Rebel Media’s Alberta correspondent’s paycheque is directly subsidized with the help of a foreign billionaire
It turns out Rebel Media’s coverage of Jason Kenney is funded with foreign money.
Alberta’s Premier has been aggressively promoting a conspiratorial smear campaign to paint environmentalists and other critics as “foreign-funded special interests,” even promising a public inquiry into “foreign-funded meddling.”
But Kenney’s campaign to silence his critics, compared by some to the politically-motivated witch hunts of US Senator Joe McCarthy, might be a little awkward given Kenney is himself supported by “foreign-funded activists.”
Keean Bexte, an early Kenney supporter who later went on to become Rebel Media’s Alberta correspondent, now receives paycheques directly subsidized through a foreign entity called the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
According to Rebel Media’s own website, Bexte and colleague Jessica Swietoniowski are now listed as “Shillman fellows.”
The Shillman Fellowship is a special program run through the California-based David Horowitz Freedom Centre and financed by its namesake, Robert Shillman — a foreign billionaire who made his fortune selling barcode scanners to grocery stores.
The Center for American Progress describes the David Horowitz Freedom Center as one of “five key think tanks” who are “primarily responsible for orchestrating the majority of anti-Islam messages polluting our national discourse today.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center, meanwhile, describes Horowitz himself as a “driving force of the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black movements.”
Last year, the Guardian newspaper reported far-right UK figure Tommy Robinson received a “salary of about £5,000 a month” through the Shillman arrangement with Rebel Media.
All of this stands in stark contrast with Kenney and Bexte’s public posturing.
Bexte, who was given space by the United Conservative Party to livestream the results of the 2019 provincial election from Kenney’s Calgary headquarters, has railed against activists that are, like himself, funded with foreign money.
In one recent video, Bexte warned Rebel Media viewers that “foreign funds” are “coming from the United States into Canada,” something he said was part of an effort to “manipulate public perceptions.”
Shillman has explicitly stated he writes cheques in order to “provide ammunition” to far-right activists, such as Horowitz or European far-right leader Geert Wilders.
During a 2017 dinner honouring Wilders in Newport Coast, California, the billionaire Rebel Media funder told a wealthy audience praised the far-right activists he funds for confronting the “enemies of freedom.”
Shillman elaborated that the “enemies of freedom” he’s specifically referring to are “the Muslims and the Leftists who hate our country and who wish to destroy it.”