Milo Yiannopoulos, Breitbart editor, intellectual featherweight and fascist star turn adored by the alternate right who till yesterday saw him as a warrior king in their battle against “political correctness” and perceived left-wing censorship, has finally come spectacularly undone.
To the point where his followers (amongst them the likes of Rita Pahini, Chris Kenny and Andrew Bolt in this country) who have thus far endorsed his foul outbursts against Muslims, Jews, women and transgender people as an exercise of the right to free speech, have found themselves in unlikely and uncomfortable moral confusion over Milo’s positive attitude towards pedophilia, and overt sympathy for perpetrating catholic priests.
Yiannopoulos was to have given the keynote address at the Conservative Political Action Conference later this month, and yesterday (a bad day for Milo) organisers felt compelled to withdraw their invitation.
Breitbart News, whose former editor-in-chief Steve Bannon is now President Donald Trump’s lead strategist, is reportedly considering dumping Milo. At least we now know the alt-right’s bottom line: slander anyone on grounds of race, ethnicity, sexual preference and gender, but don’t publicly advocate pedophilia. There’s honour even amongst morality’s dregs, apparently.
Publishing house Simon and Schuster yesterday dropped Milo, terminating their contract to publish his forthcoming book. They stood by him while he slandered Jews, Muslims, women and transgender people for money and spectacle, but apparently a line was crossed with his sympathetic stance towards pedophilia.
It’s gratifying to witness the extreme right writhe in unaccustomed moral anguish when confronted with speech even they cannot accept. Who knew there was such a thing?
Yiannopoulos attempted to defend himself: “My book has been canceled” he wailed on Facebook (Twitter having banned him some time ago) in baffled outrage, getting the spelling wrong in his time of extremity as anyone might.
Wikileaks’ Julian Assange then rushed to Milo’s defence from his lounge room in the Ecuadorean Embassy, tweeting that poor Milo is the victim of “politics disguised as morality” and, god help us, he’s been censored!
Well, Assange is wrong: Milo hasn’t been censored. Any publisher can publish him, he can self-publish, and any organisation is free to extend him an invitation to keynote. If they choose to ignore him that is not censorship, you’d think Assange, of all people, would understand that.
What Milo is experiencing are the consequences of free speech. He remains free to say whatever he wants, in the US at least. Others have equal freedom to decline to listen and disseminate his speech. Refusing to listen and disseminate is not censorship, it’s exercising the agency and the right to decline to listen and disseminate.
Many among us have experienced the refusal to listen, and to disseminate our points of view, not a few of us from the very groups Milo has singled out for discrimination and contempt. He’s had a good run. Now his masters are done with him. You can’t go round advocating the rape and molestation of young boys, even amongst the alt-right, it seems. Who knew they had standards?
Update: Milo resigns from Breitbart:
And this is just for fun: