For Yiannopoulos, age of consent controversy is a wasted opportunity

milorogan

In multiple podcast interviews, Yiannopoulos attempted to defend certain kinds of pedophilia.

When a professional internet troll has to backpedal or apologize, it means he fucked up bad. Milo Yiannopoulos’s living is built largely on characterizing marginalized groups – women, immigrants, Muslims, black people, fat people, the poor – as bullies trying to oppress good, honest, white men. He’s been canceled by event organizers, banned from Twitter, and violently protested against, all of which propped up his brand as a First Amendment provocateur.

Now his provocations have alienated him from this base. During several podcast interviews, Yiannopoulos attempted to minimize and normalize pedophilia. After the remarks were publicized, a planned appearance at CPAC was canceled and a book deal with Simon & Schuster fell through. Yiannopoulos knows he’s in trouble this time, and he’s acting precisely as the free speech crusader he is – by backpedaling and worming out of his own words. Continue reading

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Bill Maher grants professional alt-right troll a mainstream platform

milo

Among the people Yiannopoulos makes a career out of hating are poor immigrants.

A micro-controversy is bubbling in the world of liberal infotainment. Milo Yiannopoulos, the Breitbart editor and self-described internet supervillain, was booked as a guest on Friday’s Real Time with Bill Maher. In protest, Jeremy Scahill, a founding editor for The Intercept, canceled his own scheduled appearance on the show. Maher responded by saying, in part, “Liberals will continue to lose elections as long as they follow the example of people like Mr. Scahill.”

Maher further explained, “If Mr. Yiannopoulos is indeed the monster Scahill claims – and he might be – nothing could serve the liberal cause better than having him exposed on Friday night.” But Maher is missing the point. Exposure is precisely what Yiannopoulos craves. It doesn’t matter if he’s revealed as a full-throated Nazi and booed out of the building; he has already won. Continue reading

The good, the bad, and the ugly of PC

homerphobia

Homer covers Bart’s eyes at a gay steel mill in “Homer’s Phobia,” a classic and controversial Season 8 episode.

According to a new Pew Research poll, 40 percent of millennials think the government should censor speech that’s offensive to minorities. Millennials, roughly defined as people born between Ronald Reagan’s second term and Bill Clinton’s first, are soon to overtake Baby Boomers and Generation X as the largest percentage of the American population, making their politically correct attitudes highly influential. Not surprisingly, this has caused some controversy.

Comedians in particular have been having a rough time adjusting to millennial PC culture. Jerry Seinfeld has criticized college audiences for being overly sensitive, complaining that millennials are offended by a joke comparing swiping on a cell phone to the mannerisms of a “gay French king.” Bill Maher has been covering college students’ alleged inability to take a joke for years. South Park’s most recent season – their best in years – was dedicated largely to the issue of political correctness. Continue reading

Political correctness is now part of the conservative victimhood complex

In the eyes of his fans, this Trump gesture can turn any idiotic statement into a fearless declaration of a hard truth.

In the eyes of his fans, this Trump gesture can turn any idiotic statement into a fearless declaration of a hard truth.

Across political spectrums, the belief that political correctness is pushed on the country primarily from the left has taken hold. From “courageous” conservatives like Donald Trump to liberal comedians like Bill Maher, the new narrative holds that speech censorship is a left-wing enterprise.

But like so many facets of American life, political correctness is divided along racial, ethnic, political and social lines. Each side has their own ideas about what is and isn’t proper to say. Almost every politically correct issue depends on your vantage point. It takes two to do the dance: one to insist on a thing, and another to be offended by it. Either side can be accused of being politically correct. Continue reading

Condemn the attacks on Charlie Hebdo, but remember that satire should always punch up

Hundreds of thousands marched at unity rallies in and around Paris to show support for free expression in the wake of the murders at Charlie Hebdo.

Hundreds of thousands marched at unity rallies in and around Paris to show support for free expression in the wake of the murders at Charlie Hebdo.

It’s hard to find much room for cynicism in the outpourings of solidarity, sympathy and defense of free expression that have emerged following the slaughter of 12 innocent people at the offices of the French satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. The crime committed there in the name of religious extremism is one of the most heinous and intolerable anyone can imagine. Nonetheless, there’s an important element to the story that’s missing from most of the discussion, and it has to do with the power dynamic of cultures and the messaging of satire. Continue reading