Milo Yiannopoulos is an obnoxious, loud-mouthed, hate-spewing – now, former editor of Breitbart “News” (quotations added because the organization is known to publish falsehoods and conspiracy theories, as well as intentionally misleading stories).
In love with the First Amendment, Yiannopoulos firmly believes that his right to free speech trumps… anything else (well, almost), and that’s one reason why HBO comedian Bill Maher invited him as a guest on his show.
A snapshot of Yiannopoulos’ résumé includes:
– A very public Twitter-rage against SNL star Leslie Jones. Due to his on-going abuse, Twitter barred him from using the social messaging site.
– Yiannopoulos said of BuzzFeed News writer Joe Bernstein: he represents “a typical example of a sort of thick-as-pig shit media Jew, who has all these sort of right, P.C. politics.”
– Believes in forcing “Gays back into the closet,” which seems odd when you realize that Yiannopoulos is, himself, gay.
– U.C. Berkeley cancelled a scheduled speech earlier this month by Yiannopoulos after rioting broke out in front of the on-campus venue where he was due to speak. (Sorry, Berkeley, he should’ve been allowed to speak.)
When Yiannopoulos was announced as a guest on Maher’s Real Time, reaction was immediate. Upon learning that Yiannopoulos would appear on the same show, Jeremy Scahill, a controversial journalist himself, cancelled his appearance on Maher’s show.
“Scahill,” Deadline Hollywood writes (Feb. 15) “charges that Yiannopoulos’ appearance could ‘incite violence against immigrants, transgender people, and others.’ In December, Yiannopoulos, while speaking at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, named a local transgender university student (her photo was subsequently inserted into the Youtube video of the speech, and not, as I originally wrote here, displayed on stage). Yiannopoulos mocked the woman and used an offensive term to describe transgenders.”
In a statement, Maher replied, “Liberals will continue to lose elections as long as they follow the example of people like Mr. Scahill whose views veer into fantasy and away from bedrock liberal principles like equality of women, respect for minorities, separation of religion and state, and free speech. If Mr. Yiannopoulos is indeed the monster Scahill claims — and he might be — nothing could serve the liberal cause better than having him exposed on Friday night.”
My first, second, third, etc. etc. reaction to the (mostly) unapologetic Yiannopoulos is, a) I don’t like this guy, and b) I really don’t like this guy!
However, while cancelling Yiannopoulos’ speech at Berkeley was necessary due to the riot, the famously liberal university, well-known as haven for free speech should have sucked it up and respectfully allowed him to speak while protestors quietly exercised their own rights outside the venue.
On air, Yiannopoulos came off less controversial than usual. Although he did offer a set-up to a video that was released before he was due to speak at CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference.
“All I care about is free speech and free expression. I want people to be able to be, do and say anything. These days, you’re right, that’s a conservative issue.”
On the video Yiannopoulos defended “13 year olds” having sex with “older men.”
Faster than a speeding tweet, CPAC cancelled their invitation to Yiannopoulos, and the 32-year-old provocateur made a public apology and resigned his position at Breitbart.
“I do not advocate for illegal behavior,” he said. “I do not support child abuse. It’s a disgusting crime of which I have been a victim.”
“I would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues’ important reporting,” he said. He thanked the site for allowing him “to carry conservative and libertarian ideas to communities that would otherwise never have heard them.”
Meanwhile, Maher, basking in the post-hubbub glow, channeled his inner Louis Brandeis.
“Well, let’s recap. … About a week ago, [Yiannopoulos] was just getting on my radar. I said, specifically, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Then we had Milo on, despite the fact that many people said, ‘Oh, how dare you give a platform to this man.’ What I think people saw was an emotionally needy Ann Coulter wannabe, trying to make a buck off of the left’s propensity for outrage. And by the end of the weekend, by dinnertime Monday, he’s dropped as a speaker at CPAC. Then he’s dropped by Breitbart, and his book deal falls through. As I say, sunlight is the best disinfectant. You’re welcome.”