The events in Charlottesville last weekend seem to have opened up a firestorm raining down on the head of Nazi sympathizing media outlet, the Rebel. In turn, the heat from said fire has started to make those politicians and electoral hopefuls who support them a little uncomfortable. On Sunday, United Conservative Party leader candidate Doug Schweitzer was the first UCP hopeful to publicly condemn both the right wing media and its contributors, commentators and guests, and the bandwagon continued filling up all week; if to a lesser extent.
|Credit: Rebel Media|
Other UCP leadership candidates, Brian Jean and Jason Kenney, were less emphatic in their condemnation. Brian Jean, whose very short-lived appeal to moderates encouraged commentators for the outlet to question his commitment to conservatives, reiterated his support for free speech but claimed he was “concerned with the commentary and editorial direction” of the Rebel. Having been on the receiving end of a clash with the Rebel before, it seems he is unwilling to say more.
Jason Kenney, claimed he was “repeatedly attacked by Rebel for criticizing them” but little evidence of this can be found. For 5 straight pages of a custom Google search within the Rebel’s site, there is nothing but articles denoting praise for Kenney. On the sixth page, there is finally a commentary with what looks as if it may offer the kind of attack Kenney claims he received. In May of 2017, Levant produced a video in which he mentioned both Jean and Kenney and the stance they took in response to a chant of “lock (Premier Rachel Notley) up” at the Rebel’s Carbon Tax rally in December 2016 saying:
“… provided the leader (of the united conservative party) has the courage of their convictions to undo the damage (caused by NDP policies). I’m not even fully convinced of that. I see political correctness creeping into both those parties. I mean, obviously the Progressive Conservatives are still a split personality, lots of red tories there. I know that both Brian Jean and Jason Kenney for example condemned our rally on the steps of the legislature in Alberta in December where nearly 3000 men and women were there to protest the carbon tax; many of them unemployed. But Kenney and Jean condemned the men for a quick. light-hearted chant to ‘lock her up’ as if those men really meant to kidnap her and lock her up or something instead of just having a light-hearted moment to (lessen) the pain of their unemployment.” May 19, 2017
There was little criticism levied against Kenney and certainly not what one could reasonably consider an “attack”. Even the articles that suggest there might be something negative about Jason Kenney within neither mention him by name nor link to anything other than another commentator’s (or more of their own) personal opinions; which, again, do not mention Kenney at all. So why would he lie?
Kenney was already called out for stating he had not appeared on the Rebel for over a year. Now it looks as if he’s crying wolf about being “repeatedly attacked”. If anything, Kenney has been repeatedly fawned over. Is he trying to maintain public support from the conservative (but not Nazi sympathizing) voters? Or is he simply seeking the balance that will allow the Rebel to continue to garner support from Alberta’s alt-right? Kenney can hardly be blamed for what the Rebel chooses to write about (and omit) but one has to wonder why he would lie about his long, comfortable history with Rebel media.