- The Washington Times - Monday, July 31, 2017

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pulled the plug on his book “Dangerous,” and his invitation to the Conservative Political Action Conference was rescinded.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.”

Journalist Jeremy Scahill canceled his appearance on the episode, refusing to appear on the same stage as Mr. Yiannopoulos. Mr. Maher told Esquire this summer he hopes to again book Mr. Yiannopoulos on the late-night program.

Mr. Yiannopoulos, who is Catholic, openly gay and has claimed he was abused as a teenager, believes part of the reason his book has done well is that America, unlike his native Great Britain, offers a forgiving culture.

“America is all very new to those of us used to Europe,” he said. “More importantly, America has a mindset of upward mobility — the lower classes can move up in class, and the same applies if someone gets knocked down.”

Of Great Britain, he has little kindly to say, particularly when it comes to open border policies that perhaps have allowed for the greater ease of terrorist attacks.

“England is lost. They’d rather police the speech of British people like [activist] Tommy Robinson instead of policing Muslims who are right now as I type preparing the next terror attack in London or somewhere else in the country,” Mr. Yiannopoulos said. “America must learn from the example of the United Kingdom not only to avoid flooding the country with Muslims, but also to never give up their First Amendment rights, or the Second Amendment rights that safeguard it.”

Despite taking the media to task for what he believes is unfair treatment of Mr. Trump, Mr. Yiannopoulos said the president has yet to deliver on many of his campaign promises.

Trump has done some great things, but there are zero miles of wall built, and he is wavering back and forth on immigration issues like Dreamers,” Mr. Yiannopoulos said. “I have faith he will sort it out in time. He is facing enemies on all sides including many within the GOP.

“No one expected any progress from [former President Barack] Obama over eight years. I can give Trump more than his first six months.”

Mr. Yiannopoulos founded his own media organization to give himself and other conservative voices a push. He still keeps in touch with many of his former Breitbart co-workers — though he describes the so-called “alt-right” as “a small group of irrelevant losers at this point” — and says he will tour in the fall to promote “Dangerous.”

“I hope the media continues to do a horrifically bad job at actual reporting,” he said. “It makes it so much easier for me to steal their audiences.”

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