The American Conservative Union, which hosts the annual gathering of conservatives called "CPAC," announced over the weekend that alt-Right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos would be this year's keynote speaker.
We think free speech includes hearing Milo’s important perspective. #CPAC2017 https://t.co/ssDS6HVmLN— Matt Schlapp (@Matt Schlapp) 1487443365.0
Many criticized the move because Yiannopoulos is not seen as a traditional conservative — if a conservative at all. Instead, Yiannopoulos is seen as the figurehead of the alt-Right movement, a movement that prides itself in nationalism, which many accuse of racism and anti-Semitism.
Jonah Goldberg, a senior editor for the conservative magazine National Review who is seen as one of the conservative leaders in post-modern politics, said the move to include Yiannopoulos as the keynote speaker is "sad and disappointing."
@mschlapp Sad and disappointing, Matt.— Jonah Goldberg (@Jonah Goldberg) 1487457967.0
Still, ACU chairman Matt Schlapp defended the decision in comments to the Hollywood Reporter, which broke the story about Yiannopoulos.
"An epidemic of speech suppression has taken over college campuses," Schlapp told the news outlet. "Milo has exposed their liberal thuggery and we think free speech includes hearing Milo’s important perspective."
Then on Sunday morning, less than one day after the controversial announcement about the CPAC speaker lineup, video surfaced of Yiannopoulos allegedly defending pedophilia in the past.
"We get hung up on this sort of child abuse stuff," Yiannopoulos is heard saying in a video, acknowledging that he has a controversial point of view, "to the point where we are heavily policing consensual adults."
"In the homosexual world, particularly, some of those relationships between younger boys and older men — the sort of 'coming of age' relationship — those relationships in which those older men help those young boys discover who they are and give them security and safety and provide them with love and a reliable, sort of rock, where they can't speak to their parents," he added.
"It sounds like molestation to me," an unnamed person tells Yiannopoulos in reply, likely an interviewer. "It sounds like Catholic priest molestation to me."
"But you know what? I'm grateful for Father Michael. I wouldn't give nearly such good head if it wasn't for him," Yiannopoulos replied, using a euphemism for male oral sex.
🚨 Breaking: We obtained the #CPAC2017 Milo Yiannopoulos introductory video. This is a must watch! Well done… https://t.co/LmKy10vmzp— Reagan Battalion (@Reagan Battalion) 1487520391.0
Here is a longer cut where Milo Yiannopoulos says that he "is advocating" for legal sex between 13 year olds! & old… https://t.co/A2fKcYTPdq— Reagan Battalion (@Reagan Battalion) 1487534447.0
It doesn't end there.
In an interview with comedian Joe Rogan in 2015, Yiannopoulos discussed his sexual relationship with "Father Michael," which he allegedly had as a teenager at age 14.
During the interview, he even tried to normalize pedophilia.
"So you're saying you've never seen a 15-year-old girl, at any point in your life, that you thought was hot?" Yiannopoulos asked.
"Yeah, when I was 15!" Rogan replied. "I'm not retarded dude."
"No, when you were 25 or 30, you've never seen girls you thought were hot?" Yiannopoulos asked again.
"No, I thought they were little kids!" Rogan said.
Later, Rogan called "Father Michael" a "terrible person" for allegedly having a sexual relationship with Yiannopoulos when he was a young teenager, but Yiannopoulos tried to downplay it.
"It wasn't molestation," he alleged
"That's absolutely molestation," Rogan shot back.
Later in the interview, Yiannopoulos talked about a Hollywood party he went to years ago that had "very young boys" in attendance for sex.
Yiannopoulos has since responded to the allegations on Facebook Sunday afternoon denying them completely.
There's a video going around that purports to show me saying anti-semitic things (nope) and advocating for pedophilia (big nope). The shocking thing? It's Republicans doing it. Sad to see establishment types collapse into the same tactics as social justice warriors: name calling, deceptively edited videos, confected moral outrage and public shaming. This is why they deserve to burn -- and why they are burning. Here's how I actually feel about pedophilia, which you'd know if you'd actually watched or read anything I've ever done. Or, you know, if you had two brain cells to rub together. There's only one appropriate response to this sort of behavior, and it's a gigantic F**K YOU!
In addition, it appears that the ACU board was not consulted about Yiannopoulos being named a speaker at this years CPAC, let alone the keynote.
"The ACU board was not consulted on this, nor was there a board vote," Ned Ryun wrote on Twitter Saturday, who sits on the ACU board.
The ACU board was not consulted on this, nor was there a board vote. #CPAC2017 https://t.co/wZ08cmbrHB— Ned Ryun (@Ned Ryun) 1487447485.0
Last year's keynote speaker was conservative radio host Glenn Beck, who many criticized in 2016 for being an outspoken critic of then-candidate Donald Trump. Beck didn't support Trump because he didn't think Trump was conservative enough.