Milo Is Over
Conservatives devoured their own
In 24 hours it was all over. In the blink of a news cycle, journalist and alt-right media darling Milo Yiannopoulos had gone from beloved pundit and gadfly to the scum of the earth. Allegations of pedophilia will do that.
Even when supported by clear evidence to the contrary, Milo never stood a chance. There are so few completely toxic societal taboos left in our culture, it was easy to believe people like Milo and Trump would stand forever, exempt from the moral outrages that typically destroy public figures.
Ten years ago, if you’d have told me a major party presidential candidate would win the presidency after bragging about grabbing women by the pussy, I’d have called you a liar.
It turns out that advocating pedophilia was a bridge too far. Milo is over. Milo is done. Fitzgerald was wrong, there are second acts to American lives. But remember, Milo is British.
Milo Yiannopoulos is a proudly gay, proudly anti-PC culture libertarian keyboard warrior. He’s made headlines over the past year with his outrageous behavior and liberal baiting. He’s a senior editor at Breitbart, for now, and a thorn in the side of so-called social justice warriors the world over.
People on the left love to call Milo a racist, a transphobe, a bigot and a Nazi. He’s certainly a transphobe — just last week on Real Time With Bill Maher he claimed trans people were mentally ill and overwhelmingly involved in sexual assaults. That’s true, but as the victims. He loves to provoke, mock people and stir the pot. The left fucking hates him.
UC Berkeley shut down a Milo lecture in early February when the antifata showed up and started a small riot. Milo claimed the University and the anti-fascists had violated his free speech rights. He demanded the federal government stop funding the school. To the activist left, this guy is a Nazi.
I don’t think Milo is a Nazi. He certainly flirts with fascism and he’s certainly an asshole, but to call him a Nazi would betray a level of ideological integrity I don’t think Milo has. He loves attention and loves to use humor to point out people’s hypocrisies. He brings up controversial topics to see them dissected in the public square and watch people squirm.
Back in January 2016, he covered a taboo subject during a podcast called “The Drunken Peasants.” During the conversation, Milo opened up about sexual abuse he suffered as a kid, decried the left’s idea of “consent” and explained he thought thirteen year olds were sexually developed beings.
An edited version of that conversation surfaced online yesterday and made it see like Milo advocated pedophilia. Listening to the full, unedited video makes the claim less damning but doesn’t do Milo any favors. He affirms that he thinks the age of consent in most states is at the right age, but advocates for relationships between older and younger gay men.
Now, it’s obvious to me that Milo wasn’t advocating for men to rape boys during the conversation. Milo, again, has repeatedly talked about his own sexual abuse as a child, condemned pedophilia repeatedly in his reporting and even outed several pedophiles while at Breitbart.
The edited video of his podcast conversation is an obvious political hit piece. Someone wanted the joker off the board and it’s hard to blame them. Again, Milo is an asshole. The gadfly took to his Facebook page and posted an extended explanation of his conversation. Later, he posted a video on the page. He looked tired and bedraggled. He claimed he had the flu.
“It’s very frustrating having the media repeat these allegations,” Milo said. “It’s very frustrating having so many people just blindly repeating things because they don’t take the time to see the nuance in the video.”
It seems the techniques Milo had long used to fell his opponents finally came back to bite him in the ass. His explanations and outbursts amounted to nothing. The damage was done.
In just a few days, Milo was to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference. The organization rescinded his invitation. “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, the group explained in a statement released on Twitter.
“We realize that Mr. Yiannopoulos 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.”
In Milo’s Facebook response to the allegations, he expressed regret and wished he’d picked his words better. He unequivocally denounced pedophilia. But he didn’t apologize and that’s part of the American ritual for celebrities that fuck up publicly. You have to say you’re sorry and throw yourself on the mercy of the people.
Instead, Milo dug in and used his words. He expected the mob to be reasonable and his fans to understand. Some did, but not all and not the power players that matter. It’s shocking to see Milo attempt to weasel his way out of the allegations by acting reasonably abashed and contrite. It’s as if he’d never used these exact same techniques against others. He knows better.
Again, it didn’t matter. The damage was done. A senior editor at Breitbart spoke with Washingtonian and told the paper half a dozen employees were ready to walk out if the magazine didn’t cut the gadfly loose. A few hours later, publisher Simon & Schuster announced it would no longer publish Milo’s forthcoming book.
Dangerous would be his first venture into book publishing and it was a sweetheart deal. The publishers reportedly paid him a $250,000 advance. I hope Milo didn’t spend too much of it, because he’s over.
We’re witnessing something we haven’t seen in a long time, something many of us thought Trump had ended — the political death of a public figure. Milo’s got a long life to live yet and he vows he’ll fight on. It’s going to be an uphill battle. His primary employer and defender is facing a revolt at home, he lost a lucrative book deal and the GOP has turned its back on him.
I find it hard to believe he’ll say anything during his press conference today that’ll right the ship. Alleged pedophilia is impossible to come back from and Milo has made too many enemies to have it all swept under the rug like, say, British television host Jimmy Savile.
For now, Milo Is Over.
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