Breitbart editor and generally awful person Milo Yiannopoulos found himself at the center of yet another controversy Sunday after a year-old video surfaced in which he appears to defend pedophilia. The comments were enough to get Yiannopoulos disinvited from the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) where he had been scheduled to speak about free speech on college campuses, Politico reported.
Breaking: We obtained the #CPAC2017 Milo Yiannopoulos introductory video.
This is a must watch!
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) February 19, 2017
The video, originally shot for “The Drunken Peasants” podcast, features Yiannopoulos discussing the benefits he sees for relationships between “younger boys and older men”: “In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men – the sort of ‘coming of age’ relationship – those relationships in which those older men help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable, sort of rock, where they can’t speak to their parents,” he says. He specifically mentions relationships between 13-year-old boys and adults.
CNN anchor Jake Tapper fired off a series of tweets in response to the video, calling out Yiannopoulos for his comments, saying “Preying on children is the definition of evil. Justifying it in any way is sick and disturbing.” He also called on the American Conservative Union, the group that puts on CPAC, to drop Yiannopoulos from their lineup. Not long after, ACU board member Ned Ryun declared on Twitter that the "alt-right and its 'fellow travelers' have no place inside the conservative movement,” and that this "is why you consult board members” about speakers, the Huffington Post reported.
There's nothing about this that's amusing. This isn't about free speech. This is about basic decency. https://t.co/CR9shNipZb
— Ned Ryun (@nedryun) February 20, 2017
Yiannopoulos released a statement via Facebook, saying that he “deeply regret[s]” the way his comments were interpreted. “But I understand that my usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, a lack of care for other victims or, worse, ‘advocacy,’” he wrote. Still he was quick to point to the possibility that selective editing had made his comments worse than they actually were: “There are selectively edited videos doing the rounds, as part of a co-ordinated effort to discredit me from establishment Republicans, that suggest I am soft on the subject,” the statement said.
Though CPAC has been applauded for cutting Yiannopoulos from its lineup, the event has also been slammed for inviting him in the first place. As Charlie Sykes, a former conservative radio host who has lately been critical of the Republican Party wrote on Twitter, “Anti-Semitism, ok. Racism, ok. Alt Right, ok. Advocacy of pedophilia? Is THAT the bridge too far?”
The Milo Test: Anti-Semitism, ok. Racism, ok. Alt Right, ok. .Advocacy of pedophilia? Is THAT the bridge too far?
— Charlie Sykes (@SykesCharlie) February 20, 2017