Ezra Levant apologizes for Roma comments, and faces his boss, on air - Macleans.ca

Ezra Levant apologizes for Roma comments, and faces his boss, on air

Apology comes as Sun News Network seeks spot on basic cable


It’s been six months since Canadian journalist Ezra Levant launched into a nine-minute rant about Roma people on his Sun News Network TV show, The Source. After the segment aired, in which Ezra was reporting on an ethnic crime ring in Toronto, the Canadian Roma community characterized his comments as an “on-air racist hate speech targeting our community.”

Levant referred to Roma people as “a culture synonymous with swindlers … one of the central characteristics of that culture is that their chief economy is theft and begging.”

While the broadcaster, Sun News, apologized at the time and attempted to distance itself from the remarks, Levant has remained quiet—until today.

Levant’s apology on his television show was not requested by the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council, but rather a voluntary one in which he said regretting using the words “gypsies” and “gypped” and that his rant “will serve as an example of what not to do when commenting on social issues.” He further said, “as someone who seeks to influence the public debate, I have to think about the words I choose. It’s just wrong to slur a group of people. I made the moral mistake of judging people collectively.”

That said, the apology does serve a secondary purpose, as Sun News Network is currently seeking a placement on basic cable from Canada’s broadcast regulator. And the fact that they’ve been dogged by ethics groups over content, and views voiced by Levant, has made that goal more difficult.

After apologizing, Levant interviewed his boss, Sun News Network vice-president Kory Teneycke, who said the network should have never aired the segment in which Levant, “crossed the line.”

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Ezra Levant apologizes for Roma comments, and faces his boss, on air

  1. Surely, this article isn’t suggesting that Levant’s mealy-mouthed and belated apology was motivated by Sun News Network’s crass self-interest?

    • Yep,I think it is.

  2. I doubt this was ‘voluntary’.

    Perhaps someone read him the relevant section of the criminal code.

    If Jews had a method of excommunicating people….Ezra’d be out on his ass.

    • They had to tell him it was opposite day and apologizing for dumb stuff on the air was actually defending himself for saying dumb things on the air.

      • LOL and Ezra is ‘bright’ enough to buy that.

  3. Ah, yes. Kory Teneycke, the PMO’s former director of communications, continuing to do this job from the offices of Sun News Network.

  4. Funny if Evan Soloman or Heather Mallick were in trouble for something they said I would stay in their corner. I detest their opinions but free speech should always trump partisanship how many progressives would do that for Levant

    • This isn’t about his freedom of speech. It’s about the timing and sincerity of his opportunistic “apology”.

    • Right! Cuz they go on racist diatribes against ethnic groups all the time, don’t they!

      • Calling out crooks and thiefs in any minority is not racist

        • No, but calling a whole minority ‘crooks and thieves’ is.

        • so then Brian it is OK to call Ezra a hate monger as he stated that all Roma are swindlers and thieves… I think that is as hateful as anyone saying…. Hitler had the right Idea …we just did not give him enough time…
          see that is also a form of hate speach and in MY Canada there is no place for any form of hate be it gender based or belief based or skin color based it is all unlawful and there is no place for it here

          • My thought is I believe in free speech ; that free speech being speech I sometimes do not agreed with

        • But calling all of them out is isn’t it Brian?

      • no they are usually only interested in telling us the news…

        not there own personal opinions as Mr Ezra Levant did..
        he expressed his personal opinion about a people he is not a part of and as such he in fact was hateful in his speech
        Try that approach with Ezra and see what he would say if you said all Jewish person`s are swindlers and thieves …

        • I sure hope your being sarcastic.
          In case you where not .
          Are you blind ! or just kidding the entire television station is opinion , every show is opinion its a right wing opinion TV channel , and every one on the station is a racist opinionated right winger .

    • its not free speech when what you say has caused harm or cost, to another individual it is then a criminal act like say bullying is also a act of intimidation, we cannot allow this racest type of banter in this nation

  5. If you want evidence of how silly this article is, there’s the reference to Roma as ‘Romanians’. God help the poor, besotted Romanians, they have image issues all their own.

    On the substance of the matter, condemning Roma culture is no different than despising Hells Angels and prostitutes. The idea that they can be ‘respected’ as a ‘people’ needs serious props which, I suspect, don’t exist.

    • You truly believe that guff? You see no irony in EL – a Jew – calling out another persecuted ethnic group in this manner? That has to be one of he most cynical and ultimately cosmically stupid comments i’ve yet seen anywhere online. There are no cultures hard wired to criminality. But it would seem there are individuals hard wired to racist slander.

      • In 2009 Canada had to impose visa requirements on fellow NATO member Czech Republic in order to curb the flow of planeloads of Romas from flying into Pearson Airport and falsely claiming refugee status, then heading off to the nearest welfare office to continue to abuse the system. Recent reports have shown that this move by the Canadian government has resulted in the end of this abuse of our immigration system by the Romas.

        If all that liberals like yourself have to offer is to make ludicrous comparisons between the recent actions of the Romas with the Jews, then you would be best to get out of the way and let Jason Kenney do his job.

        On a positive note for you I do not believe this comment of yours is any more ” cosmically stupid ” then many of your most recent.

        • Andrew…
          what you state is not rellavent…Mr Levant used a unlawful description to imply that a entire sector of humanity, the Roma… are predisposed to acts of a criminal nature, that is hate speech and it should never have a national voice ….but if you think that is ok for a Jew to insult others is it ok then to insult anyone who is not like Mr Levant as if someone had implied that all Jews are thieves and liars I KNOW that he or she would face a criminal charge of being a Anti Semite

        • Jeez i wonder why they might have thought it a good idea to leave the Czech republic…wouldn’t possibly be anything to do with historical oppression of Roma throughout Europe would it…no! So let’s make a blanket assumption instead, that it was just a bunch of [ you put in the adjective] Gypsies out to game the refugee system…and sign on to welfare according to your impartial source, which surprise, surprise turns out to be the minister of truth himself – Kenney – the born again Christian who seems to have a lying problem.
          It is ludicrous to compare Roma and Jews is it? The Nazis didn’t think so when they shoved them in the ovens too, did they?

          As a boy in Engaland i grew up around Roma. I got to listen to the same dreary litany of lies and self serving half truths – ‘ooh they’re dirty, they smell, they steal , they’ll steal your children if you let them, they should be dealt with!’ – by ignorant peasants like you who always find some way or other to single out the “Other”.
          Well, they have been dealt with – many times.

          • Not quite sure what gypsies you dealt with in England, but my colleagues and I had our hands full with them when they came to town. Funny how the shop lifting rate went up when they were around, and how their children were unusually sticky-fingered whenever they entered a department store. Not that our blue uniforms made that much difference to them.
            Those gypsies, by the way, were Irish, not Romanian.

        • Canada’s right, showing us why there might be a reason for anti-hate speech laws, after all.

        • If you believe that Roma in the CR are not under threat, why don’t you don a traditional Roma costume, hi thee to a Jobbik rally and make some new friends. Of course, when the inevitable beat down – or worse – begins, you can expect no help from the police or the Czech government.

          As a class, a people, an ethinc group, whatever your preferred terminology is, Roma face undeniable danger and persecution from the virulent nationalist right in the CR.

    • fabuloso… it is a crime to disparage any group of peoples…perhaps you have never been the subject of a nationally televised insult…however I have no doubt what would have happened had a Roma, or any one else for that matter,… said Ezra Levant is a Jesus killing Jew,… that that person would have faced charges of anti sematism as well as more serious legal issues way before Ezra made this fake sorry in the public

    • “condemning Roma culture is no different than despising Hells Angels and prostitutes”
      Huh? Roma are born Roma; I was not aware the Hells Angels and prostitutes were an actual ethnic group. I will make a note to check that those options are available on the next census.
      But it makes me wonder . . . is my being of Italian stock an indication that I am part of the Mafia in your world of reasoning?

      • Interesting you mention being Italian. All the Italians I knew back in the UK were hard working business people who were rarely, if ever, in need of “government assistance” or complained about their lot. They set a good example of how hard work and persistance paid off. After all, if other migrant groups can be successful. Why can’t the Romas? It’s cultural, I say. Not even Hitler’s attempts to wipe out the Jews stopped them from building a fabulous country called Israel out of bush and rock, which the Arabs have been trying to destroy ever since because that tiny sliver of land (smaller than Lake Michigan), is apparently the root cause of all their problems!

  6. Hmmm, I rather suspect the unwritten part of this story is “Ezra Levant, upon the advice of his lawyer, and lawyers for Sun Media, apologizes for Roma Comments.”

  7. Hmmm, I rather suspect the unwritten part of this story is “Ezra Levant, upon the advice of his lawyer, and lawyers for Sun Media, apologizes for Roma Comments.”

  8. As a Canadian-born Roma with no criminal record I think this apology is not enough. If he had done this with any other minority in Canada he would be applying for unemployment insurance. There is no Roma problem in Canada. There is only a Levant problem.

  9. Well I say let Erza continue to put his foot straight down his throat, Tom Flanagan needs some company in the unemployment line…

  10. Yep, only lefty progressives never have to apologize!

  11. (rolling on floor laughing out loud)


    If he’s sorry then Madonna’s a virgin and I was just named Pope.

    How many times now has it been that Mr Levant has had to “apologize” for similar comments?

    Clearly, the man is not sorry… BECAUSE HE KEEPS DOING IT!!!

  12. Never mind, as i recall the same gentleman argued that Canadian oil industry in Canada is morally sound because the industry does not have a record of murdering the locals, apparently unlike oil industries in some countries. At least that was how his presentation sounded on the media. Mr. L does me the service of reminding me to take the media with a grain of salt, and to take back bearings from at least three media outlets with differing interests and agendas.

  13. This would be hilarious if it weren’t so pathetic. For months starting in 2008, Maclean’s magazine lambasted a few students who brought human rights complaints against the magazine about some of the nastier bon mots from columnist Mark Steyn. The complaints dared to question the business decisions of independent media and the media went on a huge free speech uber-alles rampage. Maclean’s was at the leading edge, attacking human rights commissions and their jurisdiction over hate speech. Practically every media outlet in the country got on the bandwagon.

    Since that time, the Supreme Court of Canada has unanimously upheld the validity of noncriminal human rights complaints, but in the interim, the federal government has tried to abolish jurisdiction over hate speech.

    The media should be careful what it wishes for. Roma representatives did the right thing by going for the real “hammer.” Bravo for refusing to put up with hateful harangues and hitting these cowards where it hurts. The moral of the story? Never mind human rights commissions, go for the gusto: Criminal sanctions and repercussions for broadcast licensing. Interesting that there is barely been a peep or attack from the mainstream media except objective reporting. A nice change.

  14. Levant , or as i like to call him (the Jewish Christan apologist) is a vulgar example of opinion TV, if the sun news network ever wanted to be a credible news station they sure picked the worst of the worst for the on air talent, beteween levant and the religious fanatic Micheal
    coren, not to mention the ” the Canadian common sense loud mouth ” charles adler who just loves to hear himself talk, i find it almost impossible to listen for more then a few minutes these people have taken journalism and brought in down to the level of the rag news paper the enquirer.

  15. How many commentators in here have actually encountered gypsies, or “Romas?” Indeed, having had so many negative encounters with them in the UK and Europe over the years, I often wonder why we are allowing them into to Canada? In the many years I have observed these people, I have yet to find even one that works for a living. They are well known for their schemes, which often involves begging and stealing from others. Little wonder that in 2010, France deported 70,000 of them to Romania & Bulgaria from over 1,000 illegal camps that were filthy and ripe for disease. Many Romas have also targeted Britain, which has among the most generous government welfare systems in Europe. See the following link for the French expulsion and destruction of illegal Roma camps.


    The EU gives Romania millions of Euros per annum for housing, employment and schooling for the Roma population, which sees very little of the money. However, Romania’s failure to deal with their own transient problem should not be Europe’s problem.

    Or Canada’s for that matter.