What the Hell is Happening at the Rebel Media?
Let’s stick to the facts, please. I’ll let you know when I’m detailing my own opinion.
Right now, the Rebel Media is suffering an exodus of its stars and has been since one of their breakouts, Lauren Southern, left on 9 March 2017 to pursue her own independent media channels. There are two major dramas going on at the same time: The intertwined firing of Faith Goldy with the Unite the Right rally, and a video posted by (former) contributer Caolan Robertson alleging bribery and “hush money.”
Caolan Robertson I
On 17 August 2017, Caolan posted this video on YouTube.
Fantastic and important video. This needs to be shared.
Ezra Levant I
On 15 August 2017, Levant posted this video and article entitled Why The Rebel rejects the Alt-Right. Even at this point in time, he had a neutral-to-positive view of Faith’s participation, even calling her “Our Faith.”
Our Faith Goldy was reporting from the leftists counter-protest to the alt-right rally in Charlottesville when a car plowed into the crowd.
Faith was mere feet away from the attack. A few steps closer and she could’ve been killed.
Leftists jumping at the chance to attack The Rebel are using our coverage in an attempt to label us as racists and neo-Nazis — a bizarre claim considering I’m Jewish and our staff comes from a variety of races and background.
As for Caolan?
On 17 August 2017, Ezra published Blackmail: Setting The Record Straight and posted this matching video in response to the allegations raised.
Brian Lilley I
On 14 August 2017, Lilley published this now-deleted post on his Facebook announcing his departure.
I may have helped start The Rebel, but I am no longer with The Rebel.
I wish them well going forward but no longer feel comfortable being part of the group that originally planned to carry on the legacy of Sun News.
When Sun News Network folded, I knew that there was still an audience looking for informed commentary from a small c conservative perspective and planned on doing what I could to keep in touch with the viewers that had followed me through those turbulent years at Sun.
Many of those viewers did follow me to The Rebel and as a new media start-up the organization has had incredible success. But is it the source for informed commentary from a small c conservative perspective?
I can hear the critics screaming no, and too often I agree with them.
As The Rebel has expanded at a rapid pace, currently one of the top YouTube news channels in the world, it has also changed its focus, its goals and its orientation.
This departure has been a long time coming. What may have started as a concern over the harsh tone taken on some subjects came to a head with this weekend’s events in Charlottesville, Virginia.
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.
I don’t think for a moment that Ezra Levant, or anyone else at The Rebel, is a racist nor a white supremacist. As Ezra has already pointed out on Twitter, he himself is Jewish and not a fan of the Klan.
He has also posted for the whole world to see, a memo that was distributed to all Rebel staff and contributors explaining that the company no longer wants to associate with the “alt-right.” Ezra explains that while he was originally intrigued by the idea of the “alt-right” as an anti-establishment conservative movement, things have since changed.
“But the alt-right has changed into something new, especially since Trump’s election. Now the leading figure — at least in terms of media attention — is Richard Spencer, and other white nationalists,” Levant wrote.
I was never enamoured by the “alt-right”, never saw the appeal but I take Ezra at his word when he describes his evolution.
But just as he has evolved, just as The Rebel has evolved, so have I and the uncomfortable dance that I have been doing for some time now must come to an end.
What The Rebel suffers from is a lack of editorial and behavioural judgment that left unchecked will destroy it and those around it. For that reason, I am leaving.
As a serious journalist with nearly 20 years experience at the highest levels in this country, and abroad, I cannot be a part of this.
I am not comfortable being associated with a group that, rightly or wrongly, is being increasingly viewed as associated with the likes of Richard Spencer. Like many of you, I had family that fought the Nazis, I never want to be in the same room as one.
I am also not comfortable with the increasingly harsh tone taken on issues like immigration, or Islam. There are ways to disagree on policy without resorting to us versus them rhetoric.
The original idea of The Rebel was to carry on the legacy of Sun News without the huge corporate overhead, the CRTC regulations and to act as an alternative to the mainstream media. In many ways, The Rebel has succeeded, in others it has failed.
In today’s political and online culture, I know one thing to be true, I will be attacked from all sides for this. Some will ask why I waited so long, others will call me a sell-out or use that vile word “cuck” and claim I am no conservative.
Let me assure you, I will continue to fight for the principles I believe in. Smaller government, greater personal freedom, a dedication to conserving that which made this country great in the first place. I will just do it in a different venue.
I wish the folks at The Rebel well in the future, hope they right their ship, but I won’t be sailing on it any longer.
The memo mentioned above, Ezra Levant’s staff memo on the alt-right, was posted on The Rebel on 15 August 2017. and last updated on 22 August 2017.
CB: Kinda disappointed that you bailed on the Rebel by doing that you gave credibility to the bullshit claims of the Rebel being racist. Sometimes you have to fight…
BRIAN LILLEY: Fight for what? They can do what they want, I will do what I want. But I won’t praise the Charlottesville Statement or other racist ideas. I won’t sit by as people play footsies with Nazis. That isn’t MSM spin.
BRIAN LILLEY: Richard Spencer is a white supremacist, not denouncing him or those that stand with him is like giving a loaded weapon to everyone that wants to tear you down. He is evil and an should be treated as such.
CC: You sold out Ezra and the Rebel- and the rest of us, who will know no longer have a Conservative outlet!!
BRIAN LILLEY: I made my decision on my own. No pressure from any person or company, no conspiracy between myself and anyone else. And I sold out no one. If you think I have gone left then give your head a shake.
Faith Goldy I
On 12 August 2017, Faith appeared on Stefan Molyneux’s channel for a twenty-four minute interview entitled Charlottesville: Violence in the Streets.
As well, she appeared on a Daily Stormer affiliated podcast, The Krypto Report. Here is a mirror link to the podcast. I have not listened to either the Stefan Molyneux or Krypto podcasts. The modern Daily Stormer is named after a Nazi tabloid named Der Stürmer and has recently lost its website when their host, GoDaddy, announced “We are cancelling Daily Stormer’s registration with Google Domains for violating our terms of service.”
And now we’re into the uncomfortable portion alluded to by Lilley: We’re all stuck defending free speech in the worst way possible.
Nobody wants to be stuck defending the Hitler apologist, myself included, so people like him will be removed first, because people like me do not want to be the guy standing up for the Hitler fan. We suffer a disunified right, and it will kill us all. We need to learn how to defend people whose personal beliefs we find cruel and obscene if they have their freedom of speech taken away.
Thursday was a flurry of rumor mill activity amid the international Vast Right Wing Conspiracy, and I think I know who was chatting with whom that morning, but I don’t have enough substance to make it worth publishing my assumptions. On 17 August 2017, Faith posted this on her Twitter:
I’ll note that on 15 August 2017, when David Duke reposted her video on his Twitter account she responded:
My personal belief is that Faith is being entirely honest in her respect for Ezra, her love of free speech and in her apology.
Gavin McInnes I
So far, it seems entirely unfounded and without clear attribution but it appears that Gavin will be leaving the Rebel shortly to work on another project. Gavin doesn’t have to do any of these projects for money, only out of a codger’s love of culture and a prosaic punk rock attitude.
Laura Loomer I
At this point, the malfunctioning, knock-off Lauren Southern clone Laura Loomer is the only real “name” associated with The Rebel.
James Allsup (above) who agrees and promotes Caolan’s side of the story produced this video on the drama, published 18 August 2017. In the video he explicitly states that he produced it Laura Loomer attacked Allsup on Twitter, continuing her tradition of picking fights and acting like an SJW.
In the video Allsup correctly points out that previous Rebel hire, Jack Posobiec, was the genius who started the RAPE MELANIA chant months ago in an effort to make left wing protesters look violent and crazy.
Faith Goldy II
On 17 August 2017, Ezra Levant published this video and released a transcript statement on the Rebel site entitled Why we had to say goodbye to Faith Goldy.
At the time of this writing, the video has over 220,000 views with 2,000 likes and 17,000 dislikes with most of the comments siding with Faith on the basis of free speech.
Caolan Robertson II
Time for some speculation and a BBC special from the spring of 2014, featuring Caolan’s quest for fame. The criticism I have of Laura Loomer is the same of the one I have for Caolan: They’re both using trolling tactics from 2015, and it’s painfully obvious that they’re being coached by an outside source, probably someone who was on the ground for the leadup to the Trump election. A common tactic is to pick fights with people who have a touch more popularity, because people will gather to watch the fireworks. Say the right things to piss off the right people and you’ll be propelled straight to stardom, right? But since 2015, the internet has changed. The methods of information transfer have changed. Old methods will jury rig you into the social circle you desire, but you have to be careful to not piss off everyone else outside of the five or six people it takes to get you there. You will not find lasting, constantly-expanding success or positive name recognition with these methods.
This is how the Rebel site described Caolan:
Caolan Robertson is a film maker, political writer & social commentator. Born & Educated in the UK, Caolan studied film at a prestigious London university. After becoming disenfranchised as a result of the university’s banning him from creating content that critiqued Islam, Caolan co-founded The New Brit and now contributes to TheRebel.media. Liberals HATE him, Republicans want to be him, see how Caolan destroys the left with this one simple trick!
First off, conservatives who follow the guts of social media on a day-to-day basis know that most sites have cracked down severely on clickbait, so even including the phrase “one simple trick” as a joke is folly.
Furthermore there are some resume aspects that ought to be addressed. Which university did you attend, Caolan, and can we see the script or final product that caused you to be “banned?” Raise money to produce that script. And how does being “banned” from a university mean you were “disenfranchised?” You lost your right to vote due to being “banned?” You’re from Britain, would you mind clearing up the English a bit? TheNewBrit.Co.Uk is currently in suspension, and has been since at least 3 July 2017. You will be attacked for these hanging notions instead of your allegations in order to set you up as a liar, allowing an interviewer (or blogger like myself) to dismiss you without bothering to go over your specific claims.
On to the television special:
Finally we meet 19 year old Caolan who couldn’t care less about the 5,000 quid worth of debt he’s racked up in his quest to get famous on Facebook.
After the 2008 recession, media portrayals of obscene spending habits were rejected. For example, the box office failure that was the Sex And The City movie is likely due to its spring 2008 release, and found an audience who were not ready to watch four rich women flash their credit cards to buy more, more, more. Caolan would’ve been 12 or 13 at the start of the recession and came of age when the anti-lux sentiment faded. We went from Gangnam Style (satirizing an upscale Seoul neighborhood) to Thrift Shop (to remind kids that H&M isn’t the only place to buy cheap, bright trash) to Uptown Funk and Take Me To Church (which introduced wrung-dry soul music to the Kids These Days). In 2014, we had a fashion that dictated an effortless style (less chic, more sheer volume), which in turn invites a fella like Caolan. Effortless style at the time meant a high volume of consumption without a care in the world of who will be footing the bill: The budget will balance itself.
Caolan is Facebook-famous: the star and creator of an online show following him and other Facebook celebs (a sale rail of teen narcissists) around hotel rooms and champagne bars. Those Instagrammed cocktails don’t come cheap, and were funded by £5,000-worth of payday loans. Caolan is entirely unbothered; his reality is so distorted he can’t even fathom his debt as real, justifying for the first time in history the existence of violent bailiffs.
Here’s Caolan’s part on the Channel 4 documentary, uploaded on 18 August 2017.
Apropos of my next thought, take a look at these tweets:
He also deleted all the tweets where he said those things. I guess that's partly why his tweet count is so low, 825 since 2011. pic.twitter.com/3d4hVFtYzu
— Gavin Sheridan (@gavinsblog) March 14, 2017
My assumption is that the major complaint that will be brought against me is that I’m jealous of all the attention he’s getting. These nouveau media types are incapable of appreciating that the vast right wing conspiracy is staffed by thousands of people working from their home offices who have no desire to be a household name. In my experience, the vast right wing conspiracy is staffed mostly by people whose household name is mom and the reason they don’t want to be popular is because they’d rather have time to put dinner on the table.
My main advice to Caolan is to drop the 2015 tactics. If you have something to say, say it honestly. Write a Facebook post detailing the truth of the matter. You’ve made a splash, you went from a few thousand Twitter followers to thirty thousand, and if you want to be believed by people like me (who have been Levant fans for years — remember, guys like Tommy Robinson and Ezra Levant are the only reasons anyone outside of that country of 4 million people has heard of you) who are open to criticism, you need to write that Facebook post and then schedule an interview on a sympathetic podcast or YouTube channel so that people can see the real you, not the person through the lens of a short edited video.
Lastly, pull in your claws.
On 18 August 2017, Caolan promised he would most more information, and I am patiently waiting for the next few chapters to unfold.
Ezra Levant II
There’s a serious dogpile happening at the Rebel right now. This was posted 21 August 2017:
Canada’s conservative Rebel Media said a technology company stopped directing traffic to its website, making it inaccessible to some users around the world on Monday as the site known for tirades against Muslims and refugees scrambled to get back online.
Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd last week canceled plans to host a cruise for Rebel supporters, according to the Independent newspaper and a group that petitioned against the booking. The company did not response to a request for comment.
As for the rest of the Rebel reporters, the Alberta Bureau is unphased and Sheila Gunn Reid continues to retweet Faith Goldy (as well as Jack Posobiec). I do think this demonstrates that the firing of Faith does not turn her persona non grata.
Can’t wait to see what happens next.