A Red Tory Victory in Alberta!

Well, go figure. Who would have thought that a resurgence of the “Red Tory” political brand would occur in, of all places, Alberta? For weeks now, right-wing pundits across the land have been viciously excoriating the Alberta PCs for being “Red Tories” and for having drifted so far to the left in recent years as to have become a supposedly oppressive Liberal government in all but name – something that would surely result in them being, as Ezra Levant confidently predicted last week, decisively “crushed” in yesterday’s election.

Ah, but as things turned out, clearly not so.

It seems that Levant (his pre-election blog archive now makes for even more hilarious reading/viewing in retrospect) and other perpetually indignant tub-thumpers of the right-wing media elite utterly failed to appreciate the evolving dynamic of the Alberta electorate; especially that of the province’s increasingly diverse urban demographic which evidently has little regard for a collection of hateful bigots, witless hayseeds, ignorant cranks, anti-science crackpots, and religious kooks masquerading as “libertarians”…

Parliamentary Fight Club

Irrespective of the supposedly worthy fundraising cause involved, what an utterly bizarre and unseemly event this past weekend’s charity boxing match was. Hard to believe that we’ve actually sunk lower by a quantum measure of absurdity in comparison to our American friends – can you imagine two members of Congress showing off their “tats” and battling it out in the ring?

Poor Ezra Levant; it must really chapped the insufferable little toad’s backside that not only didn’t the Liberals’ pretentious “shiny pony” get flattened in the first round, but actually managed to withstand Senator Brazeau’s initial hammering and eventually best the odds-on favourite Conservative with a TKO in the third round.

As much as I’m completely appalled by the event, I have to admit to whimsically considering that more such brawls might perhaps be a worthwhile replacement for the shrill and mostly pointless haranguing of Question Period. Hmmm… I wonder if Pierre Polievre has tats?

Take Off, Eh?

As a Halloween treat, Ezra Levant attempts to be funny by masquerading as an obnoxious “Barge Delahunty” intruding on a Rob Ford look-alike (who knew?) in a series of increasingly awkward encounters.

I have to admit that this parody had its humorous moments, even though the premise was quickly beaten to death; although that may well have been part of the point.

Not shown in its entirety here, Levant went on from this spoof to viciously excoriate the CBC for… well, you know the usual litany of whiny, self-serving complaints that are fiercely propounded on a daily basis in every “news” outlet of the Quebecor Media conglomerate.

Rebranding the Tar Sands

Reluctant as I normally am to say kind words about Ezra Levant, I have to admit that his campaign to re-brand the Alberta oil sands from what environmental activists in the United States had lately taken to calling “dirty oil” into “ethical oil” is nothing short of an absolutely brilliant marketing idea.

As presented, the argument is a powerful one… After all, who could dispute that Saudi Arabia is a thoroughly nasty, intolerant, repressive, autocratic regime? By polar contrast, Canada is, as Levant likes to say, “the boy scout of the world” – a veritable exemplar of modern, secular, pluralistic, liberal values, and so on.

I realize that it’s a simplistic formulation (compromised to a degree by the fact that Canada presently imports about half of oil for its own domestic consumption from offshore – the bulk of which comes from dictatorial OPEC nations whose “ethical” nature is dubious), but unless one is adamantly opposed to oil as an energy source regardless of origin, then branding our frozen bitumen sludge as the preferred “fair trade” choice of consumers is… genius!

The Source… Of Division

You have to almost feel a little sorry for Ezra Levant given that his new gig as Sun TV’s resident annoying prime-time squawkbox forces him to stir up “controversy” on a nightly basis… even when little to none may actually exist!

For the past several nights on his program he’s been desperately trying to relive his glory days as publisher of a failed Calgary news magazine whose name escapes me by fanning the flames of Islamophobia and/or provoke some sort of furious backlash of free speech outrage in connection with a speaking tour by Dutch MP Geert Wilders that was sponsored by the International Free Press Society and the Canada Christian College.

Alas, nobody really seemed to care that much… Last night, for example, Mr. Wilders addressed a select group of 150 invitees at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa – an event hosted by Ezra Levant as it happens. The protest-free engagement would probably have gone completely unnoticed had it not been for a silly article in the Globe & Mail by Gloria Galloway posing the rather dumb question: “Why is National Arts Centre hosting Dutch MP accused of being anti-Islam?”

Of course, that was all the tinder Ezra needed to launch into a fiery attack on the NAC, the prejudice of the liberal media (especially the clubby culture of the press gallery), dreaded “Ottawa bureaucrats” and whatever else he could extemporaneously think of to indignantly lash out at:

Just as an aside, the funniest thing about the article, and perhaps what caught Galloway’s attention in the first place was the hilarious premise under which Wilders’ speaking engagement had been booked. If NAC spokeswoman Rosemary Thompson is to be believed, it was “that the International Free Press Society called the catering department about a month ago and said that they had a Dutch MP coming to Canada for a speaking tour and that it was part of the Tulip Festival.” If true, that was a delightful bit of subterfuge.

Back though to the nub of the “problem” that got Ezra exercised in this instance which was the comment made by Thompson that, “Obviously the NAC does not agree with Mr. Wilders’s views.” This was the launch pad for Levant’s petty tirade about the remark being indicative of a presumptuous, arrogant liberal conceit, etc.

But wait… There’s another equally valid interpretation of Thompson’s defensive remark that seems to have been entirely missed by our Sun TV host (and hundreds of angry commenters on the site of the original article), which is that is the NAC does not necessarily agree – and as a federally funded institution, nor should it – with the views of ANY of the speakers or performers that rent the facility for their events.

I suspect this is the sort of trivial, inflammatory nonsense we can expect from Sun TV… making much ado about nothing and cynically whipping up angry, divisive culture wars on a nightly basis.

Ezra Levant v. Cedar Tree

Armed only with a gas-powered chainsaw, Ezra Levant demonstrates how, thousands of years ago, the capricious God of the Old Testament gave doughy, bespectacled little cunts dressed in plaid, absolute dominion over the Earth and all its living things.

This absurd stunt where Sun TV’s wannabe Glenn Beck maliciously hacked a potted cedar down to a ragged stump was apparently connected to a ridiculous strawman argument purporting that misanthropic environmentalists and others of a “liberal” persuasion (or “cult” as Ezra prefers), hate mankind and would just as soon depopulate the planet rather than allow free markets to work their infinite capitalist magic just as God intended. Or something like that.

I’ve watched this program a few times and it just baffles me. Maybe it’s all being messaged in some sort of tacit code or dog-whistle frequency that only batshit crazy wingnuts and fellow travellers of the radical right blogosphere can properly comprehend. It certainly doesn’t relate to any kind of reality that I’m familiar with.

Passion of the Levant

Ezra Levant spends an entire hour (minus short breaks for oxygen — and commercials) righteously fulminating on The Michael Coren Show. More at his fundraising and self-promotion website.

It’s hard to take issue with much of what Levant has to say here and although I haven’t read the book, I’m fairly certain that I’d concur with his vehement loathing of the HRCs — in practice, if not entirely in principle.

One minor quibble regarding the interview… Levant repeatedly moans about the onerous, unrecoverable legal expenses that he incurred exonerating himself as publisher of the Western Standard, which strikes me as a bit odd considering that he’s a lawyer and could therefore have quite adequately represented himself (with the usual caveat of having fool for a client, of course). Moreover, as he observed when regarding the Byfields case, “What was the point of having lawyers? There were no laws being followed.”