February 23, 2017

You Can Say Anything...

On the subject of disliking someone and not want to do business with them, have you met Milo Yiannopoulos, and heard about his incredibly bad adventure?

Milo, the flamboyant, trouble-making, free-speech-advocating, banned-from-Twitter-for-life former senior editor at Breitbart (the Trump Administration's 2nd most-loved news network), was a fave of the alt-right. He'd say anything for the conservative cause and he was the guy the Right sorta kinda hated to love - I mean, he's a pearl necklace-wearing gay man, after all - but they did love him, sorta kinda, because he was a conservative, and that's all the matters. You remember - party over country and all that, which made Donald Trump an acceptable President.

Among the groups Milo has insulted or offended? Women. Lesbians. Fat people. Ugly people. Muslims. Blacks. Whites. Gays. Native Americans. Liberals. Rape victims... the list goes on.

Milo was invited to speak at Cal-Berkeley until the riots let to cancellation of his appearance, causing our alt-President to threaten the University of California.

Soon, Milo was invited to speak at CPAC, that annual clutch of cackling crony-capitalist conservatives. Here was the American Conservative Union's announcement, from Matt Schlapp:
We realize that this invitation will be accompanied by controversy which we think the conservative movement and our CPAC attendees can handle. Each will use his or her individual judgment as to the worthiness of each speaker, including Milo. ACU has publicly taken on racism and the alt-right and will continue to do so aggressively, like ACU's founders before us. We look forward to hearing Milo's message and having him sit down with Scott Walter to answer some tough questions. We believe that all of us are up to the challenge at a time when political correctness is properly being discarded. 
And of course, there was the tweet, too. The one about free speech, and Milo's "important perspective" on conservatism and political correctness and all the rest, I'm sure is what they were hoping for.

If only.

What happened next? Conservatives got upset with the CPAC invitation, and some among them apparently dug up some old videos of Milo's comments on sexual relations between adults and children, in which he seemed to defend pedophilia, or at least that's what it was made to look like.

The troll was trolled, as self-respecting conservatives took control of the narrative.  The CPAC invitation was rescinded in a tweet saying, in part:
Due to the revelation of an offensive video in the last 24 hours condoning pedophilia, the American Conservative Union has decided to rescind the invitation... We realize that Mr. Yiannopoulos has responded on Facebook but it is insufficient. It is up to him to answer the tough questions...
Which is sort of ironic, since the invitation itself was made based on the premise of Milo answering "tough questions" (albeit a different set of them, I'm sure).

And then, Simon and Schuster cancelled his book deal. And then came his resignation from Breitbart.

Milo is far from done 'being Milo.' His book will come out this year as planned, he said -- other publishers have expressed interest, and he'll of course add a chapter on this most recent part of his life. His "important perspective" will continue to be heard, somewhere, I'm sure.

Whether or not he rises from the fire he himself created, his name will live on, along with the rest of the folks who have been taken down by using their free speech rights to purposely, or accidentally, offend others.