July 12th, 2024

The Rebel unfairly portrayed in Charlottesville aftermath

By Letter to the Editor on August 30, 2017.

It has been a rough ride for the struggling internet news site, The Rebel, and its founder and main spokesman Ezra Levant. Faith Goldy reported from Charlottesville, Virginia on the free-for-all between white supremacists/neo-Nazis, the Antifa [anarchists] and the group in Black Lives Matter who also resort to violence. The Antifa denies the accusation of communist sympathizers, and portrays itself as anti-neo-Nazis, who prefer to confront the Nazis on its own and with violence. Unfortunately well-meaning Americans also showed up to protest the racists and they got caught in this violence, and one woman was killed.

The Rebel is now labeled as sympathetic to the white supremacists and the neo-Nazis. Prominent and no-name Conservatives, both provincially and federally, are scrambling to distance themselves from the Rebel. National journalists like Brian Lilly, John Robson and Barbara Kay have bailed. Past targets by The Rebel now can retaliate. Brian Mason, Alberta’s Minister of Transport, pans Brian Jean and Jason Kenney for having past affiliation with The Rebel. It helps to divert from the rather dismal NDP record. Doug Schweitzer, the unknown in the UCP leadership campaign, finally gets some media attention by also lambasting The Rebel and demanding that his competitors come clean on The Rebel.

The slant of the reporting is not surprising. The white supremacists/neo-Nazis are outdated, violent racists, but the Antifa, communist(?) anarchists are not mentioned in the same way. It is no surprise that Charlottesville police stayed away. And, the commentary is that this growing violence stems from the election of President Trump. He is criticized for he blamed all these different groups for the riot, and he didn’t initially single out and condemn the supremacists/neo-Nazis.

Of course, the commentators fail to acknowledge that the U.S. culture is very much racism and violence. Fifty-four years ago the U.S. government passed the Civil Rights Act. This nation had 100 years of slavery and another 100 years of segregation. Some 50 years is not going to quickly change the mindset of a nation. In 2015, 15,700 Americans were murdered, 90,000 were raped and 327,000 were robbed. Was Charlottesville really out of sync with the U.S. way of life?

Our national media appear to be quite selective in reporting comparable situations. Our prime minister not too long ago stated to a meeting of women that he admired the communist government in China. Its founder Mao Zedong holds the record for all tyrants, including Stalin and Hitler, in the slaughter of human beings. Justin Trudeau’s father used to quote Mao. What would a tyrant have to say which was worth quoting? Is Justin Trudeau now unfit to be prime minister, and should he resign? How many journalists and politicians criticized the prime minister for his comments? Ezra Levant did.

News today hardly includes the consistent application of journalistic principles. It is selective and biased. The readers are in a dilemma. Who is to be believed? It is no surprise that the conventional media is a dying industry. It is being replaced by the growing social media.

Larry Samcoe

Medicine Hat

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