Milo Yiannopolous is a provocateur. A British national stirring up American politics, a gay icon of the alt-right, he takes hateful positions on race and politics that have earned him wrath and protests wherever he appears. He advocated for sex with 13-year-olds. He cheered on Gamergate’s harassment of women. As a result, now, his life is hard. And he’s complaining.
Actions have consequences. In Yiannopolous’ case, those consequences started with his rejection by platforms. Twitter bounced him for harassment. Simon & Schuster revoked his publishing deal because his book was so racist and hateful. He lost his job at Breitbart over this statement about 13-year-olds: “In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men — the sort of ‘coming of age’ relationships — the relationships in which those older men help those young boys to discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable sort of rock.” He faced protests on campuses that led to the universities revoking his speaking invitations.
For a provocateur, it’s no fun if you can’t get an audience.
And now he’s whining about it.
Yiannopoulos’ Facebook whine
Milo’s latest controversy erupted when he confronted negative comments on a Facebook post showing him drinking and eating crabs. Here’s his response:
Over the past three years, I have spent literally millions of dollars trying to do talks, speeches, events, rallies and protests, to say nothing of all the stuff I do behind the scenes I can never tell you about. A lot of that money was my own wealth, from before I even started in journalism. My events almost never happen. It’s protests, or sabotage from Republican competitors or social media outcries. Every time, it costs me tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Commentary: I’ve never before heard a speaker complain about the money they spend to give speeches. Anybody else with an audience the size of Yiannopoulos’ gets paid, and the venue handles the security.
And when I get dumped from conferences, BARELY ANYONE makes a sound about it — not my fellow conservative media figures and not even, in many cases, you guys. When was the last time any of you protested in the street at the treatment meted out to me or Pamela Gellar or Mike Cernovich or Alex Jones?
Commentary: If your audience won’t support you, whose fault is that? Alex Jones, as hateful as he is, has supporters. Yiannopoulos doesn’t even have that.
I have repeatedly put myself in harm’s way in service of American values. My annual security bill amounts to hundreds of thousands of dollars — just so my husband and I don’t get killed going for sushi. I have to make that money somehow just to stay afloat, and that doesn’t scratch the surface of staff costs, insurance, your insane American taxes.
Commentary: Are you shedding a tear yet?
I’ve fought bitterly and endlessly for freedom in a country I don’t even belong to — not for my benefit, but for yours. I have been betrayed and abandoned by everyone who ever called themselves my friend, with a small handful of notable exceptions. I was a significant factor in Donald Trump getting elected, for which I have received zero credit. I almost single-handedly ignited the current debate about free speech on campus and NO ONE has ever matched my ability to draw attention to these issues.
Commentary: Pro-tip — when you have an actual audience, they defend you so you don’t have to do it yourself. If no one is giving you credit for Trump’s election (questionable), igniting the free speech debate on campus (one of many), or drawing attention to these issues (making noise is not an accomplishment), then maybe you’re not as great as you think you are.
For my trouble, I have lost everything standing up for the truth in America, spent all my savings, destroyed all my friendships, and ruined my whole life. At some point, you realize it’s occasionally better to spend the money on crabs and cocktails. If anyone has a problem with that, then frankly they can go fuck themselves.
Commentary: Sorry, not taking sexual advice from a defender of pederasts.
All I ever read here is criticism and ingratitude. You guys have no idea what I have sacrificed for you, and you think just because I drown my sorrows with a few expensive bottles of wine, you’re justified in calling me lazy and self-involved. I don’t advertise my selflessness, because I’m not a victim. But for the love of God show some recognition of what your front-line warriors have accomplished on your behalf, you entitled fucking babies. YOU WILL KEEP LOSING until you support those of us out there on the front lines while you tweet and Facebook from your living rooms.
Commentary: “I don’t advertise my selflessness”? What did I just read?
You reap what you sow
If you traffic in hate, people will hate you.
People who do this imagine that it’s worth it, because they also get large and rabid audiences. This pays. It’s not a great way to live, whipping up hate, but it does pay.
Eventually, though, those who traffic in hate lose their audiences. They lose their paydays. But the backlash from their enemies long outlasts the fleeting loyalty of their friends.
Milo is at the pathetic endpoint of that cycle. He may have arrived at this sad state earlier than others because some of his varied opinions were offensive even to your average racist or misogynist.
Unless America has lost its mind, his current position — with no megaphone, few supporters, and widespread ignominy — is where the rest of the hatemongers in America are headed.
I’m in favor of free speech. Yiannopoulos and his ilk are free to speak out. But no one is owed a platform. What it takes for hateful people to lose their platform is for Facebook, Twitter, and all media to enforce their terms of service policies.
Because then, while the haters will still be speaking, they’ll have difficulty monetizing their hate. Eventually, you’ll no longer hear anything more from them but whining.