Despite loss of book deal, job, Yiannopoulos committed to speaking out
Just because Milo Yiannopoulos apologized doesn’t mean he’s sorry. In fact, he believes it was just a matter of time before his enemies found a way to silence him.
The British-born firebrand, author and alt-right figure was fired from Breitbart News after video surfaced this spring in which he intimated that sexual relationships between men and boys are acceptable. Simon & Schuster pulled the plug on his book “Dangerous,” and his invitation to the Conser- vative Political Action Con- ference was rescinded.
He insisted his words were delivered off-the-cuff during the height of exhaustion. More than that, he believes it was simply the opportunity his opponents had waited for.
“The orchestrated media and political smear job on me was surprising in its swiftness, but I knew it was coming,” Mr. Yiannopoulos said in an email to The Washington Times. “What it did was merely speed up plans that were already in development.”
Mr. Yiannopoulos founded his own book imprint and on July 4 published “Dangerous” himself. It immediately went to the top of Amazon’s charts. The book now contains material detailing his parting from Breitbart. It picks up with Mr. Yiannopoulos’ continued assaults on his favored targets: Muslims, “ugly women,” feminists and the “fake news” media — with a helping of scorn for Simon & Schuster thrown in.
“Americans do not trust the media because the lies are too plain,” Mr. Yiannopoulos said, citing the “anonymous sources” used in stories about President Trump’s alleged Russia collusion.
He believes the media works tirelessly “at every stage to defeat Trump and [is] quite blatant about it. It’s one of the reasons Trump won the election.
“The press conveniently seems to omit any good news or, more importantly, news that proves Trump correct,” he said. “We fight fake news by exposing it and lambasting its perpetrators.”
Mr. Yiannopoulos has continued casting aspersions on the media even as he has used it to promote “Dangerous.” He was interviewed by NPR affiliate WNPR in New York on July 10, but the interview did not air. WNPR claimed it would air July 24, but Mr. Yiannopoulos, who released audio of the interview himself, had a different explanation.
“NPR is the propaganda arm of a government no longer in power,” he said. “How sad. They wouldn’t air my interview because I was perfectly sensible and made logical, cogent remarks. That makes bad propaganda for the resistance, such as it is.”
Before his severance from Breitbart, a planned appearance at the University of California, Berkeley in February was scrapped following violent protests. Similar protests led to the scrubbing of appearances by other conservative figures like Ann Coulter.
“Despite what The New York Times would have you believe, free speech is not violence. Violence is what the left has resorted to employing in situations where they cannot control the speech of the right,” he said of the Berkeley rioting. “For decades, they’ve owned academia and the media. Now that conservatives are speaking up, leftists don’t have the ability to shut them up without setting fires or swinging weapons.”
He rejects the notion that as society changes, so do certain terms it once considered acceptable. When asked about using words such as “crippled” or “retarded,” Mr. Yiannopoulos’ succinct response is typically brash: “That argument is retarded.”
“I reject completely that curbing free speech is a phenomenon of society, and it must never be,” he said, “because what it produces are thin-skinned killjoys who lack the capacity to think critically, debate and even allow differing viewpoints to exist.”
However, he also said that a culture in which no offense is ever taken by speech is neither possible nor desirous.
“We must learn proper responses when we take offense,” he said, adding that it is ultimately the consumer who has the power to “change the channel or turn off the video.”
Mr. Yiannopoulos said that, unlike commentators on the left, he is unafraid of confronting differing viewpoints. This was one reason he accepted Bill Maher’s invitation to his HBO chat fest “Real Time With Bill Maher” on Feb. 17.
“Bill Maher is challenging but also smart and, in his own way, fair,” he said. “I was both pleased by the positive reaction of the audience and the petulant crybabies on the panel telling me to shut up.”