Until this weekend, I knew Charlottesville, Virginia as home to perhaps the most beautiful university campus in America: the University of Virginia, designed by Thomas Jefferson himself.
But this weekend it became a place where two extremist street gangs clashed, and three people ended up dead.
Our own Faith Goldy covered the alt-right rally in Charlottesville. She was reporting from the midst of a leftist counter-protest, when someone rammed their car into the crowd.
Had Faith been five feet further onto the street, she might have been killed.
Now, the events in Charlottesville, and our coverage of them, has become fodder for our critics, who are desperate to paint us as racist or even neo-Nazi.
It’s bizarre — I’m a proud Jew myself, and we have people of a variety of races and backgrounds working with us.
Simply covering controversial figures doesn’t mean we agree with those controversial figures. It means we’re covering the news, not just Justin Trudeau’s socks.
A year ago, I thought being alt-right meant saying no to wishy-washy fake conservatives, and having fun on the Internet with goofy images.
But the alt-right has changed into something new, especially since Trump’s election. Now the leading figure is Richard Spencer, who released a racist manifesto in Charlottesville. He admits he is not conservative but an economic socialist who believes your race is your key characteristic.
As I told The Rebel staff — and you — today, we disagree.
We believe that character, ideas and actions are more important than skin colour, sex or sexual orientation.
We will continue to report on the the alt-right the same way we approach the alt-left: As the most honest reporters out there. (Which is why everyone from NBC to CBS to Reuters asked us for permission to use our footage this weekend…)
TONIGHT’S GUESTS: Faith Goldy joins me to talk about what happened in Charlottesville; then the Sun’s Lorrie Goldstein and I talk about Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall’s decision to step down.