Rebel Media commander Ezra Levant claims he's being blackmailed

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      The shenanigans overtaking Rebel Media took another strange turn when the founder went public with a claim that he's being blackmailed.

      Ezra Levant wrote a lengthy essay on the right-wing website providing the details.

      He's alleging that there were repeated demands for money from former Rebel Media employees in the United Kingdom.

      But one of those former employees, Caolan Robertson, has posted his own account of the story on YouTube, which differs significantly from Levant's version.

      Robertson included taped audioclips of Levant speaking, which Levant said was done without his knowledge.

      In the meantime, iPolitics has reported that more than 250 companies and institutions have "confirmed they will pull their ads from Rebel Media, according to an online group that targets far-right websites".

      This comes in the wake of Rebel Media's controversial coverage of a far-right protest in Charlottesville that led to the death of an antiracist paralegal, Heather Heyer.

      Right-wing broadcaster and Rebel Media cofounder Brian Lilley severed ties with the outlet earlier this week.

      Lilley was followed by right-wing commentators John Robson and Barbara Kay.

      “I am not comfortable being associated with a group that, rightly or wrongly, is being increasingly viewed as associated with the likes of Richard Spencer," Lilley wrote on Facebook. "Like many of you, I had family that fought the Nazis, I never want to be in the same room as one."

      This morning, the progressive advocacy group Leadnow added one more angle to the Rebel Media story.

      Its campaign director, Logan McIntosh, asked Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer about the right-wing website at a barbecue in Langley.

      "I saw one of their broadcasts, and you know, anything that gives a platform to those types of obnoxious groups is certainly worth condemnation," Scheer said, according to a video on Leadnow's Facebook page.

      Leadnow has launched an online petition demanding that Scheer "denounce Rebel Media and immediately cut all ties" with the website.

      Rebel Media director Hamish Marshall was Scheer's campaign manager in the recent Conservative leadership campaign.