A friend of mine – no supporter of conservative politics, conservative publications , or conservative punditry – posted a link the other day on her facebook profile to the website of Ezra Levant, the prominent conservative… pundit, former publisher and former political operative.
The link was to one of the videos Levant posted online of his recent appearance before the Alberta Human Rights commission.
Here’s the comment she added to her link: “AMAZING!!! I am not a huge fan of his politics BUT I am now a huge fan of his!”
Levant’s appearance before the commission was a result of a complaint made against him when – in 2006, in his former capacity as publisher of the Western Standard magazine – he republished the infamous Danish cartoons of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, then at the center of international controversy. Levant was one of the few publishers in North America to do so.
He took the opportunity of his appearance before the commission to reject the right of the commission to hear his case at all (summarizing his thoughts on the matter on the Globe and Mail’s website today).
It was this argument – that human rights commissions allow for politically-motivated attacks on freedom of speech – that inspired my friend to cross the political divide and praise him so publicly.
And Levant’s YouTube videos have gone viral, as the kids say, attracting hundreds of thousands of hits in one week and garnering quite a bit of attention south of the border (although Levant complains he has been ignored by much of the Canadian mainstream media).
Tomorrow, he and Canadian columnist Mark Steyn, who is at the center of a similar human rights commission complaint lodged against Maclean’s magazine, will be interviewed on Bill O’Reilly‘s program on Fox News, which may not help their case among left-leaning Canadians (although that is not likely to cause either of these gentlemen to rethink their appearance).
Before Levant appears on Fox, he will be on Canadian public television on a program produced by… moi. It should also be viewable online within a day or two. You are free to watch it if you’d like.
(UPDATE: Levant reports on his website that his Fox News appearance has been postponed)