Milo Yiannopoulos, the flamboyant, former Breitbart editor and spokesperson for the Alt-Right, was confronted with an attack coming from the social conservatives on his own "right" side of the political isle. Of course, as the news hit -- the left piled on.
Milo was scheduled to speak at CPAC (Conservative Political Action Committee), the annual political conference attended by conservative activists, when comments he made regarding pedophilia were promoted heavily by groups associated with #NeverTrump right, were used to slander the alt-right provocateur.
But of all the crazy things Milo has said, were his comments about pedophilia any worse than those we've let slide from other prominent political and entertainment figures?
That an alt-right spokesperson, about as far from a social conservative that you could get, was going to get a lead speaking slot at one of the most traditional Republican political events was surprising in and of itself. But that he was also an often flamboyantly gay, part-time Catholic, part-time Jew, who made a career out of talking about sexual experiences, trolling ideological enemies, and political and social shock culture seemed to be crossing a line.
To some, it was. A couple of days after the CPAC speaker announcement, a video with a series of clips of Milo talking about pedophilia surfaced. In the video, Milo can be heard explaining how sexual relationships between 13-year-old boys and adults can be "consensual," because in his opinion, some 13-year-olds are sexually and emotionally mature enough to consent to sex with adults, citing his own experiences as an example.
THE MILO VIDEO (WARNING: VULGARITY)
Before Milo could defend his interview as his "usual blend of British sarcasm, provocation and gallows humour,” the media was already accusing him of endorsing pedophilia, CPAC had withdrawn their speaking invitation, and he had lost a publishing deal for his upcoming book. A few days later, he resigned from Breitbart, amid alleged internal pressure from the news organization staff.
Whatever one may think of his bizarre comments, whether ‘he went too far’ or it was just his usual ‘shock value-promoting dark humor,’ the real question is: do we only condone this kind of humor until our political enemies dare to joke about it?
While we generally all agree that child molestation and pedophilia are not something to laugh about, joking about it is nothing new. Stand up comedians to talk show hosts to political commentators have been making off-hand comments, in poor taste, for years. But in today’s world, we should be concerned that the only person that gets a bullet put in their career is someone viewed as an ideological enemy of the establishment.
Here are a few prominent figures who have at least once said things about pedophilia that are as bad or worse than Milo. Each of these figures are high profile, yet have never faced any level of serious blowback for comments that seem to condone pedophilia.
#1: Bill Maher, "I admit that it’s unorthodox"
Bill Maher talking about a 14 year old boy who is having sex with a 35 year old woman, and having offspring said: “I admit that it’s unorthodox, she’s 35 the boy is 14, he was younger when they started. But she’s pregnant…and they’re keeping her in jail because she won’t conform to what society feels should be a perfect family...Rape? Come on!”
#2: Sarah Silverman, "Is it really child molestation?"
Sarah Silverman is arguably one of the most vocal critics of the right. She prides herself in being a provocative liberal and has said some pretty nasty jokes about pedophilia.
#3: George Takei, "No , cause he was pretty attractive"
George Takei is another on Howard Stern recounting his experience of childhood abuse by a summer camp counselor when he was only 13 years old: “Were you molested?” Howard Stern asks him about the experience. “No, cause he was pretty attractive,” said Takei. As far as we know, the camp counselor never had to answer for this.