- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 21, 2017

American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp said Tuesday that the group doesn’t necessarily shy away from controversial speakers at the group’s annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), but that recent comments from Breitbart News technology editor Milo Yiannopoulos fell outside clear boundaries.

“There are boundaries, and over the weekend I was made aware of these comments and it just broke through very important boundaries, and we felt like the CPAC stage was not an appropriate place for this any longer,” Mr. Schlapp said on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”

The ACU rescinded Mr. Yiannopoulos’s invitation to speak at the annual conference on Monday after old clips of him discussing relationships between children and adults emerged on Sunday. Mr. Yiannopoulos clarified Monday that he opposed pedophilia and said that while the videos were selectively edited, he could have been more careful with his language.

Mr. Schlapp said he made the decision to extend the invitation and that Mr. Yiannopoulos had wanted to discuss his experiences of talking on college campuses, where the provocateur is frequently met with protests.

“Whether we like it or not, he is a big voice in this movement, and we believe that our attendees can handle it and make their own judgments on whether or not they think a speaker is saying what is accurate or being inaccurate, or being hateful,” Mr. Schlapp said.

“I don’t want to shield that kind of conversation from our attendees — [as a] matter of fact, a lot of our attendees want to have these controversies before them and make their own choices,” he said.

“The question is this: is it OK for people who are offensive to speak on campus? And that was the point of why he was invited,” he said.


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