Opinion: Milo Yiannopoulos finally goes too far

Former Breitbart Tech editor Milo Yiannopoulos resigned after his comments about child sexual abuse received backlash from the media. Yiannopoulos claims that leaving Breitbart was his own decision.

Yiannopoulos claims the media is to blame for his resignation. He claims that the footage from “Real Time with Bill Maher” is “edited deceptively” to make it seem like he supported pedophilia. In one of the clips, Yiannopoulos said relationships between younger boys and older men could “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.”

In late February, during a news conference in Manhattan, the self proclaimed “proud free-speech warrior,” said, “I would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from colleagues’ important reporting.” He carried on to thank Breitbart for allowing him to “carry conservative and libertarian ideas to communities that would otherwise never hear them.”

“I’m partly to blame,” Yiannopoulos said. “My own experience 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.”

Yiannopoulos has been known to make outrageous comments in his exercise of “free speech,” so why is the unapologetic provocateur apologizing now? For Yiannopoulos, this is about repairing his image and patching that hole in his wallet.

Publishing company Simon & Schuster pulled plans to publish Yiannopoulos’ book, “Dangerous.” Two days after being invited to deliver the keynote address at the Conservative Political Action Conference, Yiannopoulos was uninvited. The invitation was retracted the same day that it had been confirmed that President Donald Trump would speak at the annual event, and three days after Yiannopoulos’ controversial appearance on “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

Yiannopoulos has suffered the loss of a job and a book publishing deal, so he doesn’t have much else to lose at this point. The only way that he can come back now would be with an apology. Whether or not people are willing to accept Yiannopoulos’ apology, however, is up to his audience.

Apologizing is always the right step to take, but when it happens right after missed opportunities it looks kind of suspicious. When has he apologized for his comments before? Never. Yiannopoulos has made comments before stating that he “went gay” to avoid “nutty broads.” He made the “Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant” — a college scholarship only available to white men to put them on “equal footing with their female, queer and ethnic minority classmates.” Yiannopoulos was banned from Twitter after he launched a racist and sexist harassment campaign against black actress Leslie Jones, whom he described as “barely literate”’ and “a man.”

Since the apology, Yiannopoulos stated in a Facebook post: “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 can agree with him on his statement about child abusers, but his other arguments — like calling President Donald Trump “daddy” and his belief that Black Americans were the only Americans to grow up fatherless — are hard to process.

Breitbart and conference organizers may have dodged a bullet. No fuss, no muss.