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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Milo Self-Destructs

Milo Yiannopoulos has resigned from his job at Breitbart News.

Milo Yiannopoulos resigns from Breitbart News
By Kelsey Sutton, Hadas Gold and Peter Sterne
02/21/17 03:12 PM EST
Embattled conservative provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos announced on Tuesday that he would resign from Breitbart News, where he was a senior editor.

"I would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues' important reporting, so today I am resigning from Breitbart, effective immediately," Yiannopoulos said in a press release. "This decision is mine alone."

Yiannopoulos addressed his resignation at a press conference in lower Manhattan Tuesday afternoon, arguing that while he believes the tapes that led to his resignation were deceptively edited, he was "certainly guilty of imprecise language."

"To repeat: I do not support child abuse," Yiannopoulos said at the press conference. "I am sorry to other abuse victims who may have interpreted my statements as flippant."

His book, "Dangerous," which was to be published by Simon & Schuster before the company dropped the Breitbart editor on Monday, will be released independently later in 2017, with 10 percent of proceeds to a child abuse charity, he said.

Outside of the meeting space where the presser is being held, a small group of protesters held signs and chanted, while inside, a dozens of reporters from outlets like Reuters and Fox News set up camera crews to capture the action.

Yiannopoulos' comments created tension within Breitbart, with some staffers uncomfortable with how slowly Breitbart leadership was to respond to the controversy surrounding their employee and how little they communicated with staff throughout the weekend. Some threatened to leave if Yiannopoulos stayed...

I have read accounts of the Yiannopoulos' remarks that caused the uproar, and Mr. Yiannopoulos seems to be referring to Ancient Greece and paiderasteia, not to pedophilia. I am guessing at this. I really have no insight into his mind.

We may read about paiderastia - or pederasty, as commonly termed - in Wikipedia:
...The most common male-male relationship was paiderasteia, a socially-acknowledged institution in which a mature male (erastēs, the active lover) bonded with or mentored a teen-aged youth[11]:115 (eromenos, the passive lover, or pais, "boy" understood as an endearment and not necessarily a category of age [10]:16[12]). Martin Litchfield West views Greek pederasty as "a substitute for heterosexual love, free contacts between the sexes being restricted by society."[13]...

So Mr. Yiannopoulos probably was referring to this institution, which is known to anyone who has read Plato at least; it is more of an older mentor-younger adolescent relationship which was ritualized. (I believe the erastēs presented the object of his affection with a rooster, which, if accepted, sort of cemented the bonds of amity.)

However, having seen this and understood this, I do not see how substituting pederasty for pedophilia is going to save Mr. Yiannopoulos' bacon.

I have read some defenses, and even though he may have been flippant, brash, a provocateur, and annoying, he most obviously was talking about pederasty - at a minimum - and there is not much of a way around that. I don't think many conservative evangelicals would endorse that bit of causuistry.

We may not be surprised that many of the defenses being mounted for Mr. Yiannopoulos take on the nonsensical tone of political arguments and thereby take a course which makes them completely miss what is going on: the phenomenon of certain parts of Mr. Yiannopoulos' personal history are revealed to us - with implications for others with similar histories - but these defenders choose to ignore the obvious and take refuge in the cave of their own ignorance.

Breitbart editor-in-chief calls Yiannopoulos comments 'indefensible,' but mounts a defense
By Hadas Gold
02/21/17 11:45 AM EST
Breitbart’s editor-in-chief, Alex Marlow, called Milo Yiannopoulos' comments about pedophilia “indefensible,” “troubling” and “upsetting” on the company’s daily radio show Tuesday morning. But Marlow also defended the Breitbart senior editor, columnist and overall provocateur as a victim of a coordinated attack whose “appalling” words needed to be understood in the context of Yiannopoulos’ personal history.
"It was something that was a total surprise to people in the Breitbart organization that there is video that surfaced that appeared to show him justifying sex between an adult and a minor, at least in certain circumstances which was very troubling and upsetting,” Marlow said on the radio show. "He seemed to be speaking from personal experience as a gay man; he also revealed he’s a victim of child abuse himself. He himself told me he’s never had inappropriate contact with a minor since he was an adult. … it’s all very upsetting and something we take very seriously at Breitbart. We’ve been going through things and trying to figure out the best way to handle this, but the bottom line is the comments on the video are not defensible, and I think most people [agree] with that.”

It’s not clear what Yiannopoulos' future with Breitbart will look like. While Marlow condemned Yiannopoulos' comments about pedophilia, he said the left has done much worse...

... While Marlow called out Yiannopoulos' comments as “troubling,” he emphasized the “context’ In which the comments were made, including Yiannopoulos' own history and that Yiannopoulos’ comments were “merely words” compared to what those on “the left” have done, mentioning people like actress Lena Dunham and filmmaker Roman Polanski.

"We have many examples on the left who have admitted to statutory rape; Lena Dunham had in her book touching her sister’s private parts as a child; you have Roman Polanski; you have millions of examples of the left of normalizing behavior, similar to what Milo described,” Marlow said. "There’s no evidence Milo has been a predator, and so I do think that is also very important context.”

Marlow also suggested the video reemerging was part of a “coordinated hit.” The video, filmed in the summer of 2016, was resurfaced over the weekend by the blog and Twitter account “The Reagan Battalion.” ...

 This is a very poor defense combining the pornographic with the irrelevant and leading us to believe that Breitbart as a whole seems to have something wrong with their heads... if not other parts. Whether it was part of a coordinated hit or not is totally immaterial to the endorsement of pederasty.

The illogical reference to a book written by the actress, Lena Dunham, who is not a political and social provocateur, a description of The Divine Mr. Y 

The Divine Miss M, for example

that Breitbart and Mr. Yiannopoulos are fond of using to describe Mr. Y, points to the fact that the people here involved are totally missing the most important facet of this phenomenon, which is Mr. Yiannopoulos' self destruction.

Why did he do it?
Did he not know that conservatives were unlikely (1) to be able to distinguish pedophilia from pederasty, or (2) to be able to countenance pederasty itself?
I believe that strictly speaking, Jerry Sandusky was guilty of pederasty, and that man is in jail.
So what did Mr. Y expect?

I have more to say on this and will so soon.


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