Hedge fund billionaire Robert Mercer announced today that he was cutting all financial ties with Breitbart News and Milo Yiannopoulos. He released a statement explaining his ideological stance and distancing himself from Milo and Breitbart:
A society founded on the basis of the individual freedom that flourishes under a limited federal government has no place for discrimination. Of the many mischaracterizations made of me by the press, the most repugnant to me have been the intimations that I am a white supremacist or a member of some other noxious group.
Discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, creed, or anything of that sort is abhorrent to me. But more than that, it is ignorant.
The press has also intimated that my politics marches in lockstep with Steve Bannon’s. l have great respect for Mr. Bannon, and from time to time I do discuss politics with him. However, I make my own decisions with respect to whom I support politically. Those decisions do not always align with Mr. Bannon’s.
Without individuals thinking for themselves, society as a whole will struggle to distinguish the signal of truth from the correlated noise of conformity. I supported Milo Yiannopoulos in the hope and expectation that his expression of views contrary to the social mainstream and his spotlighting of the hypocrisy of those who would close down free speech in the name of political correctness would promote the type of open debate and freedom of thought that is being throttled on many American college campuses today. But in my opinion, actions of and statements by Mr. Yiannopoulos have caused pain and divisiveness undermining the open and productive discourse that I had hoped to facilitate. l was mistaken to have supported him, and for several weeks have been in the process of severing all ties with him.
For personal reasons, I have also decided to sell my stake in Breitbart News to my daughters.
Last Guido heard Milo was pretty tight with Rebekah Mercer, though we have been unable to confirm if that is still the case…
As usual Guido checked into Dear Deirdre in the currant bun yesterday for a bit of voyeurism and was surprised to see his good friend Milo in one of the stories. Milo apparently has mental health issues, funny because Guido thought he was alt-right. Apparently – according to Deirdre – he wants to become a teacher…
Milo’s life is a performance. Don’t take it more seriously than he does.
He says he’ll publish his book anyway and give 10% of the royalties to child abuse charities…
Free speech under attack as Milo’s appearance provokes riots at Berkeley. President Trump has Milo’s back:
If U.C. Berkeley does not allow free speech and practices violence on innocent people with a different point of view – NO FEDERAL FUNDS?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 2, 2017
He was going to appear in a full red Indian costume to discuss “cultural appropriation”….
The Department for Education’s counter-extremism unit has reportedly ordered Simon Langton Grammar School for Boys in Canterbury to cancel a speech by Milo Yiannopoulos, the flaxen-haired Trump-supporting Breitbart provocateur. Milo was due to give a talk at his old school, which 220 pupils had signed up to attend. The school says the decision to shut the talk down was made “following contact from the Department for Education’s counter-extremism unit, the threat of demonstrations at the school by organised groups and members of the public and overall concerns for the security of the school site and the safety of our community”. They add that the talk was backed by pupils, parents and teachers and say they are disappointed at the DfE’s decision. Milo says:
“My old high school has been bullied into cancelling my talk on Tuesday by the “counter-extremism” unit at the U.K. Department of Education. Who even knew the DoE had a counter-extremism unit? And that it wasn’t set up to combat terrorism but rather to punish gays with the wrong opinions?… Disgusted.”
The DfE’s counter-extremism unit was not set up to silence satirical stage acts like Milo, Guido cannot ever recall him advocating violence – banning him from speaking at his old school is bonkers. A school is having to no-platform speakers because of government intervention and the threat of demonstrations. Have Milo’s opponents learned nothing from the last few weeks?
UPDATE: A Department for Education spokesperson said:
“When concerns are raised by members of the public following media coverage in advance of an event, the department would contact the school as a matter of routine to check they had considered any potential issues. The decision to cancel the event was a matter for the school.”