If you are in a fight, it would be utterly stupid to hand your opponent a weapon which they can use to harm or kill you. Unfortunately this is what Milo Yiannopolous appears to have done in his discussion about, amongst other things, the Left’s attitude towards paedophilia.
Whilst discussing the fact that Milo himself was abused by a Catholic priest and how he had not taken that much personal harm from the incident, he made jokey statements that some have construed to be ‘pro-paedophilia’. I’ve listened to the conversation and although Milo recounts his own experiences in his own ‘edgy’ style and not in the manner that I would choose, I don’t pick up any specific instances where he said ‘paedophilia is OK’. Milo himself makes his position clear in his statement which I have reproduced below the links.
He does state that when he was a teenager he would shag anything that moved, sought out older sexual partners and wanted to be outrageous. However, that doesn’t make him an apologist for paedophilia, he’s just telling his story about how he got to where he is now. It needs to be said that although he said that some relationships with ‘chicken queens’, older men who seek out relationships with younger men over the age of consent’, may not be harmful, I have to disagree. I believe that such relationships have the potential to harm or abuse the less powerful person in the relationship. I do agree with Milo when he said (see transcript below) that the age of consent is ‘about right’.
What I do pick up, and I agree with Sargon of Akkad on this, is that Milo is a man who is pretty fucked up when it comes to his sexuality and this may well be a lot to do with his early, probably too early in my view, sexual experiences. I must admit I look back on my own life and at my own 14/15 year old self and wonder if I would be the same person as I am now, had I had similar too early sexual experiences to that of Milo? What if my teenage fantasy, as it was at the time, of being dragged into bed by a hot 25 year old curvy large-breasted confident redhead woman, had been made reality? Would I be the same person as I am now had this happened and the answer I come to is no, I would not. I might have walked away from this imagined experience with no harm but on the other hand I might not. I might have taken something positive from it or the experience might have scarred me and made me end up turning into a tramp drinking meths and riffling through bins. This is why we have an age of consent, an age where the average person can be considered as mature enough to consent to sexual activity and the emotional and physical problems that can come from sexual activity.
What I discern from the video is that Milo’s early sexual experiences have affected him. These experiences seem to be behind the reason why he appears to be conflicted between knowing what the priest did to him was wrong and also having a residual respect for his abuser’s other character aspects. Milo’s precocious sexual experiences have also probably contributed to the way that he feeds off the response he gets from creating shock and how he loves to be the centre of attention.
Now I’m not a slavish worshipper of Milo, I’m old enough and wise enough to not have too many heroes any more, as heroes are human with feet of clay and there are far better things to be in awe of than mere flesh and blood. However, I do admire the way Milo has taken the piss not only out of the SJW Left, but also out of those from the right who have shown timidity in the face of Leftist bullying. Having listened to the exchange between Milo and Joe Rogan for myself, I was surprised and that was because going by the tone of the furore, I expected it to be far worse than it was.
Yes, some of the words and descriptions that Milo used were a little ‘pungent’ to say the least but I didn’t explicitly hear him praise paedophilia or try to make moral accommodations with it, unlike some Leftists both past and present. I found Milo’s bating of Joe Rogan, who is straight, about how some young people mature sexually quite early with comments such as ‘be honest you would fancy a hot 15 year old girl wouldn’t you?’ a bit ‘off’ and not ones that I would have made. By doing this Milo left himself open to allegations that he approved of ephebophilia with this comment and he should have not gone down this route, or at the very least should have phrased things better. As adults it is our business to know the difference between fancying someone and acting on it, some people can be admired but if they are underage, they should not be pursued.
I disagree with Milo shielding, by refusing to name, the priest that abused him, but as I said earlier this may be due to Milo being conflicted over a man he admired and thought was good, but who was also doing bad things. The comment about Hollywood nonces and Milo not naming them, is perfectly understandable. These people are wealthy and powerful, libel suits or worse might result if he revealed them at this time. I think if you are going to make allegations about people being involved in illegal sexual acts then you need to be damned sure that you are on solid evidential ground and have sufficient legal back up before you do so. I’ve encountered many people in my life some sane, some mad and one person in particular who, after extensive consultations with a ‘recovered memory’ quack-therapist, made outrageous and more than likely untrue allegations against her dead grandfather, of assault by buggery. Meeting a wide variety of people and the dangerous fraggle mentioned above, along with my experience of covering rape trials in Crown Courts, has made me justifiably wary about certain allegations which are difficult to prove by any evidential means.
My experience has also made me question allegations which are made by those of bad character with regards honesty, or allegations which are made against those who cannot defend themselves because they are dead. We do the genuine victims of child sexual abuse a grave disservice if we do not make the effort to suss out which allegations are real, fake or which ones are made for attention seeking or pecuniary reasons.
Is Milo more sinned against than sinning? In this case at least, it appears he might well be. Where I will aim criticism at him, is concerning the manner in which he spoke about his experiences and about the issue of the early sexual activity by himself and his friends. Milo is intelligent enough to know that he has many enemies, some on the Right but an enormous number on the Left, who would seize on anything at all that they could use to hurt someone who has been a consistent thorn in their side. He should have been more circumspect and been considerably more careful in his choice of words. He left the sort of ‘hostages to fortune’ that have been seized upon by his enemies and which nobody who is speaking on difficult or controversial subjects should leave.
So the question is: do I still support Milo? The answer is roughly about the same as I did before this furore blew up. I agree with some of the things he says and disagree with others. I may agree with his questioning of cultural shibboleths, such as the exaggerated respect shown to the ideology of Islam, or his criticisms of the extremists of the gay and gender identity movements, but I vehemently disagree with his blanket condemnation of feminism or his defence of those on the alt-right with whom I really would not want to sit down and have a beer.
I treat Milo the same way as others whose talents I admire but who I accept are partially or significantly flawed. In a way, I treat Milo a little like the way I treat the sculptor Eric Gill. I can admire Gill’s artistic talent, which was immense, but at the same time can equally strongly condemn Gill’s penchant for incest and dog buggering and that’s not to suggest that Milo is in any way involved in incest or dog buggering.
There has been a large element of character assassination with regards to the Milo furore. His enemies, of which there are many, have taken up these comments from a podcast made a while back and are using them to beat Milo with. I’m also cynical about the timing of the furore. The original podcast went out a long while ago, so why is this only being picked up now? Who benefits, whether on the right or on the left, from a neutered or silenced Milo? I disagree with Milo’s tone on the matter of his early sexual experiences but he has the right to speak about them, although I consider he should have chosen his words far more carefully than he did?
At the end of the day, Milo was primarily speaking about himself and his own experiences as a teenager in a jokey and confessional way. I believe him when he says that he disapproves of paedophilia and that his off-the-cuff comments about his own life and his sexual precociousness have been misrepresented by Milo’s enemies to mean children.
It is highly noticeable that many of those, from both the SJW Left and elsewhere, who are laying into Milo are often the same individuals who are also saying nothing about Islamic Rape Gangs, celebrity nonces or who get their news from publications such as Salon, which have had a history of trying to make paedophiles look like victims or individuals with a legitimate socially acceptable sexual orientation. There’s the strong whiff of hypocrisy and political opportunism here and I can only imagine that it is because Milo has become an irritant to powerful vested interests.
Milo doesn’t appear to be the poster boy for child sex abusers, that ‘accolade’ should really go to the Islamic ‘prophet’ Mohammed, or the Roman Emperor Tiberius, both of whom have a far greater and more realistic claim to be that accursed thing. Milo has, however, been a bit foolish in his language and has handed his many enemies a stick with which they can beat him. If Milo can ride out this storm, a storm partially created by his own poor choice of words and a combination of the actions of both SJWs and establishment conservatives, then I hope that in the future he realises that how you say things, as well as what you say, is very important. It’s OK to be an outrage merchant but a person should be very careful about the sort of outrage they cause.
If there is one lesson that everyone should learn from this case, it is that the Left and the Establishment will stop at nothing to hold onto power and influence and will silence or attempt to discredit those who present them with a challenge. It seems that this culture war by the Left and the Establishment now includes ‘paedo-smears’ and similar low tactics and that should concern people. I feel I am correct in pulling up Milo on his choice of words, his opinion and his style of presentation of this issue. But equally, I feel that Milo’s opponents are exploiting this incident for political advantage. This is an example where ill chosen words and a questionably flippant style has met political opportunism.
Sargon of Akkad’s video comment on the furore
The edited version of the controversial video in questionable
Full podcast with Joe Rogan and Milo from which the edited highlights have come. The relevant section is from 2:08:00 onwards but Milo goes into other areas such as climate change later on.
Transcript of the relevant part of the video from Heavy.com
Milo’s statement of clarification on his Facebook page
Here’s the text of Milo’s statements
A note for idiots (UPDATED):
I do not support pedophilia. Period. It is a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very worst. 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.
If it somehow comes across (through my own sloppy phrasing or through deceptive editing) that I meant any of the ugly things alleged, let me set the record straight: I am completely disgusted by the abuse of children.
Some facts to consider:
1. I have outed THREE pedophiles in my career as a journalist. That’s three more than any of my critics and a peculiar strategy for a supposed pedophile apologist.
(a) Luke Bozier, former business partner of Louise Mensch
(b) Nicholas Nyberg, anti-GamerGate activist who self-described as a pedophile and white nationalist
(c) Chris Leydon, a London photographer who has a rape trial starting March 13 thanks to my reporting.
2. I have repeatedly expressed disgust at pedophiles in my journalism.
3. I have never defended and would never defend child abusers, as my reporting history shows. The world is messy and complicated, and I recognize it as such, as this furore demonstrates. But that is a red line for any decent person.
4. The videos do not show what people say they show. I *did* joke about giving better head as a result of clerical sexual abuse committed against me when I was a teen. If I choose to deal in an edgy way on an internet livestream with a crime I was the victim of that’s my prerogative. It’s no different to gallows humor from AIDS sufferers.
5. National Review, whose journalists are tweeting about this, published an article defending Salon for giving a pedophile a platform.
6. I did say that there are relationships between younger men and older men that can help a young gay man escape from a lack of support or understanding at home. That’s perfectly true and every gay man knows it. But I was not talking about anything illegal and I was not referring to pre-pubescent boys.
7. I said in the same “Drunken Peasants” podcast from which the footage is taken that I agree with the current age of consent.
8. I shouldn’t have used the word “boy” when I talked about those relationships between older men and younger gay men. (I was talking about my own relationship when I was 17 with a man who was 29. The age of consent in the UK is 16.) That was a mistake. Gay men often use the word “boy” when they refer to consenting adults. I understand that heterosexual people might not know that, so it was a sloppy choice of words that I regret.
9. This rush to judgment from establishment conservatives who hate Trump as much as they hate me, before I have had any chance to provide context or a response, is one of the big reasons gays vote Democrat.
10. In case there is any lingering doubt, here’s me, in the same interview the other footage is taken from, affirming that the current legal age of consent is about right: “And I think the law is probably about right. It’s probably roughly the right age. I think it’s probably about ok. But there are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age. I certainly consider myself to be one of them, people who were sexually active younger. I think it particularly happens in the gay world, by the way.”
Milo’s updated statement
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 and I have devoted large portions of my career as a journalist to exposing child abusers. I’ve outed three of them, in fact — three more than most of my critics. And I’ve repeatedly expressed disgust at pedophilia in my feature and opinion writing. My professional record is very clear.
But I do understand that these videos, even though some of them are edited deceptively, paint a different picture.
I’m partly to blame. My own experiences as a victim led me to believe I could say anything I wanted to on this subject, no matter how outrageous. 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.” I deeply regret that. People deal with things from their past in different ways.
As to some of the specific claims being made, sometimes things tumble out of your mouth on these long, late-night live-streams, when everyone is spit-balling, that are incompletely expressed or not what you intended. Nonetheless, I’ve reviewed the tapes that appeared last night in their proper full context and I don’t believe they say what is being reported.
I do not advocate for illegal behavior. I explicitly say on the tapes that I think the current age of consent is “about right.”
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.
I shouldn’t have used the word “boy” — which gay men often do to describe young men of consenting age — instead of “young man.” That was an error.
I am certainly guilty of imprecise language, which I regret.
Anyone who suggests I turn a blind eye to illegal activity or to the abuse of minors is unequivocally wrong. I am implacably opposed to the normalization of pedophilia and I will continue to report and speak accordingly.
Previous statement: https://www.facebook.com/myiannopoulos/posts