UPDATE with news conference remarks: “I am a gay man and a child abuse victim,” professional provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos said in a news conference today held shortly after announcing he was stepping down as senior editor at Breitbart. “Between the ages 13 and 16 two men touched me in ways they should not have; one of those men was a priest.”
Yiannopoulos quit the website the day after Simon & Schuster pulled plans to publish his book Dangerous, and CPAC yanked an invitation for him to speak at the conservative confab this week, after old video appeared on conservative blogs in which he discussed sex between adult and minor males.
“My experience as a victim led me to believe I could say almost anything on the subject, no matter how outrageous,” the British journalist said. “But I understand my usual blend of sassy, gay, British sarcasm…and gallows humor might have come across as flippancy, lack of care for other victims, or, even worse, advocacy.”
But, in the same newser, Yiannopoulos also blasted “failing media” for having “gleefully” reported “things about me they know aren’t true” as to his appearing to approve of sex with minors in the videos. And he told press attending his afternoon news conference, “You guys are responsible for that, and f*ck you.”
Other publishing houses have expressed interest in his book, he said, adding it will be published this year, “with perhaps an additional chapter,” and that he will donate 10% of his royalties to “child sex abuse charities.” Likewise he said he has funding for a new media venture, and he plans to segue from journalism to “entertaining and educating everyone, left, right or otherwise.”
The bloggers who tanked his book deal, his CPAC appearance and his Breitbart career are “a cynical media witch hunt by people who do not care about children,” he insisted. “They care about destroying me and my career and, by extension, my allies. They held stories back and footage back because they don’t care about victims, or children. They only care about bringing me down. They will fail.”
PREVIOUS, 11:55 AM: Controversial Breitbart News senior editor Milo Yiannopoulos has quit the website a day after Simon & Schuster pulled plans to publish his book Dangerous in June and CPAC yanked an invitation for him to speak at the conservative confab this week.
The resignation comes the day after conservative blog Reagan Battalion posted video of an old interview in which Yiannopoulos appeared to endorse sex between adult and underage males.
In his statement, Yiannopoulos said:
Breitbart News has stood by me when others caved. They have allowed me to carry conservative and libertarian ideas to communities that would otherwise never have heard them. They have been a significant factor in my success. I’m grateful for the freedom and for the friendships I forged there.
It 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. This decision is mine alone.
When you friends have done right by you, you do right by them. For me, now, that means stepping aside so my colleagues at Breitbart can get back to the great work they do.
Yiannopoulos had announced the previous evening he would hold a news conference today to discuss the controversy swirling around him. His resignation came a few hours after Breitbart’s editor-in-chief took to its radio show to blast his staffer’s remarks in the videos that resurfaced this week.
The radio remarks had further fueled speculation Yiannopoulos would be removed from his post there, though EiC Alex Marlow said in Yiannopoulos’ defense he “seemed to be speaking from personal experience as a gay man; he also revealed he’s a victim of child abuse himself” and “told me he’s never had inappropriate contact with a minor since he was an adult.”
CPAC chief Matt Schlapp took to CNN this morning to explain he had extended the invitation to speak about “free speech on campus” but, once the videos surfaced, “we thought the CPAC stage was no longer the place for Milo to try to explain what he meant. He needs to do that on his own.”
Yiannopoulos’ career-clobbering week followed Friday’s controversial appearance on HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher in which he scolded Maher during the online-only post-show roundtable for inviting “such awful people on your show,” adding, “You need to start inviting higher-IQ guests.”
Maher schooled back: “Look, this is the beginning of your career. People are just starting to hate you.”