A nod to the free speech issue on college campuses

Huh. It turns out that it is possible for Milo Yiannopoulos to say something that will motivate conservatives to de-platform him. Nothing to do with the public humiliation and bullying of women, of course, oh god no, that could never possibly be a reason to tell him to fuck right off.

Milo Yiannopoulos lost his keynote speaking slot at the Conservative Political Action Conference after tapes surfaced of the right wing provocateur and senior Breitbart editor advocating for sexual relationships between “younger boys and older men.”

“Due to the revelation of an offensive video in the past 24 hours condoning pedophilia, the American Conservative Union has decided to rescind the invitation,” said Matt Schlapp, chairman of the group which sponsors CPAC, in a statement Monday afternoon. The group called Yiannopoulos to “further address these disturbing comments,” but defended its original decision to invite him as a nod to “the free speech issue on college campuses.”

Ah yes, yes indeed – because when it’s a matter of bullying women off social media, that’s free speech, and the consequences to women are just way too trivial to notice. But then when it’s revealed that yes he really is a shit who does bad things to male people too – then the “nod to the free speech issue on college campuses” is no longer worth nodding.

The statement went on to declare that CPAC does not endorse “everything a speaker says or does.”

But it does make judgments about which things a speaker says and does constitute a reason to rescind an invitation. Relentless systematic harassment of women, no; advocacy of child sexual abuse, yes.

Some prominent conservatives seemed to suggest that CPAC had provoked the maelstrom by tying itself to such a controversial figure.

“The Milo Test,” wrote Charlie Sykes, a conservative former radio host who has written critically of the Republican Party since the rise of Trump. “Anti-Semitism, ok. Racism, ok. Alt Right, ok. Advocacy of pedophilia? Is THAT the bridge too far?”

Notice he doesn’t even mention the misogyny and harassment.

Yiannopoulos is aggrieved.

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