, 59 tweets, 11 min read Read on Twitter
For those in #cdnpoli who are new to the #FaithGoldy debate, here are a few things to know in the wake of the latest eruption of publicity around her.
Faith comes from a wealthy Toronto family, went to a tony private school and attended K-12 at Havergal College, which now charges $33,000 a year in tuition. (Her younger sister, Lexi Bazos, also attended, meaning their parents had a ton of disposable income to spare).
Faith wasn't always an extremist pariah. In her youth she was a popular kid at school. However, people who knew her said she changed at some point after her parents divorced. More info here: thecut.com/2018/11/faith-…
At U of T she was a member of the university's Liberal Club, and dated the son of TVO host Steve Paikin. She also won a prestigious award from the university for her contributions to social justice, a term she now abhors.
As noted in The Cut article above, those who know her personally say that her involvement with Josef Viezner seemed to be accompanied by a sharp rightward turn in her politics.
Joey Viezner was expelled from his own tony and expensive private school following revelations that he and two other students had been posting anti-Semitic commentary online.
Joey subsequently went on to study at university, including a year abroad in St Andrews University in Scotland. During that time, he spent a few months as a member of the British Territorial Army, a non-deployable reserve force.
(Despite the fact that Faith spent years calling for an actual crusade against jihadists, and that she and Joey were both around 20 when Canada's war in Afghanistan peaked, neither ever served in the Canadian Forces. Odd given that they are both fit and love guns).
(Here's Joey's Pinterest page. He's clearly obsessed with guns, ammo and survivalism, including even more paranoid and esoteric items like GPS jammers and road spikes.) pinterest.ca/joeyviezner/
While still in undergrad, Faith was given a gig at Sun TV, the ill-fated effort to set up a FOXNews equivalent in Canada. Telegenic and bursting with confidence, she soon became a minor celebrity for that small network.
Faith used the Sun TV megaphone to begin to explore the radical right space. She spoke in favour of men catcalling women on the street (which she said was flattering), "homosexual conversion therapy", and ultramontane Catholicism.
While some of her (older, paunchier and balder) male co-stars on that network indulged her endless, not everyone there liked her. Here's JJ McCullough, himself a hard right commentator, on Faith's time there:
When SunTV went belly up, Faith was a natural to move over to Ezra Levant's startup, The Rebel. There she took her rants to a new level, denouncing Muslims in increasingly frenzied terms while pursuing other topics like how soy is supposedly reducing testosterone levels in men.
Faith was an even bigger star for The Rebel, where she gleefully participated in Ezra's dodgy single-issue fund-raising campaigns whenever required. Many of her video rants are still available on that site.
But in August 2017, Faith went too far even for Ezra. First she attended the Charlottesville protests and covered the racist and neo-Nazi side positively, then she went on a neo-Nazi podcast where she joked with the hosts in anti-Semitic terms.
While Faith offered a semi-apology and denied that she was supporting neo-Nazis or anti-Semites, it was too late and she was fired by Levant. (Levant has never offered her any support since; The Rebel remained silent on her bid for Mayor of Toronto last year).
(Side note: Here's footage Goldy shot at Charlottesville. What's notable about it is that most of her commentary shows her to be in shock, doing nothing to help anyone, but still summoning the energy to sneer at the anti-Nazi protesters:)
Once Faith was fired from The Rebel, she was off the final restraints on her behaviour. She spent Fall 2017 flailing around a bit, posting memes about soy (which she seriously thinks is feminizing men), and complaining that Jordan Peterson wasn't supporting her).
In late 2017, Faith announced that she was going to collect money to go to South Africa to film a documentary about violence against white South African farmers, which at the time was a popular cause among white supremacists.
However, after a few weeks of collecting funds, she suddenly announced her trip was off, and blamed unnamed "radicals" for threatening her security on her planned trip.
She then shut down her social media for a few weeks. When she came back in late Jan 2018, she had erased virtually the entirety of her Twitter account, destroying many thousands of Tweets dating back years.
Faith's Spring 2018 activities suggested that she was going to go into direct leadership of radical groups in Canada. She fraternized extensively with "Students for Western Civilization", and heavily promoted "ID Canada", and other white nationalist/nativist orgs.
She also attracted headlines by planning lectures at several Canadian universities. These events were promoted by small hard-right campus groups and attracted overwhelming protests. That was likely the plan all along, as Faith monetized the resulting publicity.
In early April 2018, Faith spoke on a video livestream and encouraged her listeners to read "For My Legionaries". Written by a pre-WWII Romanian fascist, the book (easily available online) is jammed with lengthy and frequent anti-Semitic tracts.
In the resulting wave of criticism of her unstinting plug for this vile tract, Faith characteristically tried to weasel out of it, claiming a few days later that she hadn't finished the book and had eventually found "a disturbing passage" that led her to retract her endorsement.
Faith found another way to milk sympathy and cash from her supporters (who were increasingly from the US), by confronting left-wing groups who supported refugees.
In May 2018, Faith went to Roxham Road. With her nominal "journalist" hat on, she repeatedly approached the pro-refugee side. Initially she focused on mocking them, but then she decided to head straight for a group of antifa demonstrators.
The antifa protesters recognized her, of course, and gave her precisely what she wanted: a nasty confrontation. Rather than just leaving the scene, she stood near police and filmed them, until the situation turned ugly. She then moved away. A couple of protesters shoved her.
That was the goldmine she was looking for. Her footage of the "attack" (police quickly intervened and no charges were laid) was endlessly recirculated through the rightwing blogosphere. Faith openly collected over $4000 in just a couple of days.
Roxham Road seemed to be her new big thing, and she quickly set about organizing a counterprotest in June. While she claimed that she was merely there as a reporter not an organizer, she was the keynote speaker and was repeatedly thanked by participants on her own livestream.
The crew she attracted was a motley mixture of hardcore Quebec ultranationalists, Canadian 3% Militia members (who showed up in camo and with their faces masked), and a ragged bunch of racists.
(Faith herself was accompanied by at least half a dozen self-styled security guards, tall men with beards and sunglasses who fanned out around her to monitor the crowd. That sort of protection would normally have cost many thousands of dollars.)
While Faith had promised that this was going to be just the first of a summer full of protests at border points all across the country, the relatively poor turnout (only about 120 people showed up) and lack of a fundraising bounce seems to have disillusioned her.
In early July 2018, Faith went off to Greece on one of her frequent vacations. She did find time to conduct a weird little interview with a prominent Greek Neo-Nazi, a leader of Golden Dawn who has a huge swastika tattoo and a long rap sheet.
The video interview lasted only a couple of minutes and focused exclusively on Golden Dawn's supposed benevolent role in fighting forest fires, started with her talking in English but then slipped into Greek with no translation before halting.
(My hunch is that she probably posted this as a figleaf justification for writing off the entire vacation as a "business expense")
Then Faith returned to Toronto and, with no previous hint that this was coming, announced at the last possible moment that she was running for mayor of Toronto. She joined a field of three dozen candidates.
The election saw John Tory sleepwalk to victory, pulling in a comfortable 60+ % of the vote, with the number 2 candidate pulling in almost 30%. Faith trailed at 3.4%, but that was enough to give her third place.
The only notable things about Faith's campaign were as follows. First, she downplayed much of her trademark racist rhetoric in favour of "community issues" such as policing, potholes and tailgating parties.
That shift cost her support from her base, with prominent members of ID Canada (which had been ecstatic at her announcing her candidacy, and which hosted the online store of her campaign) eventually denouncing her.
(Her erstwhile pal, American radical Richard Spencer, offered similar expressions of disappointment in her attempt to pose as a traditional candidate, and in particular her sudden coziness with Jewish rightwingers such as Laura Loomer and the JDL).
Second, Faith demonstrated far more interest in pushing her name and brand than in demonstrating her viability as a candidate. Her policy page was a threadbare pastiche of issues. What she focused on was how she was being ignored (which she insisted was a plot) by the MSM.
This led her to pull a number of stunts, from trying to storm the stage at a couple of mayoral debates to repeatedly complaining that the polls were alternately ignoring her or rigged against her.
The biggest stunt of all came in the last few days, when she responded to a decision by CP24 to refuse to run her ads by hiring a prominent and very expensive Toronto lawyer to sue the network's owner, Bell Media.
She rapidly and spectacularly lost the suit, and was also forced to pay the defendants' costs, to the tune of $43K. While she made a big deal about the latter being "ruinous", and fundraised massively, she had no problem meeting the payment deadline.
Third (and this is something Canadian journalists need to look into), it seems clear that the single area and community she made some inroads with was among the Chinese-Canadian community in suburban Toronto.
The only media endorsements she received appeared in that community in the last few weeks of the campaign. It would be very interesting to understand what part of her message resonated there (beyond her callous exploitation of the death of a young Chinese-Canadian girl).
That's basically where she is now. Every few weeks, she finds a way to generate a "scandal", which she then uses to fundraise. Given her family assets, it's a sure bet that all the money she collects is going to lifestyle expenses.
Faith's time is running short, however. Her core support is clearly shrinking, and she has largely become a joke and/or pariah among the more serious-minded in the radical right.
Even more to the point, she finally married Joey Viezner in December 2018. From the comments to her tweets and livestream, it's clear that much of her support comes from horny men, young and old, who imagine that sending her $25 will mean they "have a shot".
A constant in the Faith Goldy clown-show is that whenever she hits moments of particular prominence, as she is now, she starts to deny that she is a radical racist. Today she is busy tweeting that she's not a white supremacist and "hates no-one".
In the lulls, she goes back to her more standard fare, which includes repeatedly singling out and highlighting any violent crime in which the accused is non-white; sharing the memes beloved of the radical right/Chans/Metacanada etc; and engaging in casual racism.
There is no doubt that within a week or so, as her current prominence fades again, she will turn her mind to her next stunt. Her new-ish "Canada First" podcast serves only a limited purpose, being viewed live by only a few hundred fans and garnering minimal reruns.
To keep the money flowing, she needs spectacular dramas. To date her most "successful" (i.e. lucrative) events have involved provoking physical confrontations which she films and posts online in heavily edited format.
So the most likely thing will be to carry on in this vein. With Roxham Road being taken out of her quiver by a recent decision to stop allowing asylum claims to people crossing at non-border points, she'll have to organize protests and counterprotests.
One of her trademark styles is heavy sarcasm. Given the upcoming election, she will likely continue from where she's recently started, by showing up at Liberal events, offering patently insincere "endorsements" of Trudeau and then filming the resulting reactions. For profit.
The election itself could have been an opportunity for her to reassert her political ambitions, by running as a candidate for the CPC or PPC, but she has managed to make herself a toxic liability for either party. They'll gladly pocket her unofficial support, but nothing else.
Given her stick-to-it-ism, combined with family wealth and apparently no sense of shame or decency, Goldy will probably linger on for the indefinite future. But her audience is drying up. In particular, her fanboys are going to move on to younger idols.
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