By Tim Kalinowski on August 19, 2017.
Cypress-Medicine Hat MLA Drew Barnes acknowledges The Rebel went “too far” in its coverage of the events in Charlottesville, but, in a break from his party’s leadership, says he would appear on the network again.
“Yes, I would,” responded Barnes when asked if he would appear despite Brian Jean, Jason Kenney and Andrew Scheer saying they would not until The Rebel showed it has changed editorial direction on how it covers extremist elements of the alt.-right. “If The Rebel wanted to call me today and talk about the $33 billion in debt the NDP government has put us in, then, yeah, I would talk to them about it.”
Barnes said he feels there is a place for all media voices in Alberta, and The Rebel is one which has been supported by many mainstream conservatives.
“All media voices that are supported by Albertans, and are commercially viable, should be there,” says Barnes. “I have a lot of empathy for the media business right now because of all the changes social media has brought to it. I hope The Rebel can find their focus again, and become a conservative, fair and good voice.”
Barnes emphasizes he is in no way endorsing any sympathetic coverage, by any media outlet, of neo-Nazism, racism or white supremacy.
“The Rebel went too far in how they handled the extremist protest and extremist violence (in Charlottesville),” states Barnes. “I think they need to be criticized for that, and I am glad that Albertans are.”