Milo Yiannopoulos Loses Speaking Engagement and Book Deal

18837_miloedwinfMilo Yiannopoulos has an active following for the very reason he lost a speaking engagement and book deal: he's out there. A New York Times article refers to him as "a polemical Breitbart editor and unapologetic defender of the alt-right," and he seems to say whatever he wants, which isn't a bad thing-until it is.

Earlier this month, a college tour at UC Berkeley was canceled when protests ended in violence, and today, he lost the chance to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference. The latest controversy comes from a video in which Yiannopoulos seems to condone pedophilia. Yiannopoulos denies the allegations and "blamed 'British sarcasm' and 'deceptive editing,'" according to the Times.

Simon & Schuster canceled plans for his book, "Dangerous." In a statement, Yiannopoulos said, "The people whose views, concerns and fears I am articulating do not sip white wine and munch canap├ęs in gilded salons. And they will not be defeated by the cocktail set running New York publishing. Nor will I."

According to the Times article, Yiannopoulos's position at Breitbart is under consideration:

Mr. Yiannopoulos, who has railed against Muslims, immigrants, transgender people and women's rights, is a marquee contributor to Breitbart News, where he serves as senior editor. He has amassed a fan base for his stunts and often-outrageous statements. But by Monday afternoon, his future at the website was being intensely debated by top management.

One Breitbart journalist, who requested anonymity to describe private deliberations, described divisions in the newsroom over whether Mr. Yiannopoulos could stay on. There was some consensus among staff members that his remarks were more extreme than his usual speech, the journalist said, and executives were discussing by telephone whether his apology was enough to preserve his position at the site.

[Update: Yiannopoulos resigned from his Breitbart position.]

I saw Yiannopoulos for the first time on "Real Time with Bill Maher." What struck me most was this statement: "Mean words on the internet don't hurt anyone." Really? Who gets to decide?

Image source.

Discussion:

  • Did the organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference and Simon & Schuster make the right decision? Did UC Berkeley?
  • What's your perspective on Yiannopoulos' comment, "Mean words on the internet don't hurt anyone"? Who does get to decide?