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.”
The statement went on to declare that CPAC does not endorse “everything a speaker says or does.”
President Donald Trump, along with Vice President Mike Pence, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, will be headlining this year’s event, along with top White House aides Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus. But the Milo controversy quickly threatened to taint the event and raised questions about what it would mean if other speakers still attended.
CPAC organizers had a conference call at 1 p.m. on Monday to discuss the controversy and how to address it, according to a GOP source familiar with the matter. The decision to disinvite Yiannopoulos was unanimous and did not even need to be deliberated, the person said. Among those on the call were ACU board members Amy Frederick, Bob Beauprez, Mike Rose, Matt Smith, Matt Schlapp and Becky Norton Dunlop, along with Vice Chair of the ACU Foundation Millie Hallow.
The board only learned about the controversial video when it surfaced over the weekend, the source said, and it considered Yiannopoulos’ apology, posted to Facebook Sunday night, to be inadequate.
Another GOP source familiar with the situation said Schlapp “understood this was spiraling out of control.”
Yiannopoulos was intended to discuss free speech on college campuses at the event.
Yiannopoulos, a senior editor at the conservative Breitbart News, is no stranger to controversy, but the CPAC’s recent embrace of the crusading anti-political correctness provocateur has been discomfiting to some conservatives. Yiannopoulos was banned from Twitter after stirring up online harassment of Ghostbuster star Leslie Jones. And a planned Yiannopoulos event at the University of California, Berkeley was recently canceled when protests against him turned violent. The incident prompted Trump to threaten Berkeley with a loss of federal funds.
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Matthew Nussbaum and Alex Isenstadt
Simon & Schuster Cancels Publication of Milo Yiannopoulos’s Book
According to a report by Publishers Weekly, Simon & Schuster is canceling publication of Milo Yiannopoulos‘s book “Dangerous.”
Yiannopoulos received a $250,000 advance for the book, which was to be written for Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster.
The controversial Breitbart editor expressed surprise that the company went through with the deal in the first place.
“I met with top execs at Simon & Schuster earlier in the year and spent half an hour trying to shock them with lewd jokes and outrageous opinions,” Yiannopoulos told The Hollywood Reporter in December. “I thought they were going to have me escorted from the building — but instead they offered me a wheelbarrow full of money.”
But following the emergence of a video in which the provocateur seemed to be defending pedophilia, the venerable publishing house apparently concluded they could no longer remain in business with Yiannopoulos. Earlier in the day, the Breitbart editor was disinvited from the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) after the release of the video.
Yiannopoulos who backpedaled from his remarks in the video in a Facebook post earlier Monday, took to the social media platform again to confirm the news.
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Breitbart News May Boot Milo Yiannopoulos Over Sex Comments
Milo Yiannopoulos, the provocative conservative journalist who is often portrayed as a champion of the far right, is facing possible dismissal from his employer, Breitbart News, over comments he once made about underage sex, FOX Business has learned.
His possible dismissal could could come by the end of the day, sources from the conservative website told FOX Business. Earlier Monday, Yiannopoulos was disinvited to speak at a gathering of the Conservative Political Action Committee (CPAC) scheduled for this weekend.
His official title is Technology Editor for Breitbart, but Yiannopoulos is best known for his political statements on social media and television. Indeed his CPAC invitation drew outrage even from some conservatives given Yiannopoulos’ past remarks about race, sexuality and other issues.
Breitbart was founded by conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart, and later expanded under the direction of Steven Bannon, now a Senior Advisor to President Trump. The news organization has consistently defended Yiannopoulos’ statements on issues such an immigration and race, which many say pushed the envelope of proper discourse and veered into outright racism. He has been officially banned from the social-media outlet Twitter after statements he made about “Ghostbusters” actor Leslie Jones.
Yiannopoulos, meanwhile, has portrayed himself as a defender of free speech who has been unfairly attacked by the politically-correct media establishment, a fight his supervisors seemed to relish. But now there is a fierce internal debate at Breitbart over whether he should remain with the website over his latest comments.
People inside Breitbart say that the decision on whether to keep Yiannopoulos will ultimately be a business one; senior executives there are weighing how “damaging his comments are to the Breitbart brand,” said one person with knowledge of the matter. Despite having strong web traffic on its website, many companies are skittish about advertising on Brietbart given its reputation as being the news outlet and opinion destination for the fringe nationalist group known as the “alt-right.”
“Breitbart already has advertising issues regarding its association with the Alt-Right, and this doesn’t help the business side,” said the person with direct knowledge of the debate inside Breitbart over Yiannopoulos’ future.
Still, Breitbart has so far remained quiet after videos emerged Monday where Yiannopoulos seemed to defend pedophilia. Breitbart had no immediate comment to FOX Business.
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