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Kai Nagata targets Ezra Levant's oil sands support in new puppet rap video

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The puppet rap video produced by Nagata's team Deep Rogue Ram (a play on 'de-progam'). 

A new puppet rap video by Vancouver-based journalist Kai Nagata takes direct aim at conservative author and commentator Ezra Levant's stance on developing Alberta's oil sands. The satirical video includes jabs at federal Environment Minister Peter Kent and suggests close ties between Levant and the Harper government.

"I did this video because it's the only way I could think of to combine four of my hobbies into one thing," said Nagata in an email to The Vancouver Observer. "There aren't a lot of clubs catering to a man who likes hip hop music, playing with dolls, late-night video editing, and debating Canadian energy policy."

Nagata is a former CTV bureau chief in Quebec City who quit his job last year and was The Tyee's writer in residence for 2011-2012. Levant is the author of Ethical Oil: The Case for Canada's Oilsands and one of Canada's most visible proponents for developing and exporting Canadian oil, as well as reducing the government's role in environmental assessments. Levant was also a former Conservative Party staffer and speaker at the Fraser Institute, Canada's leading right wing think tank.

Levant said that he did not find the video funny.
 
"It is a fact that more than ten years ago I ran for Parliament (briefly) in Calgary Southwest, before stepping aside for Stephen Harper. And in the 2008 election I volunteered with the Conservative Party," he wrote in an email to The Vancouver Observer. "But I don't think either of those two facts are news. Was there something else in particular I missed that you'd like me to address? I didn't see the controversy here, other than implying that I support the sexual exploitation of women, which I assume isn't meant to be taken literally."
 
Asked whether he would consider debating Nagata in person, Levant said he would consider it.
 
"As Ben West will tell you, I'll argue with just about anybody," he wrote.
 

Nagata said that he'd like to challenge Levant to a hip hop battle, a cage battle, or a pentathlon.

"Throw in an egg-and-spoon race and a hot dog eating contest and we would have ourselves an event."

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