Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart’s openly “gay,” British, conservative editor, has been disinvited from speaking at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference, hosted by the American Conservative Union, amid a social-media backlash over video clips that have surfaced of him supposedly defending pedophilia.
ACU chairman Matt Schlapp took to Twitter to issue a full statement about Yiannopoulos’ status as the keynote speaker at CPAC.
“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,” the statement begins.
In a Facebook response to the furor prior to getting booted, Yiannopoulos wrote that deceptive editing of the video clip, as well as his own “sloppy phrasing,” was to blame for any appearance that might paint him as soft on pedophilia, or sympathetic to pedophiles.
He also said he does not support pedophilia and was simply speaking of his own relationship at the age of 17 with a man, age 29. The age of consent in the United Kingdom, Yiannopoulos’s home country, is 16.
In the video, as reported by the Hill, the conservative firebrand said: “We get hung up on this sort of child abuse stuff to the point where we are heavily policing consensual adults. In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationship between younger boys and older men, the sort of ‘coming of age’ relationship, those relationships in which those older men help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable, sort of rock, where they can’t speak to their parents.”
A host in the video then says the comment reminds of a “Catholic priest molestation.”
And Yiannopoulos’ reply?
“I’m grateful for Father Michael,” he said, the Hill reported. “I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him.”
Watch videos critics say show Milo Yiannopoulos “defending pedophilia”:
The clip is part of a three-hour interview from January 2016, part of the “Drunken Peasants” podcast. It’s been on YouTube for more than a year. But it surfaced just recently because Yiannopoulos was invited to speak at CPAC.
ACU, over the weekend, had announced Yiannopoulos would be an invited speaker.
But after the video resurfaced, his presence faced attack by both the mainstream media, and from within his own conservative camp.
CNN’s Jake Tapper sent out a flurry of tweets appealing to CPAC and the ACU to take back its invite to Yiannopoulos.
In one, Tapper wrote: “Friend of mine, conservative, could not be more distraught by this Milo tape. Was molested as a child. Horrified.”
Another: “My friend, a survivor of sex trafficking, ‘Milo straight up defended abusing 13 yr old boys. Please don’t let that be normalized.'”
Another, again from Tapper: “More from survivor of sex trafficking: ‘Please please please don’t let that mess he said go away.’ How on earth can CPAC defend this?”
And Tapper’s fourth: “Was planning on ignoring for the most part, for those saying ‘stop publicizing him.’ But friend reached out & pled w me to say something.”
Tapper had more tweets. And he was joined by members of the conservative press, as well.
As the Blaze noted, Schlapp wrote in his original announcement that Yiannopoulos would take part: “We think free speech includes hearing Milo’s important perspective.”
And then National Review Online’s Jonah Goldberg tweeted in reply: “@mschlapp Sad and disappointing, Matt.”
The two exchanged several tweets about the situation.
Schlapp, in another tweet, wrote: “Jonah 1st amendment is dead on campus. Conservatives should fight back. As radioactive as milo is he is fighting back.”
And Goldberg tweeted back: “The ‘way we’re doing it for free speech’ argument convinces no one.”
Later, Goldberg tweeted to Schlapp: “Matt, so invite Ayaan Hirsi Ali. Your spin on this is desperate. How is this fighting back? How is this not Breitbart/Mercer service?”
And to that, Schlapp replied in a tweet: “Jonah she spoke last year love her. can you be as aggressively critical of Fox News for having milo on repeatedly?”
Steve Deace, talk show host with Salem Radio Network, also spoke critically of Yiannopoulos on Twitter.
Deace wrote: “Once you advocate pederasty there is nothing to understand. The unrepentant individual in question is disqualified, as are his allies.”
Yiannopoulos’s full Facebook rebuttal to all the fury is this:
“A note for idiots (UPDATED):
“I do not support pedophilia. Period. It is a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very worst. There are selectively edited videos doing the rounds, as part of a co-ordinated effort to discredit me from establishment Republicans, that suggest I am soft on the subject.
“If it somehow comes across (through my own sloppy phrasing or through deceptive editing) that I meant any of the ugly things alleged, let me set the record straight: I am completely disgusted by the abuse of children.
“Some facts to consider:
“1. I have outed THREE pedophiles in my career as a journalist. That’s three more than any of my critics and a peculiar strategy for a supposed pedophile apologist.
(a) Luke Bozier, former business partner of Louise Mensch
(b) Nicholas Nyberg, anti-GamerGate activist who self-described as a pedophile and white nationalist
(c) Chris Leydon, a London photographer who has a rape trial starting March 13 thanks to my reporting.
“2. I have repeatedly expressed disgust at pedophiles in my journalism.
“3. I have never defended and would never defend child abusers, as my reporting history shows. The world is messy and complicated, and I recognize it as such, as this furore demonstrates. But that is a red line for any decent person.
“4. The videos do not show what people say they show. I *did* joke about giving better head as a result of clerical sexual abuse committed against me when I was a teen. If I choose to deal in an edgy way on an internet livestream with a crime I was the victim of that’s my prerogative. It’s no different to gallows humor from AIDS sufferers.
“5. National Review, whose journalists are tweeting about this, published an article defending Salon for giving a pedophile a platform.
“6. I did say that there are relationships between younger men and older men that can help a young gay man escape from a lack of support or understanding at home. That’s perfectly true and every gay man knows it. But I was not talking about anything illegal and I was not referring to pre-pubescent boys.
“7. I said in the same ‘Drunken Peasants’ podcast from which the footage is taken that I agree with the current age of consent.
“8. I shouldn’t have used the word ‘boy’ when I talked about those relationships between older men and younger gay men. (I was talking about my own relationship when I was 17 with a man who was 29. The age of consent in the UK is 16.) That was a mistake. Gay men often use the word “boy” when they refer to consenting adults. I understand that heterosexual people might not know that, so it was a sloppy choice of words that I regret.
“9. This rush to judgment from establishment conservatives who hate Trump as much as they hate me, before I have had any chance to provide context or a response, is one of the big reasons gays vote Democrat.
“10. In case there is any lingering doubt, here’s me, in the same interview the other footage is taken from, affirming that the current legal age of consent is about right: ‘And I think the law is probably about right. It’s probably roughly the right age. I think it’s probably about ok. But there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age. I certainly consider myself to be one of them, people who were sexually active younger. I think it particularly happens in the gay world, by the way.'”