Yesterday it was revealed by conservative Internet sleuths that Milo Yiannopoulos had repeatedly made comments condoning the rape of children — yes, a 35 year-old having sex with a 13 year-old is rape, full stop. The remarks drew immediate (and near universal) condemnation on the Left and Right for a change.
Conservative pundit S.E. Cupp wrote on Twitter that CPAC — the yearly conservative gathering that invited Milo as its headliner this year — had “lost its way.” CNN’s Jake Tapper wrote, “Preying on children is the definition of evil. Justifying it in any way is sick and disturbing. Has everyone lost their minds?” Even alt-right Twitter personality Baked Alaska claimed they he could no longer defend his former associate.
So it was no surprise that the board of the American Conservative Union, the group that hosts CPAC, rescinded its invitation to Milo and issued the following statement from ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp:
Due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia, the American Conservative Union has decided to rescind the invitation of Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference.
We realize that Mr. Yiannopoulous [sic] has responded on Facebook, but it is insufficient. It is up to him to answer the tough questions and we urge him to immediately further address these disturbing comments.
We initially extended the invitation knowing that the free speech issue on college campuses is a battlefield where we need brave, conservative standard-bearers.
Over 100 people will speak at CPAC starting on Wednesday. We give great thought to who is invited to speak, but CPAC as a platform is not an endorsement of everything a speaker says or does. We continue to believe that CPAC is a constructive forum for controversies and disagreements among conservatives, however there is no disagreement among our attendees on the evils of sexual abuse of children.
Tonight, even bigger news hit as publishing house Simon & Schuster announced it had cancelled its book deal with the self-proclaimed “virtuous troll.” Yiannopoulos’ book, tentatively called Dangerous, can no longer be found at Amazon or Barnes & Noble. How sad, especially in light of Breitbart crowing that pre-order sales of the book “increased by 12,740% following the violent left-wing and ‘anti-fascist’ riot that occurred at UC Berkeley” to protest a scheduled speech by Milo.
That said, it is certainly odd to most reasonable viewers that this is where CPAC and Simon & Schuster drew the line, when they could have done so literally any time prior to the sex abuse controversy. Here are a sample of things Milo has said or done, for example, that should have convinced people never to work with him in the first place:
- In a September 2015 interview with Joe Rogan, Milo admitted that he wishes he were born straight.
- He advocated for straight people being able to use homophobic slurs in a December 2015 article for Breitbart, writing: “Faggot is too great a word to be reserved only for gays. So go ahead, I implore you. You can tell people you got a pass from your new leather-clad, popper-sniffing best friend.”
- On March 29, 2016, he co-authored a fawning essay on the white supremacist alt-right movement. Whitewashing their bigotry, Milo wrote of the racist and anti-Semitic trolls, “Are they actually bigots? No more than death metal devotees in the 80s were actually Satanists. For them, it’s simply a means to fluster their grandparents.”
- He wrote in a July 1, 2016 Breitbart article that “new data suggests that there’s no hiring bias against” women, and that they “might just suck at job interviews, according to a new report by an interview matchmaking service.”
- In late July 2016, Milo and numerous members of the racist message board 4chan participated in a coordinated trolling campaign of Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones. Tweets aimed at Jones were crudely racist in nature, often comparing her to a gorilla. Yiannopoulos tacitly encouraged the attacks, and shared doctored Tweets smearing Jones as homophobic. After public outcry Milo was permanently suspended from Twitter.
- At a pro-Trump art exhibit in October 2016, Milo staged a piece of performance art in which he sat in a bathtub of pig’s blood surrounded by photos of people allegedly killed by undocumented immigrants.
- In a December 2016 speech at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Milo used his platform to harass and mock a transgender student at the school, displaying her name and photo and commenting that “This quote unquote nonbinary trans woman forced his way into the women’s locker rooms this year.”
This is merely a small sample of the egregious stunts Milo pulled in the past (off the top of my head), which should have ended with companies and organizations severing ties with him much sooner. As for Milo himself, hopefully this latest controversy will be the one that finally makes him a persona non grata among Republicans.