Organizers of the Conservative Political Action Conference have disinvited professional provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos after a video interview emerged of him appearing to condone pedophilia emerged.
“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 of Milo Yiannopoulos to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference,” ACU Chairman Matt Schlapp said in a statement Monday.
Yiannopoulos, an editor at Breitbart News, said in a Facebook post on Sunday that selective editing resulted in his words being taken out of context and that he does not support pedophilia, according to Mediate.
Well-known on the political fringes, the 32-year old writer has gained more prominence with the ascension of Donald Trump and former Breitbart News executive Steve Bannon into the White House.
It was Yiannopoulos' appearance at the University of California – Berkeley and the ensuing protests that resulted in his cancellation that drew national attention and a presidential tweet.
“If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view - NO FEDERAL FUNDS?” Trump tweeted after Yiannopoulos' speech was cancelled after violent protests broke out on the campus.
The reaction was one of the reasons for this appearance at CPAC.
“An epidemic of speech suppression has taken over college campuses. Milo has exposed their liberal thuggery and we think free speech includes hearing Milo’s important perspective,” Schlapp told The Hollywood Reporter.
Shortly after the Saturday announcement, some conservatives began voicing opposition to his selection – even before the Reagan Battalion released video clips on Twitter.
The National Review’s Jonah Goldberg said Yiannopolous’ invite represented the “mainstreaming a mainstreamer of alt-right, anti-Semitism and other un-conservative views.”