WARNING: This story contains graphic language.
The Rebel posted video Sunday that appears to show one of its employees being assaulted while covering an Edmonton rally Saturday.
The video shows Rebel Alberta bureau chief, Sheila Gunn Reid, trying to interview a man at the rally, which about 2,000 people attended in solidarity with the Women’s March on Washington.
The man raises his middle finger and says, “Ezra Levant, f*** you.” Levant is a former TV host of the now-defunct Sun News Network and founder of the Rebel, a right-wing news website and activist organization.
Reid can be heard trying to interview the man as he turns his back to the camera. He then turns back and says, “Go away. Get out of my f***ing face.”
The video appears to show the man strike the camera lens and say, “You don’t have the right to film me.”
Global News requested a copy of the video Saturday and contacted Edmonton police for information about the incident.
In an online post Sunday, the Rebel said Reid filed a complaint with police and that they are now investigating.
A news photographer working for The Canadian Press was on the scene of the alleged assault. Levant asked why none of his photos were published, claiming CP buried the story.
Canadian Press Editor-in-Chief Stephen Meurice said the wire service did not suppress the story.
“The Canadian Press does not have any pictures of the alleged altercation between the protester and the Rebel Media reporter. The photographer who was covering the protest for us, Jason Franson, did not have a good view of the apparent altercation. He shot a couple of frames immediately afterward, but by that point the protester who is alleged to have struck the reporter’s camera was already gone,” Meurice said in a statement.
“CP did not publish those photos as they did not have any news value on their own. There was no ‘suppression’ of the story, as Rebel Media maintained.”
Levant added the photographer also jostled Reid when both were attempting to get similar shots.
“That CP reporter had some denigrating words for Sheila and actually physically bumped her,” he said.
Meurice said the photographer — an experienced, award-winning shooter — was trying to get a newsworthy shot.
“He maintains that he stepped in front of (Reid) to get a shot of some protesters when she refused several requests to make some room for him, but there was no physical contact between them. Nothing in the publicly released Rebel video contradicts his account.”
The Rebel posted videos and photos of the man who appeared to strike the camera and is offering a $1,000 reward to find “this violent NDP pig.” They suggest circulating his photo online but call on readers not to engage in vigilantism, “however tempting.”