It seems like Nero has finally been consumed by the fire he started.
Far-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos, who just stepped down from his position as Breitbart's tech editor this afternoon, had a very bad couple of days, with his keynote speaker engagement at CPAC pulled and a book deal worth over $250,000 cancelled. Yiannopoulos, who went by @nero before being the rare media personality actually kicked off Twitter, saw his troll empire finally burn him after videos of him making what has been described as "pro-pedophilia" comments resurfaced.
"We get hung up on this child abuse stuff, to the point where we're heavily policing even relationships between consenting adults," he said on a podcast called The Drunken Peasants in January of 2016. Later, in the same conversation he said that relationships "between younger boys and older men … can be hugely positive experiences."
On an episode of Joe Rogan's podcast in July of the same year, Yiannopoulos made similar comments and also hinted that he has personally seen minors being sexually abused at a party and not reported it.
Yiannopoulos, for his part, has vehemently denied the allegations, saying that his comments were taken out of context and that he was being humorous. Yiannopoulos apologized during a press conference today saying that he regrets the comments, but that "as a victim of child abuse" the concept of him being a supporter of pedophilia is "absurd." He went on to say that this was a conspiracy by the media to bring him down.
"Let's be clear about what's happening here," said Yiannopoulos. "This is a cynical media witch hunt from people who do not care about children, they care about destroying me and my career and by extension my allies. They know that although I made some outrageous statements, I've never actually done anything wrong."
"They held this story back, they held this footage back, footage that has been out there in the wild for over a year because they don't care about victims, they don't care about children, they only care about bringing me down. They will fail."
As one would expect, the derpy superheroes of the alt-right, or new-right (whatever these neo-fascists are calling themselves these days,) have had his back...to a point. That said, it not exactly the work of geniuses.
Oddly enough, some of the more well-known players in the alt-right have come out against Yiannopoulos. Richard Spencer and Tim Treadstone (Baked Alaska), the latter of whom claims to be Yiannopoulos' former manager, both shat on their former British king.
"The guy is totally done," said Spencer on Twitter. "No sane person will defend him."
However, it seems, even if Richard Spencer (a self-avowed white supremacist) won't defend Yiannopoulos, the pizzagaters will.
Mike Cernovich, best known as that pizzagate guy, dedicated his online radio show to defending Yiannopoulos last night. His main argument is that Yiannopoulos was joking about the comments, but he also has some rather strong thoughts on how the video came to be. Towards the end of his show, Cernovich tail-spins into a theory that this is all a systematic takedown by the "deep state"—influential but unknown members of the military or government agencies (CIA, FBI)—because "citizen journalists" were onto their pedophilia rings. Look, it's not that easy to summarize something that is crystallized stupidity brought to life so here it is in full:
"One third of the deep state are pedophiles, to get at that high level that they get at they have all kind of initiation rituals that a lot of people that wouldn't believe are possible but it's how they control you," Cernovich said.
"What they do, if you want to be at the highest level—the highest power level—they make the new members molest children and record it. That accomplishes two things, one it gives them blackmail material on everybody for the rest of their lives but, even bigger, they know that if you harm a child, then you will do anything for them.
"That's why they became really nervous when citizen journalists began investigating pedophile rings in DC, they got shaken up. The fake news media freaked out and now they want to tar everybody that they possibly can to try and distract from their true crimes, that's what's really going on here, 100 percent what's going on here."
The theory that this is a deep-state psy-op has taken hold in many of the circles of the alt-right. Jack Posobiec, another prominent alt-right social media figure, tweeted that a source told him $250,000 was spent on opposition research on Yiannopoulos, where "they" hired PIs and video editors"—former independent presidential candidate Evan McMullin is somehow involved as well. Lauren Southern, a 21-year-old Canadian media personality for the northern equivalent of Breitbart, also tweeted out that it was a hit job but later deleted her tweets.
Many, many blog posts have been written supporting this idea that Yiannopoulos is the victim of a smear job conducted by the deep state and mainstream media. However, these videos were out publically on YouTube for quite some time, which would mean that these "deep-state operatives" must have a hell of a budget to be able to go back in time and force Yiannopoulos to make those comments publicly on the podcasts.
That said, there is significant online chatter worrying about about further takedowns of members of Yiannopoulos' brethren. Cernovich later tweeted that "Deep State is going after everyone with a large social media following" to which Paul Joseph Watson, of conspiracy theory and Infowars fame, tweeted "can confirm."
Which brings us to Infowars founder (and apparently semi-regular Trump advisor) Alex Jones, who posted a doozy of a video, entitled "Milo Is A Victim Of Sexual Abuse, Does Not Promote Pedophilia," last night. The video is mostly him yelling in the dark about Yiannopoulos, yet is, somehow, the most sane defence of the bunch.
In the rambly clip, Jones calls Yiannopoulos a "beta gay guy" and seems to suggest that he's gay because of abuse and has Stockholm syndrome. He calls the stories about Yiannopoulos a "witch hunt" and goes on a tirade against people who support trans rights. In the video he suggests that journalists should be going after the big pedophile rings in Hollywood and DC instead of Yiannopoulos.
"On a scale of one to ten—zero being a really good person with your kids and a good life where you're standing up for what's right. On the compendium, on this whole spectrum, most of us are a one or something," said Jones. "Then you got a Sandusky or these type of people that are nines or tens.
"Milo is like a three or four, so if we're going to fry Milo we better go ahead and fry everybody else who is involved in this."
Jones concludes that this is "absolutely the Republican party trying to roll up the grassroots support of the nationalist and populist movement that is taken place" and then compared Yiannopoulos to PewDiePie.
The whole situation seems to have taken place in the Upside Down. For several years now, the alt-righters have never seen a pedophile conspiracy they couldn't sink their teeth into. At one point, Cernovich repeatedly targeted Vic Berger as a pedophile and sicced his merry band of trolls on him.
So it's interesting to watch these people, who see pedophiles around every corner and, like Yiannopoulos, have weaponized pedophilia accusations, scrambling to explain away Yiannopoulos' own comments.
Sometimes it's hard to tell when the call is coming from inside the house.
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