Back in the news this week, if only through the promotion of Himself Personally Now, has come vacuous and talent-free man-baby Milo Yiannopoulos, who has been denied the chance to preach his characteristic brand of hate speech at Berkeley, ironically the birthplace of the free speech movement more than half a century ago.
The real Milo Yiannopoulos - a vacuous creep
Yiannopoulos, an appallingly immodest individual with much to be modest about, had been invited to give a talk at the University. After protests during the week, his invitation was rescinded. He then bleated long and loud to anyone who would listen that his First Amendment rights were being denied him. This was untrue: he was still free to say what he wanted, but the University was also free not to invite him.
Moreover, the news that Yiannopoulos was now a champion of free speech struck a chord with many in the UK whose recollection of encountering The Great Man was of someone for whom free speech was a concept flexible beyond the limits of elasticity. The response of Abi Wilkinson was typical: “Milo cares so much about free speech he twice called my former boss and unsuccessfully tried to get me fired for (v benign) things I tweeted”.
Hers was not the only such response: the Tweeter known as That Gay Hipster recalled “Milo has form for this. Tried to get my friend fired from snr job at Sky while he was at the Telegraph too”. As Zelo Street regulars may recall, Yiannopoulos’ time at the Telegraph ended with an acrimonious parting of the ways and the paper picking up a five-figure tab.
The reaction continued: Rupert Myers of British GQ, recalling Yiannopoulos “banning” the magazine from speaking to him, concluded “Milo's commitment to free speech is, like most of his ideas, paper-thin”. Richard Bartholomew added “There's also the small matter of the threat of violence made against @charlesarthur for investigating him”. Arthur, who was the Guardian’s Tech Editor at the time, nailed Yiannopoulos’ deceit and dishonesty.
Arthur also experienced Yiannopoulos’ commitment to free speech. After asking The Great Man “If you can name ANYONE you have repaid a debt to in full, please do. I have not come across a single one in my research”, soon after came “Ah - so Milo Yiannopoulos … has blocked me. So, we discover the frontiers of free speech and journalistic enquiry”.
On the small matter of what would have been in Yiannopoulos’ talk at Berkeley, George Ciccariello told “Don't forget: this is what Milo does”. The screen in the image displays the phrase “Purge your local illegals”. It does not advocate calling the law enforcement authorities, but instead hints at whatever direct action the citizen chooses to take.
And for all those still convinced that Yiannopoulos has been denied his First Amendment rights, Angus Johnston, who knows about student activism over the years, can provide some useful advice: “If you missed it earlier, my thread on why Milo makes a piss-poor First Amendment cause celebre”. Yiannopoulos is not worth defending.
Still, his fellow goons at the batshit collective otherwise known as Breitbart have plenty to protest about while they’re counting all the lost advertising revenue, so that’s all right, then.