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Ezra Levant fires back at Tyee over puppet rap satire

Ezra Levant is firing back at The Tyee after a satirical video featuring a puppet version of the Sun News Network host and Ethical Oil spokesperson Kathryn Marshall rapping was published today. 

Levant indicated he will respond to the video on Sun News Network show The Source, in a preview found online here.

Levant has also made accusations over Twitter that "the Tides Foundation out of San Francisco gave the Tyee $15,000 to fight the 'tar sands,'" and asked "How much went to fund this?" He also questioned why The Tyee takes "foreign lobbyist money that is conditional on it attacking the 'tar sands.'"

Tyee editor David Beers responded to these comments today, saying: "Ezra Levant is twisting facts beyond truth to serve his own agenda."

"The Tyee's investors are 100 per cent Canadian. Additional funding for The Tyee comes from our thousands of readers -- one million page views last month -- and advertising. In addition, The Tyee has on occasion published specific journalism projects funded by philanthropies. Most of those are Canadian. When Tides Canada funding supports journalism that appears on The Tyee, we label it clearly as such and are extremely proud of the journalism in the public interest -- fair, balanced and in-depth -- that that funding has made possible. We retain sole editorial independence and would not accept editorial direction from any funder. The beneficiaries are the Canadian public who really deserve more independent journalism of the kind The Tyee publishes," Beers said.

Tides Canada supported The Tyee's 17-part series "Growing the Local Bounty," which investigated challenges facing local food producers and highlighted solutions emerging in British Columbia and Ontario. The series was awarded a gold for best online-only article or series of articles at the Canadian Online Publishing Awards in 2011. 

Answering Levant's question about who funded the video, Beers said: "The Tyee paid for this hilarious satire out of our own resources."

"The debate over Canada's energy future is a serious one, and needs to be had," Beers said. "The Tyee has published a lot of very serious in-depth journalism about it. There's always room for levity and satire as well -- just ask Rick Mercer and Jon Stewart. We note that the satire is causing a lot of people in Canada to smile, and that's a good thing."

You can find the video in question, "Ethical Oil: The Puppet Rap," here.

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