Ezra Levant – The Master of Propaganda by Richard Komorowski – January 12, 2012

Ezra Levant
Richard Komorowski

CFN– Like last century’s master of propaganda, Josef Goebbels, Sun Media columnist and “Ethical Oil” creator Ezra Levant is no idiot. Goebbels had a Doctorate degree in German literature – Levant graduated from the University of Alberta Law School. Both these gentlemen used the press effectively and to their advantage (Goebbels in Der Angriff and Volkischer Beobachter, Levant in the Toronto Sun and, among others, the Cornwall Standard Freeholder). Both these people were brilliant speakers – Goebbels in front of a live crowd, where he rivalled his Führer in oratorical brilliance, Levant on Fox News North, where he has the brains to argue a point far better than his own leader, Harper.

Both Goebbels and Levant are masters of the art of propaganda, i.e. changing or concealing reality. This manipulation of the truth has always been the main weapon of extremists, whether the Nazi Party in Germany, the Communist Party, the Tea Party/Republicans in the US, or the extreme right in the British and Canadian Conservative Parties.

 

The Media is the Key

A well-educated, informed and literate population is difficult to control, as they have the brains and information to see for themselves what is happening. They need not necessarily live in fear, because if they can understand what threatens them, they can take action to lessen or eliminate the threat. As Roosevelt once said: “We have nothing to fear but fear itself.”An ill-informed population, on the other hand, is easy to control, and given the means, it is easy to instill widespread fear into such a group. The tool is education and indoctrination – to reach voting age adults, the media is the key.

In Nazi Germany, the State (or, more accurately, the Nazi Party) controlled not only the country’s educational system, but also the media. In Canada, the Conservative Party does not have direct ownership of the media as was the case in Germany, but it does have effective control through its big business allies.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9-vek4Sx8wM

Promoting the Canadian State Propaganda Apparatus

Quebecor, owned by Pierre Karl Péladeau, has almost a stranglehold on the popular media in Canada. Among other assets, through Sun Media the company owns 43 paid or free dailies in Canada’s major cities, as well as 200 local papers (including the Cornwall Standard Freeholder). For what it’s worth, they are also the world’s largest commercial printer. In addition, they have a major stake in Canada’s broadcasting industry. They own Videotron (cable TV and Internet Service Provider), Osprey Media (newspapers, especially in Ontario), Quebec’s TVA television network, and Quebec’s largest book and magazine distributors. Most notably for Canada as a whole, they own and control Fox News North (aka Sun News Network, Pravda Canada), one of Levant’s two principal propaganda platforms.

Quebecor, although its home is a province that has proved it wants nothing to do with the Harper Government, is basically run by the Conservative Party. Among its board of directors is former Prime Minister Brian Mulrony, who perhaps bears more responsibility than anyone for the success of the Reform Party. Another concrete link between Sun Media and the Conservative Party is Kory Teneycke, a former Director of Communications for Stephen Harper. After two years running Harper’s official propaganda machine, he worked briefly for Sun Media as a “strategic communications advisor.” Later, in July 2010 he accepted an appointment as Sun Media’s Vice-President for Development.

Although he soon resigned in disgrace, for allegedly spamming an on-line petition against Sun Media, he was rehired about three months later, once the furore had died down.

A good question is why the Harper Government didn’t hire the Master himself to replace Teneycke as the government’s official Propaganda Chief. One possibility is that Harper fears the highly intelligent and wily Levant, and to give him too good a view of the inside workings of the Prime Minister’s Office might eventually come back to haunt him. The other possibility is that Levant was passed over because of his past year working for Phillip Morris International, owners of Rothman’s. Although Levant’s stint as an official tobacco lobbyist is not well known, were it to have become common knowledge, it would have been embarrassing to the government. Among other things, he lobbied (successfully) against Health Canada’s plans to increase and intensify the warning labels on cigarettes, and against smuggling (which costs the tobacco industry money) rather than funding Health Canada’s anti-smoking programs. One of his self-admitted lobbying targets was, in fact, the very Prime Minister’s Office that passed him over.

Another possibility is that he makes more money with his show on Sun News Network and his propaganda columns in the Toronto Sun, along with his royalties from books such as Ethical Oil and “Fight Kyoto – the plan to protect our economy.” Being involved at less than arm’s length with the government might also have put crimps on his latest publishing endeavour – “The Enemy Within – Terror, Lies, and the Whitewashing of Omar Khadr.” Given the general conviction of Canadians towards this Toronto-born terrorist, it seems strange that Levant would bother writing a book about him, unless financial gain were a motive.

The Politics of Fear

Throughout history, kings and emperors, dictators and extremists have maintained their personal power through the politics of fear – in Biblical times, the Jews were made to fear their neighbours, as these neighbours in turn feared the Jews (still unfortunately true in the twenty-first century). Trojans and Greeks, Romans and Carthaginians, Christians, Jews and Muslims, and so on have all lived in mutual fear of each other. The Germans were taught to fear, above all else, the Jews and the Communists, just as the Russians were encouraged to fear everyone, including their fellow Communists.In order to promote its agenda, the state (used loosely) has to instill a sense of fear into the population. During most of European history, the British feared the French and the Spanish; the French feared the British and the Spanish; and of course, the Spaniards feared the British and French. Britain, although the smallest, rose to the top by skillfully balancing the two Latin nations against each other.

The big fear during most of the twentieth century has been the Communists, and to some extent, the Nazis, (although this was relatively short lived). Since the dawn of the 21st century, we ourselves fear the Muslims, and since the start of the current 2008 depression, we fear for our jobs, our homes, our families and our prosperity. All these are reasonable fears – but ultimately, what people fear the most is losing their liberty.

What Big Business and the “one percenters” fear the most is loss of profit and control, and with good reason. If we had infinite resources, and infinite atmosphere and oceans to absorb the unhappy by-products from these resources, there would be no reason to fear. Unfortunately, resources are finite, as is the world’s capacity to absorb the pollution that comes with many of them.

So how does big business, especially Big Oil, fight back to protect its liberty to override the liberties of the other ninety-nine percent? They control the government (especially in the US) through political contributions, and the media through ownership. They use skilled propagandists like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Ezra Levant to persuade the other 99% that what is good for the super-rich, for Wal-Mart and Wall Street, for Péladeau, Murdoch and Black, for CAPP and the American Petroleum Institute, is also what is good for them. Through skillful manipulation of the media, people are persuaded that right is wrong, that black is white, that small “L” liberalism, the complete opposite of extremism, is a diabolical form of communism, and that the environmentalists’ true agenda is to bring us all down into a socialist stone age.

In the end, it comes down to one thing: will lies and half-truths told out of context defeat the reality of our current situation, or will the people of the western democracies wake up in time to prevent a complete meltdown of civilisation?

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Best Western Cornwall

31 Responses to "Ezra Levant – The Master of Propaganda by Richard Komorowski – January 12, 2012"

  1. smee   January 12, 2012 at 12:55 PM

    Entertaining Rick.

    It is amazing how everything is always compared to the Nazi’s.
    First of all Goebbels did not rival Adolf he was a second to and completely different in approach and composure. You should have been there, you would better understand.

    Secondly, People at that time and not just Goebbels, had a real education. This Levant Ding bat doesn’t compare not even close. The whole scenario is nothing less than divergent…..unless you are trying the same approach as Levant to make your point?

  2. Furtz   January 12, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    I think I just heard Harper’s and Levant’s heads simultaneously explode!

  3. PJ Robertson   January 12, 2012 at 4:07 PM

    Powerful and timely, Richard. Good going.

  4. Furtz   January 12, 2012 at 5:18 PM

    Huh? You were there smee? You must be gettin’ pretty old.

  5. Richard Komorowski   January 12, 2012 at 6:22 PM

    Of course Smee was there, Furtz. He knows EVERYTHING. Don’t you remember that once he told us all that the US entered the Second World War on September 11(!), 1944, in a supporting role?

  6. Furtz   January 12, 2012 at 6:36 PM

    Yes I know Richard. He even went on at length a while back that there is no such thing as rowing a boat!
    Have you heard anything from Levant’s lawyers yet?

  7. smee   January 12, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    74 furtz……

  8. smee   January 12, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    Did i hit a nerve Rick…the only reason most of these bozos believe you is due to lack of experience and education

  9. Furtz   January 12, 2012 at 10:10 PM

    Somebody’s into the sauce again.

  10. smee   January 13, 2012 at 9:20 AM

    Rick
    what is your dislike for big oil? Why not Hydro or media itself?

  11. Eric   January 13, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    Thank you for bringing messages from the other side to us, it is very important in a democracy to have the most information possible in making decisions.

    Above, it is written “we ourselves fear the Muslims”. Not sure who the we would be, however I am more concerned with the few extremists who fight against our western ways.

    Also “but ultimately, what people fear the most is losing their liberty” this statement should be considered locally against the people who wanted to be sure our curds were refridgerated. Others that want to force business to have a certain sign even. Small injustices are all over, and we all need to be on guard for our inherited freedoms.

  12. drury   January 14, 2012 at 7:05 AM

    Nicely written and argued, Richard. Especially liked your references to the power of Sun Media through its ownership of so many newspapers and television stations.

  13. glennderson   January 16, 2012 at 7:15 PM

    What absolute disengenuous nonsense.Comparison to Goebbels is beneath anybody.Remember,if not for Levant and Mark Steyn …freedom of speech would be in dire peril.Levant has the courage to stand up .

  14. Furtz   January 16, 2012 at 10:52 PM

    I’d lump Ernst Zündel in with Levant and Steyn when it comes to pushing the “free speech” barrier.
    Let’s see how offensive and hateful we can be before some weak-kneed pinko complains.

  15. Richard Komorowski   January 16, 2012 at 11:38 PM

    @glennderson
    Do you know what the word disengenuous (sic) actually means?

    If you are having trouble understanding what’s actually written, please accept my apologies – I tend to write in normal, clear English, and not the simplified Toronto Sun English that you obviously seem used to.

    As for the comparison between Levant and Goebbels, are you referring to the first two paragraphs of the article? I thought I was actually paying Levant a compliment on his accomplishments, which you might understand if you were to go back to the article and actually read it. Of course, to understand it fully, you would also need to know the basics about the rise of extremism in 20th century Europe.

    By the way, Herr Goebbels did quite well under the free speech laws of the Weimar Republic, just as Mr Levant does under our current constitution.

  16. Richard Komorowski   January 16, 2012 at 11:59 PM

    @Smee
    Lack of experience or education? Sorry, Smee, only you can do anything about your lack of experience, but if you keep reading these columns (and get someone to help you with the big words), we might be able to help you with your lack of education.

  17. PJ Robertson   January 17, 2012 at 7:00 AM

    Bravo, Furtz. Bang on!

    Compare:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/dec/19/bastardised-libertarianism-makes-freedom-oppression

    Freedom of speech in peril without people like Levant: Give me a break!. Freedom of speech is in peril BECAUSE OF Levant and his ilk. That includes Peter van Loan and his reptilian argument that suppressing the rumour mongers in Irwin Cotler’s riding was an attack on freedom of speech.

    These people give no quarter. We must do everything to expose them.

  18. PJ Robertson   January 17, 2012 at 8:28 AM

    BTW on the broad questions of individual freedom and state-sponsored oppression, there are important dots to connect between Komorowski (above) and Monbiot (in the Guardian article above) and Stieg Larsson’s riveting political exposé of our times, his Millennium Trilogy – “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” (movie now showing) and its sequels, “The Girl Who Played with Fire” and “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.”

    Larsson was writing about Sweden, but his message has global application…yes, including Canada today, if we go to sleep and let sweet-talking thugs take over.

  19. admin   January 17, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    And they are thugs PJ. The City of Cornwall for example has cut our advertising. I think it’s fairly clear that there’s a distinct connection between editorial and dollars as our performance was not in question.

    How does this happen? Brutish bullying. If Mr. Harper and Mr. Ford can do it; why not Mr. Kilger and Fitzpatrick?

    See, if people stay silent these things grow….

  20. glennderson   January 17, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Oh give me a break..I get more indigestion and high blood pressure from the Liberal Toronto Star than anywhere else.

  21. Reg Coffey   January 17, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    Well then glennderson, I would say that you are looking more for affirmation than information.

  22. smee   January 17, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Keep up the good posts admin, I am sure it’s winning you support with the city and local businesses.

  23. admin   January 17, 2012 at 4:01 PM

    Smee I like working with good and honorable people of integrity. I like working with people that care about their businesses and community. I’m very happy with our sponsors. To answer your tongue and cheek comment, there are good businesses in this area and elsewhere.

    If any business wants to short change itself and not advertise based on gossip and silliness; if that’s how they think their business is best served; well that’s their choice.

    My door is always open to work with people, and help promote their business and service and I think the record shows we do a really, really, good job of that for our clients especially those that want to work together to achieve their goals.

    The cliques will wither and die because a culture of mediocrity always fades as stronger and smarter entities move in and take over. It’s happened in with Media in this town and it will happen in business too. If you have to lie and cheat to compete you eventually run out of rope. You have to work together with integrity to truly make magic happen.

  24. Richard Komorowski   January 17, 2012 at 7:45 PM

    @glennderson
    The Toronto Star’s giving you indigestion and high blood pressure? I guess that proves a point. The Toronto Star is a newspaper. It is meant to be read, not eaten. I think if you actually tried to read and understand it, rather than rolling it up, sprinkling it with too much salt, and trying to eat it, you might find your digestion working better and your blood pressure coming down.

    Take care, and please try these suggestions, as you will not always have medicare to look after you.

  25. glennderson   January 18, 2012 at 10:41 AM

    The Star has zero journalistic integrity,zero editorial balance and zero objectivity.I often wondered..this is years ago…why the newspaper is such a shill for the Lieberals……..until I discovered that George Radwanski was the paper’s editorial page editor.As far as the present incarnation starting wtih Bob Hepburn down….a leopard never changes its spots.Their coverage of the municipal election was a disgrace.

  26. PJ Robertson   January 18, 2012 at 12:05 PM

    Why get indigestion and HBP from the Toronto Star, when you can be spoon-fed comfort food by Sun Media?

  27. Reg Coffey   January 18, 2012 at 5:01 PM

    glennderson, don’t you mean conservative integrity – zero, conservative editorial balance – zero, and conservative objectivity – zero.

  28. Furtz   January 18, 2012 at 8:43 PM

    Interesting that one of the very few “left leaning” Canadian papers can get glennderson’s shorts so severely twisted in knots. Views from the other (dark) side should be squelched, Glen?

  29. Allan Sorensen   February 4, 2012 at 7:26 AM

    wow. You must have put a lot of time into writing this article.
    I don’t have that kind of time to respond to all this big theory conspiracy stuff, but I do want to highlight a few of your sentences.

    1.
    “Quebecor, owned by Pierre Karl Péladeau, has almost a stranglehold on the popular media in Canada.”

    Does he own/control The Vancouver Sun? CTV? CBC? Globe & Mail or Toronto Star?
    But of course you were referring to “popular media”, and not any of these losers.
    What about Maclean’s or Reader’s Digest?
    Much Music?
    Really, I guess I just don;t know what’s popular any more.

    2.
    “it seems strange that Levant would bother writing a book about him, unless financial gain were a motive.”

    Yes, everywhere I look I see people doing strange things like collecting garbage, serving food in diners, driving really big trucks, and I say to myself surely they must be doing these things for financial gain.
    Just like reporters who work at daily newspapers and write things, some of whom I suspect are doing it for financial gain.
    I’d be very interested if you could direct me to any Canadian author who is writing books for something other than financial gain.
    Perhaps David Suzuki?

    3.
    “but ultimately, what people fear the most is losing their liberty. What Big Business and the “one percenters” fear the most is loss of profit and control,”

    Is there not a correlation between “liberty” and “loss of profit and control”?
    Billionaire Kevin O’Leary says money represents freedom. Many people would agree.

    4.
    “So how does big business, especially Big Oil, fight back to protect its liberty to override the liberties of the other ninety-nine percent?”

    That is one weird sentence, especially in light of the fact that many of the “one percenters” are people like Oprah, Warren Buffet, Lady GaGa and Justin Bieber.
    Hard to think of a liberty that Bieber is “overriding in my life.
    Which liberty is being quashed by Oprah in your life?

    5.
    “will the people of the western democracies wake up in time to prevent a complete meltdown of civilisation”

    My answer is … absolutely not! Never!
    In fact, a hundred years from now someone will write that exact sentence all over again, I assure you.
    Particularly if they’re relying on the kind of quality of commentary you present here.

  30. Richard Komorowski   February 4, 2012 at 10:56 PM

    Do you actually have a point, Mr Sorensen, other than you wish you were a one percenter too?

  31. joe   April 18, 2012 at 2:12 AM

    there is financial gain in collecting garbage? In driving big trucks? (by big trucks I am guessing you meant transport trucks, see because there are trucks and then there are big trucks and then there are really big trucks and then there are, well you get the idea) Have you neen watching those marathon brodcasts of American Pickers? I am guessing you have never driven a big truck, or even spoken to someone who does this as a :job: I can assure you that they would inform that there is no financial gain involved. Nice point form btw. impressive. Al?

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