Alt-right firebrand Milo Yiannopolous finds himself under fire for comments he made about relationships between teens and older men, comments that have critics accusing him of supporting pedophilia, which he adamantly denies. The controversy comes just after he received an invitation to speak this week at the Conservative Political Action Conference, as the Hollywood Reporter reported earlier. Coverage:
- The latest controversy began when a group called the Reagan Battalion, apparently unhappy with the CPAC invite, released videos including this one. (Note: strong language, including a joke Yiannopolous makes about his own sexual prowess thanks to a priest.)
- You can read a transcript via Heavy.com.
- One quote: "(T)here are certainly people who are capable of giving consent at a younger age, I certainly consider myself to be one of them, people who are sexually active younger. ... 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 and sort of a rock where they can’t speak to their parents."
- Another: "You’re misunderstanding what pedophilia means. Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13 years old who is sexually mature. Pedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty. Pedophilia is attraction to people who don’t have functioning sex organs yet. ... You don't understand what pedophilia is if you think I’m defending it because I’m certainly not.”
- In a lengthy Facebook post, Yiannopolous declares: "I do not support pedophilia. Period." He says the "selectively edited videos" are "part of a co-ordinated effort to discredit me from establishment Republicans," adding: "If it somehow comes across (through my own sloppy phrasing or through deceptive editing) that I meant any of the ugly things alleged, let me set the record straight: I am completely disgusted by the abuse of children." Read it in full here.
- Slate rounds up some of the criticism, including tweets like this one from CNN's Jake Tapper: "Preying on children is the definition of evil. Justifying it in any way is sick and disturbing. Has everyone lost their minds?"
- What's next? "Chances Milo speaks at CPAC, with hundreds of young attendees: zero," says a post at Mike Allen's Axios blog.
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