... on Sunday morning, less than one day after the controversial announcement about the CPAC speaker lineup, video surfaced of Yiannopoulos allegedly defending pedophilia in the past.This is on an episode of the Drunken Peasants podcast. But wait, there's more:
“We get hung up on this sort of child abuse stuff,” Yiannopoulos is heard saying in a video, acknowledging that he has a controversial point of view, “to the point where we are heavily policing consensual adults.”
“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 added.
“It sounds like molestation to me,” an unnamed person tells Yiannopoulos in reply, likely an interviewer. “It sounds like Catholic priest molestation to me.”
“But you know what? I’m grateful for Father Michael. I wouldn’t give nearly such good head if it wasn’t for him,” Yiannopoulos replied....
In an interview with comedian Joe Rogan in 2015, Yiannopoulos discussed his sexual relationship with “Father Michael,” which he allegedly had as a teenager at age 14.Yiannopoulos defended himself on Facebook in a post titled "A Note for Idiots," in which he wrote:
During the interview, he even tried to normalize pedophilia.
“So you’re saying you’ve never seen a 15-year-old girl, at any point in your life, that you thought was hot?” Yiannopoulos asked.
“Yeah, when I was 15!” Rogan replied. “I’m not retarded dude.”
“No, when you were 25 or 30, you’ve never seen girls you thought were hot?” Yiannopoulos asked again.
“No, I thought they were little kids!” Rogan said.
Later, Rogan called “Father Michael” a “terrible person” for allegedly having a sexual relationship with Yiannopoulos when he was a young teenager, but Yiannopoulos tried to downplay it.
“It wasn’t molestation,” he alleged
“That’s absolutely molestation,” Rogan shot back.
I do not support pedophilia. Period. It is a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very worst.But in the Drunken Peasants clip he talks about "this arbitrary and oppressive idea of consent" and makes clear that he doesn't consider sex between a man and a teen to be pedophilia:
You're misunderstanding what pedophilia means. Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody thirteen years old who is sexually mature. Pedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty.Will Yiannopoulos's career as a professional troll survive this?
After elements of the right embraced Camille Paglia many years ago, her career didn't suffer from the revelation that she'd written this:
As far as [Allen] Ginsberg's pro-NAMBLA stand goes, this is one of the things I most admire him for. I have repeatedly protested the lynch-mob hysteria that dogs the issue of man-boy love....And this:
Allen Ginsberg was the apostle of a truly visionary sexuality.... Ginsberg's celebration of boy-love was pure and sinless, demonstrating the limitations of Judeo-Christian paradigms of sexuality.
These days, especially in America, boy-love is not only scandalous and criminal but somehow in bad taste. On the evening news, one sees handcuffed teachers, priests or Boy Scout leaders hustled into police vans. Therapists call them maladjusted, emotionally immature. But beauty has its own laws, inconsistent with Christian morality. As a woman, I feel free to protest that men today are pilloried for something that was rational and honorable in Greece at the height of civilization.Yiannopoulos is clearly trying to attain a higher level of superstardom than Paglia ever was. (In the Bill Maher appearance he refers to himself as a "pop star.") And Paglia has never tried to brand herself as a purely right-wing figure. But those quotes didn't hurt her at all on the right.
It's possible that right-wingers will see Yiannopoulos as a bad ally because support for pedophilia is one of the charges they love to level at Islam. And it's possible that right-wingers will remember their "traditional values" moral code, which they set aside when a thrice-married pussy-grabber seemed likely to be a more effective vanquisher of liberals than their usual pols.
But the right's history with Donald Trump makes clear that "family values" are dead, except when applied to non-conservatives. Yiannopoulos expresses contempt for gay people and (especially) trans people, which makes him useful to the right.
I think Yiannopoulos will suffer a setback or two. Maybe he'll be dumped by CPAC this year. (UPDATE: He's now been disinvited.) But his following is conservatism's new base. They won't abandon him. They'll buy his book. They'll watch his inevitable return appearances on Maher's show. They'll show up for his campus speeches, as will Black Bloc-ers trying to shut him down. Yiannopoulos will continue to infuriate liberals, which is the right's prime directive. If he needs to, he'll keep gaslighting us with regard to his past pedophilia remarks, until the right believes he was never a pedophilia advocate. ("Fake news"!) He'll survive.
(Paglia quotes via Atrios.)
UPDATE: Here comes the gaslighting, in a new post on Yiannopoulos's Facebook page:
I am a gay man, and a child abuse victim.
I would like to restate my utter disgust at adults who sexually abuse minors. I am horrified by pedophilia....
I do not believe sex with 13-year-olds is okay. When I mentioned the number 13, I was talking about the age I lost my own virginity.
Milo is still lying. He said on the tape that sex between a 13-year-old and a 28-year-old can "happen perfectly consensually." https://t.co/g9JFDplTsT— Josh Barro (@jbarro) February 20, 2017
I suppose it's possible that Yiannopoulos's career will really suffer as a result of this. If it does, I fully expect him to orchestrate some sort of moment of transformation -- treatment for substance abuse or sex addiction would be my guess -- after which he'll claim he's emerged a changed man. This will happen only if he can't continue to find an audience for his right-wing trolling. If that con no longer works for him, he'll try to reinvent himself as an apolitical, famous-for-being-famous wit and raconteur, a Monti Rock III for the 21st century. (Ask your parents, kids.) He'll probably wind up being the center square in a 2030 reboot of The Hollywood Squares.