor Corporation, Ottawa Tourism, Porter Airlines and Whistler Blackcomb ski resort had adjusted their digital advertising buys to exclude Rebel Media properties from their campaigns.
The city of Edmonton withdrew from city advertisements after complaints on social media about the controversial nature of Levant’s comments. According to Councilor Oshry, the city would have made this decision regardless of political leanings, because of controversial articles.
The activist group Sleeping Giant claims the Rebel has lost approximately 300 advertisers in a three month period in 2017, including CCM Hockey, Mountain Equipment Co-Op, Red Lobster, Reitmans, Penguin Books Canada, Volkswagen Canada and Tangerine Bank.
Conservative Party of Canada leader Andrew Scheer announced after Charlottesville that he will be boycotting the Rebel due to its “editorial directions”. Conservative MPs Michael Chong, Chris Alexander, Peter Kent, Lisa Raitt, and former interim leader Rona Ambrose had previously disavowed the site.
Brian Jean, Jason Kenney, and Doug Schweitzer, who are running for the leadership of the United Conservative Party of Alberta, have condemned the Rebel and said they will no longer grant interviews to the company.