06 November 2015

Ezra Levant and the Crude Art of Bowdlerization

The Rainmaker: A Passion for Politics
Keith Davey
Toronto: Stoddart, 1986

Pity Ezra Levant, not nine months ago he was making good money hosting his own show on the Sun News Network. True, ratings hovered around five thousand, but Brian Lilley and the rest of his stablemates fared no better. It was a dream job. Sun stood by its man as he smeared, misinformedinsulted, fabricated and spewed racist vomit. Job security seemed guaranteed. Separatist Pierre Karl Péladeau was committed to the "unapologetically patriotic" network… until he wasn't. There were no takers when it was up for sale.

Ezra Levant, Pierre Karl Péladeau and Rob Ford,
Sun News Network Launch, Toronto, 1 April 2011.
Levant has since turned to the internet, following Glenn Beck into irrelevance with a website supported in part by ads for mail-order brides. He calls it "The Rebel". Write him if you're interested in contributing. Don't bother if you expect to be paid (those ads for mail-order brides don't bring in much).

I'm not sure what The Rebel has by way of staff. Last May, Levant put out a call for an intern. Salary: $1000 a month with free lunches at McDonald's. Clearly, there's no researcher. Just last week, in an effort to expose Liberal bias, Levant told us that this man, James Armstrong Richardson, after whom Winnipeg's airport is named, sat in Pierre Trudeau's cabinet.

Pierre Elliott Trudeau was a teenager when James Armstrong Richardson died. The airport was named under Stephen Harper.

This week has Levant claiming that "Justin Trudeau is demanding that 24 Sussex Drive be totally rebuilt before he moves into it." This isn't a cock-up so much as another of Levant's fictions. Trudeau is demanding nothing, rather he's following the recommendations of a seven-year-old Auditor General's report that Harper chose to ignore. Maybe Rona Ambrose told him that asbestos isn't all that dangerous.

Levant makes no mention of the Auditor General's report, which deemed the renovations urgent, nor concerns coming from the National Capital Commission. Using his very best indoor voice, he tells us that the idea is Justin Trudeau's alone:
This is his first real fight – fighting for his own perks. Well, what was Pierre Trudeau, his dad, like when he was prime minister living in 24 Sussex? Was he a spoiled millionaire, too? Pierre Trudeau, like Justin Trudeau, inherited millions of dollars when he was born. He didn't have to work a day in his life.
Yep, didn't have to work a day in his life – except that he did. What follows is Levant at his most disingenuous and deceitful:
Let me read to you from Keith Davey's account of how Pierre Trudeau demanded a swimming pool at 24 Sussex Drive and threw a tantrum until he got one. Davey was a Liberal senator and senior campaign advisor to Trudeau. So, I'm going to quote now Davey's account. I'm just going to read it.

What Levant reads is a bowdlerized passage from Davey's memoir with all words, sentences and paragraphs that challenge his narrative removed. Here is the late senator's true account of what transpired, with the words Levant struck out:

So, there you have it, Keith Davey's account of "how Pierre Trudeau stamped his feet and had a tantrum like a spoiled child just like his millionaire son is doing now."

Pity Benjamin Harper, son of millionaire Stephen Harper. How long before Ezra Levant passes judgement?

Who am I kidding.

Levant won't say a word. After all, he's never gone after this billionaire's son.

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