Milo Yiannopoulos says his "vigilante squads to start gunning journalists" comment was just "trolling"
Yiannopoulos recently told at least two news outlets that he wanted vigilantes to start shooting journalists, but he insisted on Thursday that he did so to taunt reporters.
After a shooter terrorized the newsroom at the Capital Gazette in Maryland and killed four, left-leaning media organizations were quick to reiterate their narrative against white supremacists and their potential to wreak havoc in the political ecosystem.
As usual, it did not take long for the mainstream media to point out that former Breitbart editor and right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos had publicly stated he was issuing threatening messages to reporters upon being asked to comment for stories.
On Thursday, after the conservative provocateur recently told two reporters that he “can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists", he said that he "wasn't being serious" and that it was just a "troll".
Yiannopoulos's incendiary comments came immediately after a gunman shot and killed five people and left several others seriously injured in the Capital Gazette newsroom in Annapolis, Maryland.
Police took Jarrod W. Ramos, a 38-year-old Laurel man with a long-standing grudge against the paper into custody.
“You’re about to see a raft of news stories claiming that I am responsible for inspiring the deaths of journalists,” Yiannopoulos wrote in a Facebook post. “The truth, as always, is the opposite of what the media tells you.”
"The bodies are barely cold and left-wing journalists are already exploiting these deaths to score political points against me. It’s disgusting. I regret nothing I said, though of course like any normal person I am saddened to hear of needless death.
"The truth, as always, is the opposite of what the media tells you. I sent a troll about “vigilante death squads” as a *private* response to a few hostile journalists who were asking me for comment, basically as a way of saying, “Fuck off.” They then published it. Amazed they were pretending to take my joke as a “threat,” I reposted these stories on Instagram to mock them — and to make it clear that I wasn’t being serious.
"Headlines soon appeared claiming that I was “inciting” people to murder journalists. This is wholly false. The only people whipping up hysteria about killing reporters this week were Will Sommer at the Daily Beast and Davis Richardson at the New York Observer."
He continued: "It is a demonstrable fact that the Open Society Foundation and other wealthy left-wing organizations have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars (maybe it’s millions!) disrupting my talks, beating up my audiences and spreading malicious rumors about me. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this shooter — just like the last one at YouTube — is another demented left-winger. Let’s hope it’s another transgender shooter, too, so the casualties are minimal.
"The Left celebrated the shooting of Scalise and regularly incites violence against Trump supporters. They are secretly delighted by the domestic terrorism of Antifa and they cheer on Maxine Waters when she threatens consequences for Trump administration staff going about their business in public.
"I made a private, offhand troll to two hostile reporters, who breathlessly publicized it and like vermin, their fellow journalists swarmed to remind the world how much they hate Milo. If the Left was truly horrified by violence against journalists, they would have shown it in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo. As you all know, they didn’t.
"P.S. — You guys should decide whether you think I’m “disgraced, irrelevant and over” or “so dangerous I inspire mass shootings.” I can’t be both."
Yiannopoulos reportedly sent a text message this week to Davis Richardson, a reporter for the Observer, saying: “I can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight.”
According to the Observer, the right-wing provocateur also sent the same message to Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer.
Edward Snowden, former National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower, did not specifically name Yiannopoulos, but tweeted, "To fight words with weapons is more than violence, it is a crime against the Constitution. Those who justify such attacks are no patriots."
On the other hand, Yiannopoulos put the blame on the journalists who blew up the story about his remarks out of proportion.
"If there turns out to be any dimension to this crime related to my private, misreported remarks, the responsibility for that lies wholly with the Beast and the Observer for drumming up fake hysteria about a private joke, and with the verified liberals who pretended they thought I was serious," he wrote.
Last year, podcasts from Yiannopoulos surfaced on the internet in which the provocateur appeared to condone intercourse between men and young boys. However, he apologized for his words and said that they did not mean what he intended, strongly denouncing pedophilia.
Back in December, during an event at Parliament House in Canberra, Yiannopoulos was hosted by Senator David Leyonhjelm.
The right-wing, conservative firebrand, who calls himself a "cultural libertarian", rose to prominence after championing GamerGate as an editor for right-wing news network Breitbart. GamerGate was a decentralized movement that opposed changes to video games that submitted to PC culture and introduced a diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, and other factors.
Groomed by former White House advisor Steve Bannon, Yiannopoulous forayed the into regular media coverage with GamerGate, also writing about after he secured a book contract. His speaking tours on U.S. college campuses were often riddled with violence from opposers, frequently in the form of left-wing extremist group Antifa.
That being said, Yiannopoulos's book contract was eventually canceled as he challenged the hegemony of the establishment media, and it led to a lawsuit which he ultimately withdrew. The book was ultimately released as a manuscript with his editor's comments.
The conservative provocateur was uninvited from last year's Conservative Political Action Conference held in February after his comments which appeared to be endorsing underage sexual acts between boys and men, as mentioned above.