Tucker Carlson praises network with a history of hiring white nationalists as “the only people in all of Canada who are playing it straight”
Update (2/8/22): Tucker Carlson hosted Rebel Media founder Ezra Levant on the February 7 edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight to discuss the Canadian trucker convoy. Carlson praised Levant’s outlet as “one of the very few brave and independent media organizations in the nation of Canada.”
Other Fox shows have also hosted Rebel reporters including Fox host Sean Hannity who had reporter Lincoln Jay on his show to talk about the convoy. Jay’s past reporting has portrayed the standing protest at the Canadian capital as peaceful despite reports of racially motivated attacks and people being assaulted and harassed for wearing a mask. Fox and Friends Weekend also brought on Rebel Media correspondent Avi Yemini on February 6 to discuss an incident where an Australian police officer checked for mask compliance in a church. Yemini, like other Rebel employees, is known for his far-right rhetoric, including once describing himself as “the world’s proudest Jewish Nazi.” He also has been convicted of assault against his ex-wife.
During the January 31 edition of Tucker Carlson Tonight, host Tucker Carlson went out of his way to praise Canadian content producer Rebel News, essentially touting it as a Canadian alternative to Fox News. But Carlson conveniently ignored that Rebel has a long history of hiring white nationalist figures and has even published blatant Holocaust denial.
Carlson praised Rebel News’ reporting on the so-called “freedom convoy,” a collection of truckers and right-wing protesters driving through Canada in opposition to COVID-19 vaccine mandates, saying: “Thank God for Rebel News. It may be -- you think Fox is an anomaly in the United States, how would you like to be Rebel News? Literally the only people in all of Canada who are playing it straight.”
Rebel News was founded in 2015 by Canadian conservative Ezra Levant. The outlet came under scrutiny in 2017 when white nationalist sympathizer Faith Goldy, a top Rebel host at the time, favorably covered the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, and appeared on a neo-Nazi podcast. She was fired after the controversy.
Rebel also used to employ Gavin McInnes, the founder of the Proud Boys, a far-right gang with ties to white supremacists whose members claim to be “Western chauvinists.” McInnes openly pushed Holocaust denial while he worked as a host at Rebel. He was part of a Rebel Media “fact-finding mission” to Israel, during which he shot “videos showing ‘a Nazi take on Israel’ and discussing the need to increase birth rates in the West” with other Rebel hosts, including Goldy. According to PressProgress, McInnes used air quotes to describe the Holocaust and said “he felt an urge to confront a guide at the Holocaust Museum and challenge the historical accuracy of the museum’s facts, questioning the number left dead by the Holocaust and the existence of gas chambers at Nazi concentration camps.” He claimed, “I felt like I felt myself defending the super far-right Nazis,” and he also likened the mission to a “brainwashing trip.”
Rebel also employed Pizzagate conspiracy theorist Jack Posobiec, who has numerous links to white supremacists. While at Rebel, Posobiec used his Twitter account to spread information obtained from Russian intelligence hacking efforts against Emmanuel Macron — then a candidate for president in French elections — which was meant to turn the elections in favor of Macron’s leading opponent, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen. Posobiec also championed Le Pen in videos he produced for Rebel.
Rebel has employed other far-right influencers, including promoter of the racist great replacement conspiracy theory Lauren Southern, anti-Muslim attention seeker Laura Loomer, racist columnist Katie Hopkins, and anti-Muslim extremist Tommy Robinson. During his tenure at Rebel, Robinson called Muslims “enemy combatants who want to kill you, maim you and destroy you.” In a video uploaded by a far-right podcaster during the time she worked at Rebel, Hopkins “declared that ‘multiculturalism means that we all die together’ and appeared to justify Apartheid in South Africa by comparing it to border walls meant ‘to keep the things that we love safe.’” She also insisted that a Black person cannot play the character of James Bond.
During the pandemic, Rebel News has spread misinformation about COVID-19, including platforming a doctor known for spreading misleading claims about the disease. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau publicly called out the outlet for spreading vaccine misinformation.