Milo finally goes too far

I’ve always defended libertarian provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos’s right to speak if he was invited to speak. That, however, doesn’t mean that people should invite him to speak, for that depends on whether what he says is worth hearing. Up to now I think it has been, although I disagree with a lot of what he says. After all, everyone needs their ideas challenged, and if you can’t answer Milo’s charges, or respond to his views on feminism, the transgender movement, or the Black Lives Matter group, you haven’t done your homework. A proper response requires thought, not bullhorns and dousing yourself with fake blood.

But now the man, emboldened by his success, has gone too far. As Media Milwaukee and The Cut report, on December 13 Milo, invited by a libertarian group, spoke at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee (UWM). The full video of his talk (a bit over 2.5 hours long) is below, with the introduction beginning at 27:40. (As usual, there was considerable student protest.) But then—and this was clearly planned since he had a slide—Milo made the inexcusable mistake of singling out a transgender student, showing her picture (she appears to “present” as male), and haranguing her from his bully pulpit. As The Cut (NY Magazine) reports:

In critiquing leftist criticism of the phrase “man up,” Yiannopoulos said around the 49:52 mark, “I’ll tell you one UW-Milwaukee student that does not need to man up.” He then showed the student’s photo. “Have any of you come into contact with this person?” he asked. “This quote unquote nonbinary trans woman forced his way into the women’s locker rooms this year.” He went on:

“I see you don’t even read your own student media. He got into the women’s room the way liberals always operate, using the government and the courts to weasel their way where they don’t belong. In this case he made a Title IX complaint. Title IX is a set of rules to protect women on campus effectively. It’s couched in the language of equality, but it’s really about women, which under normal circumstances would be fine, except for how it’s implemented. Now it is used to put men in to women’s bathrooms. I have known some passing trannies in my life. Trannies — you’re not allowed to say that. I’ve known some passing trannies, which is to say transgender people who pass as the gender they would like to be considered.”

He then referred to the photo, which was still onscreen, and said, “Well, no. The way that you know he’s failing is I’d almost still bang him.” The audience laughed.

Have a listen to the part starting at 49:52, where he calls the student “just a man in a dress.” He then admits that what he did was “mean”, but the damage was done. (The Q&A session starts at 2:08:00.)

In response, three things occurred besides the vigorous student protests, which were mostly confined outside the auditorium. (However, a small group of students at the talk tried to disrupt it.)

  • After Milo’s talk, the group that invited him, Young Americans for Liberty, received a threat of violence on Facebook from an unknown person (the account is now deleted). This is unacceptable, though members of the group said they weren’t scared.


  • Mark Mone, the chancellor of UWM, wrote a letter to the university community that, while defending Milo’s right to speak, abhorred his views and his attack on the transgender student. And it supported the transgender community and others comprising “diversity”. At first I thought the expression of the Chancellor’s personal views may have been gratuitous, but after I heard Milo’s attack on the student, I don’t think the letter below is out of line:


  • That wasn’t sufficient, though. The transgender student wrote a long, heated letter to the chancellor full of invective and profanity, saying that Mone hadn’t gone nearly far enough in condemning Milo. You can find that letter here; here’s one except:


Now I’ve listened to a lot of Milo’s talk, and besides the attack on the student, it was, as usual, provocative and challenging to Leftists. Had he omitted the bit about the student, I see it as an appropriate talk, and I have to say that I agree with some of the bits on identity politics. But that alone would be no reason to ban him or deplatform him, for he’s simply challenging the campus Zeitgeist. The outrage he provokes among left-leaning students is one more reason to let him have his say.

But it’s totally inappropriate to go after a student at the college and embarrass her in this way. Were I a libertarian or conservative student group contemplating giving Yiannopoulos an invitation, I’d seek assurances that he would lay off the personal insults.

As for the student singled out, I can also understand her rancor. How horrible it must have been to see yourself mocked in that way! All I can say is that she undercut her arguments by calling the chancellor names like “asshole” and “a cowardly piece of shit”. That’s just indulging in the same name-calling as Milo did, and accomplishes nothing.

I don’t think that this one incident warrants “de-platforming” Milo, but recurrent attacks on individual students should. We’ll see. One lesson from this, though, is that the Chancellor’s letter, which I considered good, wasn’t good enough for the attacked student, and perhaps not for other students. That’s a shame, for the letter does support the student while at the same time upholding the principle of free speech. As one person said, “You can’t win by sitting in the middle.”

h/t: Gregory J. and Phil T.


  1. GBJames
    Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:20 am | Permalink


    • Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      sub, while I wait for fans to make excuses for Milo.

      • Posted December 16, 2016 at 3:53 pm | Permalink

        I am not a fan of Milo, but I will make excuses for him. Labeling a place for women is to exclude individuals with male genitalia. The student who has a male body but feels female could request another bathroom. The way I see her, she is very aggressive, has serious problems and is trying to push them – and herself – on other people. Someone had to speak for those harassed women. If nicer people are silent and Milo remains, so be it.

  2. steve oberski
    Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    As a homophobic, misogynistic and xenophobic bigot with a large audience of like minded bigots, by using his platform to single out an individual Milo Yiannopoulos crosses the boundary of free speech to a criminal action.

    This is nothing short of an incitement to violence against an identifiable individual and I think that criminal charges should be pressed against this demagogic thug with a platform.

    • Cindy
      Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:26 am | Permalink

      Unless you’re an SJW, in which case calling for the assassination of those critical of SJWs is always totes ok, cuz reasons.

      (and no, I am not defenidng Milo, but look at how Dawkins, AHA and Maajid Nawaz are treated)

      • steve oberski
        Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

        In my personal opinion, incitement to violence against any person by any person is a matter that should be addressed by the criminal justice system.

        • Cindy
          Posted December 16, 2016 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

          Indeed. So all of those thousands of blogers, website owners and Youtubers who ridiculed and mocked the views of this Imam:

          “Imam preached executing gays at Orlando Mosque”

          Are absolutely guilty of ‘inciting violence’ as they not only singled out a minority, but they rudely ridiculed, mocked and derided said minority for his views.

          Call the cops on ’em all!

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted December 16, 2016 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

          Presumably you you think similarly in regards to Rebecca Watson, who ‘called out’ a particular person, as an invited speaker?

    • colnago
      Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:27 am | Permalink

      As a homophobic, misogynistic and xenophobic bigot

      Considering that ole Milo admits to preferring boys, I think it fair to describe him as a self-hating gay man.

    • Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:33 am | Permalink

      This is nothing short of an incitement to violence against an identifiable individual …

      Can you clarify which words were incitement to violence, and thus criminal?

      • Cindy
        Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:38 am | Permalink

        I was just reading the comments on a radfem blog regarding this incident, and a radfem in the comments stated that what she persronally deems to be ‘hate speech’ should be illegal, that way people she doesn’t like, such as Trump, won’t ever be elected.

        The issue with ‘suppressing speech I don’t like’ is that it can be turned against you should a regime that doesn’t share your ideology comes to power.

        • Heather Hastie
          Posted December 17, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

          +1! I agree completely Cindy.

          However, Milo shouldn’t have singled out an individual, especially one who was a student on that campus. He is perfectly capable of addressing the issues concerned without doing that, or getting personal. It was deliberate provocation, and Milo knew what he was doing and what would happen. He’s an a-hole.

          • Cindy
            Posted December 17, 2016 at 11:20 am | Permalink

            I agree, and I have stated so numerous times on this comment section – that Milo should have left her alone. My impression is that the student has mental health issues, and making an example of them, regardless of how bad their logic might be, is an irresponsible act.

            However, as GBJames has pointed out, the student is a ‘limited use public figure’ – she, whilst looking identical to a natal male, went on tv claiming that being kept out of female only facilities (lockers,showers and restrooms) constituted a violation of her rights…

            • Heather Hastie
              Posted December 17, 2016 at 11:39 am | Permalink

              Sorry – I’m late to the conversation so I’ve missed lots of the nuances. It sounds like it’s pretty obvious that the target is a bit screwed up because of all she’s had to deal with, and Milo is taking advantage of that imo. I don’t think what he did was illegal, but it was douche-baggery of the highest order. He knows better and chose to do it anyway. As I said above, it would have been easy to talk about the issue without actually naming this student.

              • Cindy
                Posted December 17, 2016 at 11:44 am | Permalink


                Now, this public figure, on the other hand…

                *draw your own conclusions*



                She compared being kept out of female only facilities, in her current state, to Jim Crow era segregation.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted December 17, 2016 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

                I’ve previously seen the rant, and I admit I enjoyed it, but I knew nothing about the person who posted it.

                Maybe I’m being transphobic and all sorts of other things, but I don’t think she should be allowed in female bathrooms the way she currently looks. I’ve no problem with trans women who look like women using a female bathroom, but I think she is pushing it, and deliberately.

                I agree – comparisons to Jim Crow are ott in this instance.

              • Cindy
                Posted December 17, 2016 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

                It has been suggested that she is trolling.

                I don’t know.

                At any rate, she was also grateful for the fact that she can now marry another female legally, since the ban on gay marriage has been lifted.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted December 17, 2016 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

                I think it’s probably safer to keep my mouth shut from here on in…

              • Posted December 17, 2016 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

                “I’ve no problem with trans women who look like women using a female bathroom, but I think she is pushing it, and deliberately.”

                If a trans woman looks like a woman her using the female bathroom wouldn’t be an issue. No offense, but your comments is rather like I support free speech, but when it’s offensive that’s a different story. It’s the transwomen who aren’t obviously women whose rights are at issue.
                Sure if you’re a transwoman intentionally sporting a beard, and mustache that might be a different issue (I say might because should a trans woman who wants to have a beard, and mustache be able to), but again ultimately it’s the trans women, and men who aren’t obviously male, or female that are being discriminated against.

              • Cindy
                Posted December 17, 2016 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

                The only reason for the ‘gender identity’ laws that are being passed in order to ‘protect’ people who claim to identify (and nothing more) as the opposite sex is to protect those who *do* not pass, and have no intention of passing.

                I can’t just declare that I ‘feel’ that I a man today and start using male only facilities. It is not a violation of my rights to keep me out of male locker rooms.

                Restrooms, locker rooms and showers are sex segregated, not ‘whichever gender identity I clam to have today’ segregated.

                The only losers in all of this are real trans people, who often just want to get on with their lives, un-noticed. The trans trenders – the people who think that putting on mascara makes them the opposite sex – are making a mockery of the entire thing. The public at large is getting the idea that trans people are all emotionally unstable attention seeking freaks. Dying your hair blue doesn’t make you trans, neither does growing your hair out, or wearing flannel.

              • Posted December 17, 2016 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

                I don’t even know where to begin with this. As someone living in Alabama whose stepdaughter is married to a transman I can assure you your post displays a level of ignorance that convinces me that every bit of knowledge you have regarding transsexual issues comes from anti-SJW youtube video’s.

              • Cindy
                Posted December 17, 2016 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

                So you don’t believe that trans trenders actually exist?

                That anyone who claims to be trans (whilst suffering zero dysphoria) is actually trans?

                How about those trans women and trans men (Check out Theryn Meyer, Blaire White and Yorick on youtube, all trans folk who have transitioned, and dealt with severe dysphoria since a very young age) who are highly critical of the fact that their *medical diagnosis*, their years of suffering, hasbeen trivialized by people who want to be special snowflakes.

                There are not 71 genders. In fact, there are not an ‘infinite’ number of genders, as is now being claimed. And the definition of woman is not ‘because I claim I am’ or ‘because I like pink’ ( I have seen all of the above argued by folks who claim to be trans)

                I have researched this thoroughly. Trans trenders are a different thing entirely from true trans people. Just because someone claims to be trans doesn’t mean they actually are. I respect true trans people. I don’t respect people who think that their gender is ‘fire’ or ‘water’ or that they have literally no gender which means they can use the locker room of their choice at any given time.

                It is possible to be pro-trans whilst critical of the wannabes. I am pro-trans but yes, I despise trenders and their POMO ideas about reality.

              • Posted December 17, 2016 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

                “So you don’t believe that trans trenders actually exist?”

                I think it is so exceedingly rare that for the most part (I’m not accusing you of this) it’s brought up to muddy the waters by transphobes.

              • Cindy
                Posted December 17, 2016 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

                I would go so far as to the say the opposite.

                True trans folk are the rarity, and trans trenders are exceedingly common.

                Transexualism is a medical diagnosis – often after years of suffering.

                Trans trenders refer to those transexuals who have a medical diagnosis as ‘truscum’ as in ‘die cis scum’.

                EverydayFeminism came up with a ridiculous article about how it’s possible to be trans with zero gender dysphoria:


                I ask, how is it possible to be trans – to have a body that is wrong for your mind – and to be 100% happy with that body? So happy in fact, that you choose (as in the case of my examples in other comments) to live as your natal sex? And to then claim that you are oppressed if people don’t feel comfy with your opposite sex anatomy in their shower room?

                Trans trenders are everywhere. They are drowning out the voices of true trans people. You should see the abuse that true trans folk get for daring to say that biological sex is real and not a social construct (which is one reason why transexuals Yorick, Blaire White and Theryn Meyer started their youtube channels).

                It is my suspicion that trans-trenderism is popular now for a couple of reasons. We live in a victimhood culture. You get points based on how oppressed you are. No one cares what whilte cishet males think – or even gay males, since you are all evil oppressors. But if you are trans, you are oppressed, right up there with Muslims (well, almost, SJWs weren’t too concerned when Muslims nearly murdered a trans woman in Cologne). One way for for a ‘dudebro’ to gain insant victimhood cred is to claim to be trans. And that’s all it takes now – just the claim. It’s a bit harder to pull off a Rachel Dolezal. But claiming that you are a woman whilst changing literally *nothing* about yourself is easy peasy.

                The other reason that it’s so popular is that it’s just a resurgence of the emo trend from the 1990s. They even dress the same!

                So yes, I am highly critical of trans trenders, and *very* supportive of transexuals.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted December 17, 2016 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

                They are being discriminated against, and I don’t like that. I just don’t know what to do about it. I’m still working it all out in my head, and I should be allowed to do that.

                Btw, what I say looks like a woman, I mean living as a woman. If someone who dresses and lives as a woman but has a beard, that’s okay for me. The person who did the rant appears to still live as a man, and dress as a man, but has just said she identifies as a woman. That’s fine, but I wouldn’t be comfortable sharing a shower with her, even though I know there’s no real reason why I shouldn’t. I’m allowed my feelings too.

              • Cindy
                Posted December 17, 2016 at 2:10 pm | Permalink

                Trans people should be protected specifically because, a trans woman, for example, is in danger of being physically assaulted if she uses a male facility. This is because the trans woman will most likely get assaulted for ‘being a sissy in a dress’ and other slurs. Trans women are at risk of violence precisely because they do not conform to gender norms re masculinity.

                But, what I want to know is, what danger is a trans woman who 1) has zero body dysphoria 2) lives as a man 3) presents as a man 4) still has male genitalia, in if she uses the men’s bathroom? Are other men going to beat her up because she internally identifies as a woman?

                And something that I alluded to earlier was based on a real case. A genderfluid young lady – pink hair, short pink skirt, ‘felt’ that she was a man one day, so she used the boy’s bathroom at school. A boy, feeling discomfited that a natal female was using the boys’ bathroom, took a photo of her as she used the sink. She claimed harassment etc. She stated that because she ‘felt’ male that day, that she should be able to use the bathroom of her choice. Sorry, of ‘his’ choice.

                And ‘truscum’ is a word invented by trans trenders to slur those transexuals who actually suffer dysphoria. Trans trenders dont’ actually like true transexuals, since people with actual dsyphoria poke holes in the POMO narrative.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted December 17, 2016 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

                I agree, and thank you.

              • Posted December 17, 2016 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

                “I should be allowed to do that….I’m allowed my feelings too.”

                Of course you should, and are, I wasn’t suggesting otherwise, I was simply pointing out how, on the face it it, the argument sounds to me. Thanks for clarifying, your position makes perfect sense.

                “I just don’t know what to do about it.”

                I propose we do what we do in any case of discrimination, and while I understand you when you say you “wouldn’t be comfortable sharing a shower with her”, I think such an occurrence would be so exceedingly rare, and unlikely, that in the grand scheme of things the possibility you might at one point find yourself being temporarily discomforted is not particularly relevant. I find the sight of people carrying guns on their hips extremely discomforting, others find abortion discomforting, but we have to accept those discomforts in order not to infringe on the rights of others.

              • Cindy
                Posted December 17, 2016 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

                Not so rare. I can come up with dozens of examples but this one is pretty glaring. If female is defined as an unfalsifiable gender identity, then that pretty much rules out any and all sex segregation, and you get stuff like this:

                The University of Toronto is separating the number of gender-neutral bathrooms after two women reported someone had taken video of them in the shower.

                The acts of voyeurism allegedly happened in two separate incidences only a few weeks into the new school year.

                Police said the first incident happened on Sept. 15 at around 10:45 a.m. in a shower on the second floor. The second instance happened four days later at a third floor shower around 9:15 p.m.

                Both women reported seeing someone reach a cellphone over while they were in the shower at Whitney Hall, a student residence in the heart of the university’s downtown campus.

                “In both instances two people noticed a cellphone coming over the edge of the shower stall,” Toronto police Const. Victor Kwong said. “When they went out they saw no one.”


                I am not arguing, btw, that trans people should be kept out of opposite sex facilities. Trans folk have been using opposite sex facilities for 40+ years. The problem is, unfalsifiable ‘gender identity’ is now the only requirement to use an opposite sex facility. This is unacceptable and can be abused.

              • Posted December 17, 2016 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

                “Not so rare. I can come up with dozens of examples but this one is pretty glaring.”

                Have you ever searched for porn on the internet? Every porn site has voyeur sections, not to mention the hundreds of sites that are entirely dedicated to that genre. People are taking picture, and video’s in restrooms, and locker rooms by the thousands, or ten of thousands. Some men are presumably dressing up as women, while the majority is women filming other women, and selling the results. Acting though transgender men, or people pretending to be transexual men is a significant issue here is little more than fear mongering. It’s putting a face that bigots want to hate on a crime that is almost never committed by transexuals. It’s the same BS as the gay men are child molesters trope.

              • Cindy
                Posted December 17, 2016 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

                I am not talking about trans men.

                I am talking about the current gender identity laws.

                They remove all barriers regarding the presence of natal males in female only facilities.

                Unfalsifiable gender identity means that any natal male can claim to be a woman and use female only facilities at will. In some cases his presence cannot even be questioned – as that is discrimination. This means that if I see a 45yo man walk into the female shower that I can’t even question his presence. To do so would be a hate crime.

                A Seattle, Wash. community is in uproar after a man undressed in the women’s locker room at a local pool, seemingly to test a new rule that allows transgender people to use the bathroom of their gender identity, according to King 5 News.

                An unidentified man wearing board shorts walked into the women’s bathroom of Evans Pool, in the heart of Seattle, on Monday evening.

                The women inside the locker room at the time attempted to kick him out, but the guy refused and said “the law has changed and I have the right to be here.”

                The man was referring to a local rule passed in December that mandates all public restrooms to allow transgender people to use bathroom assigned to their gender identity.


                According to one mother of a swim team member, Ellen Vandevort, her daughter was just leaving the locker room in late April when a person who was bald, with heavy stubble and a towel at waist level, stepped out of the shower. Her daughter and the younger girls on the team, says Vandevort, grew alarmed and reported it to the swim coach who suggested that the girls change in the family shower room.

                An employee at the center who spoke on condition of anonymity says the individual using the locker room appears to present as a man—wearing swim shorts or trunks to swim, with sideburns going down into a beard—which is partly what alarms the girls and their parents. Staff members have also been warned that asking individuals to prove their gender identity would be discriminatory. “Our hands are tied,” the worker said.”We can’t say anything about it.”

                The sign posted outside the locker room in March that affirmed the right of anyone to use the facility that corresponds with their gender identity also noted that “individuals cannot be asked to show identification, medical documentation or any other form of proof or verification of gender” and that anybody “who abuses this policy to assault, harass, intimidate, or otherwise interfere with an individual’s rights” can be prosecuted.


                I take issue with women and girls being accused of hate crimes if they question the presence of obvious *men* in their shower and locker rooms.

              • GBJames
                Posted December 17, 2016 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

                There are two completely separate issues here and it is important to keep them separate. Complete douch-baggery is ugly and unpleasant. But the right to speak like a complete douch-bag must be “sacred” (for want of a better term) because that right protects the rest of us. One man’s truth-teller is another man’s douchbag.

                I personally think both Milo and the student in question are douch-bags, although one is a more prominent douch-bag. But then they no doubt would think I’m one, too.

              • Heather Hastie
                Posted December 17, 2016 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

                I agree. They are separate issues. Both have a right to speak.

      • steve oberski
        Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

        By way of analogy, let’s say that a noted member of the KKK with a large following singled out a black individual by way of presenting that persons picture on a screen, noting that this person was in the audience.

        Or that a noted anti-semite with a large following displayed the picture of a person in the audience who he claimed was Jewish.

        I see both of these actions as incitements to violence and I see no distinction between the above actions and what Milo Yiannopoulos did.

        • Cindy
          Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:57 am | Permalink

          I see your point. But, I don’t like the implications.

          By that logic, ‘hateful Islamophobes’ AHA and Maajid Nawaz deserve to be on the SPLC’s list of people guilty of hate speech – and should AHA or Nawaz single out a prominent Muslim for criticism and/or ridicule, that this is analagous to the actions of a KKK member singling out an ethnic or racial minority.

          And since Islamists, no matter how vile their speech, are an oppressed minority in the west, any and all criticism of their ideas, or of various public figures = hate speech.

          • steve oberski
            Posted December 16, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

            If AHA or Maajid Nawaz were giving a talk in a public venue and they signaled out an individual in the audience then their action would be criminal.

            • Posted December 16, 2016 at 10:47 am | Permalink

              No it would not.

              Come on, we need to adopt really high standards for speech that the police can come along and lock you up for.

              • steve oberski
                Posted December 16, 2016 at 11:04 am | Permalink

                The way it works in most systems of democratic government is that the state has been given a monopoly on the use of force, individuals have given up the right to personally seek redress and mete out justice.

                In return individuals have access to a justice system that allows the state in intervene in personal interactions.

                When I say that an action is criminal it is not a demand that the police “lock you up”, it means that this is an action that the state should intervene in on behalf of some individuals who are in disagreement.

                Now we all know that in practice this system is far from perfect but it’s the best we have.

              • Posted December 16, 2016 at 11:10 am | Permalink


                Let’s suppose someone — let’s say Hillary Clinton — singled out an individual for trenchant criticism — let’s say that person was Donald Trump — and she did so in front of a large crown of her own fervent supporters.

                Is she inciting violence? Is she committing a criminal act?

                This case is in line with your examples. I consider it ludicrous to suggest that naming and criticising an individual is criminal.

            • GBJames
              Posted December 16, 2016 at 11:15 am | Permalink

              “…signaled [sic] out an individual in the audience then their action would be criminal”

              It depends on who the person is and what they said about the individual. If the person is a public figure then there would certainly be no criminality at all. It is not a crime to “single out” individuals in public talks. Go to any political talk anywhere. You won’t find many that don’t “single out” someone.

              • eric
                Posted December 16, 2016 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

                At the same time, incitement has as part of its components immediately and specificity. So a legally allowed general implication to do harm can easily be turned into illegal incitement just by talking about a certain present individual instead of a general group.

                So, I’d say that calling someone specific out can put a speaker in dangerous 1st amendment territory. It doesn’t automatically or always make the attack illegal – and in fact, without watching the video, I’d opine that Milo’s attack isn’t illegal incitement – however, if your speech is already of the incendiary, violent-action imagery type, then simply narrowing your target without otherwise changing your content could be enough to make it illegal.

              • GBJames
                Posted December 16, 2016 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

                “…without watching the video…”

                You would do well to watch the video. It is easy to skip to the relevant bit (scroll to 49:50), and it doesn’t go long.

        • Posted December 16, 2016 at 10:02 am | Permalink

          I do not support Milo’s actions here. But:

          When it comes to criminal speech and “incitement to violence” then I’m not willing to accept “analogies”, and nor do I see any of the above as actual incitement to violence that should be criminal.

          Sorry, but when we’re talking about the criminal law we do need to be clear about such things.

        • Posted December 16, 2016 at 10:06 am | Permalink

          “I see both of these actions as incitements to violence…” While I agree that there’s an implied threat and the speech is menacing, legally it doesn’t really matter what you or I “see” as an incitement. It has a precise definition with lots of precedent and this just doesn’t meet the standard. As bad as this case is, direct criticism of individuals is protected speech.

          • steve oberski
            Posted December 16, 2016 at 10:48 am | Permalink

            Actually neither you nor I know if it “meet(s) the standard”.

            That’s why you make a criminal complaint against the individual in question and the criminal justice system, starting with the police, make this determination.

            It may be that if the student in question were to make a criminal complaint against Milo Yiannopoulos that charges would never be laid or it might proceed through the crimianal justice system.

            Speaking from purely personal, anecdotal evidence I can say that the threshold for behaviour that is considered threatening and grounds for criminal indictment is very low and
            is certainly not limited to immediate and explicit threats or incitements to violence.

            This is no way says that Milo should not be allowed to freely express his views and in fact I would accord the same rights to Milo to pursue criminal action against someone who treated him in identical manner.

            • Posted December 16, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

              Actually neither you nor I know if it “meet(s) the standard”.

              You or I can easily study the established standards and verify what constitutes a violation. You or I can also read from many commentaries written by lawyers experienced with first amendment cases, such as this post by Ken White at Popehat, which says

              As Turner notes, speech can only be prohibited as incitement when it satisfies the Brandenburg test — when it is ” directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” That’s an outgrowth of the famous “clear and present danger” test.

              Under the Brandenburg test for incitement, he has to be both advocating use of imminent violence and it has to be likely that the crowd will respond violently. There doesn’t seem to have been any violence at the event. Sneering and mocking are not the same thing as violent intent. If the police disagree, they’ll arrest the guy. I’m sure complaints have been filed.

              • Posted December 16, 2016 at 11:32 am | Permalink

                Agreed; I don’t see this as criminal, I see it as reprehensibly irresponsible.

              • Craw
                Posted December 16, 2016 at 11:45 am | Permalink

                I want to press you on this. I have commented elsewhere here on the propriety of using as an example a person either in the audience or at the school. Both seem legitimate to me. Also, several others have noted that the student has been on TV, and has been vocal in public.

                Nor were Milo’s remarks incitement, and there is no indication the crowd felt incited at all. The joke about still wanting to “bang him” may or may not be crude but it certainly does not suggest a desire to incite violence and the laughter does not indicate a violent mood.

                so — no whiff of mob violence here at all.

                I agree Milo was very rude, and I have no problem with saying he was “reprehensibl[y]” rude. But what exactly is irresponsible? Can you explain?

            • Simon
              Posted December 16, 2016 at 1:37 pm | Permalink

              By your standards I would argue that the student’s deliberately publicised letter to the Chancellor was far closer to an incitement to violence given the recent self-righteous intolerance exhibited by SJW types on campuses. Funnily enough, the so-called bigots, homophobes, islamophobes and racists and their audiences appear far more tolerant of the rights and bodily integrity of others. I suspect that a whole lot of projection goes on in campus politics these days.

        • Taz
          Posted December 16, 2016 at 10:49 am | Permalink

          By way of analogy, let’s say that a noted member of the KKK with a large following singled out a black individual by way of presenting that persons picture on a screen, noting that this person was in the audience.

          Place and time matter. This wasn’t the backwoods of Mississippi, it was a college campus, and one of the most liberal in the country. The event you postulate would probably never happen, but if it did your hypothetical KKK members would be far outnumbered by angry protesters, and your KKK speaker would be in greater danger than the audience member.

        • Craw
          Posted December 16, 2016 at 11:05 am | Permalink

          What if the speaker were an anti-racist campaigner, and he cited the presence in the audience of a Grand Kleagle. Imagine he did it respectfully. “You might think the KKK is a fringe group, but even fringe groups can matter. I see in the audience Noname Nobody, who is a Grand Kleagle. So they are not completely gone.” Would your analogy hold?
          Imagine instead he said “There’s one right there. Please start kicking him. Let’s get a little klucker blood flowing!” I think you’d agree that would be wrong.

          The point is that there is nothing inherently wrong with discussing examples of public behavior just because the example is in the audience or attends the school. It is *how* you do it that matters.

          Milo did it rudely and should be criticized for that. He did not do it with incitement so he should not be accused (much less charged) of that.

        • Posted December 16, 2016 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

          You are giving examples of very vulnerable people. This was not the case of this student. On the contrary, she had a license to go anywhere she wants and bully cis women with impunity.

          • nicky
            Posted December 16, 2016 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

            I agree, and (s)he swears like the proverbial sailor.

        • Michael Waterhouse
          Posted December 17, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

          The fact that you can see no distiction says nothing.
          I can see a distinction.
          And I can also see you sluring the audience.

          What evidence, of similar weight to that of membership of KKK, have you, that any of them were inclined to violence, or any negative thoughts about transgender people.

          I don’t think you have any evidence.

          In case you missed my Rebecca watson query I’ll repeat it here. Do think similarly about watson calling out Steff McGraw, for not towing the feminist line?
          She certainly incited P Z Myers to verbal diatribe.

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted December 16, 2016 at 11:01 am | Permalink

      What criminal statute do think this violated?

      I can’t think of any. And even if his speech did violate the letter of some statute, what he said didn’t seem likely to incite or produce imminent lawless action, such that it falls outside the ambit of the First Amendment.

      I found much of what Milo had to say tasteless(and wrong), and found the personal attack on an individual student immoral, which may provide good reason for any respectable organization to decide against inviting him to speak. (It might also provide the student who was singled out with a civil cause of action against him for money damages.) But nothing he said is outside constitutional protection. There are, thus, no grounds for authorities to prohibit him from speaking or to punish him for doing so.

  3. Cindy
    Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:24 am | Permalink

    I was just reading about this last night.

    I agree that the attack on the student was wrong- no matter how ‘delusional’ the student in question might be. It isn’t cool to single out people and make them targets of ridicule.

    However, it is interesting to note that people are calling for Milo’s assassination…I have seen tw*ts to the effect of “I hope that Milo gets murdered”.

    Here is the student in question, from an interview on the television:

    I believe that she argued that keeping her out of female only facilities constituted bigotry, since gender identity, not physical anatomy, is what constitutes biological sex.

    I suppose one could argue that the student, having been on TV etc, is a public figure and thus open to being criticized publicly…but, I don’t know. If you read the 8 page letter that the student sent out, this person has some issues, and should never have been made an example of, regardless of how one might interpret their behaviour.

    • GBJames
      Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:47 am | Permalink

      That’s the only question that, to me, is important here. At what point does a student activist become a public figure and, thus, legitimate for being identified in a public talk?

      I don’t know enough of the detail here to offer an answer. But it isn’t an open-and-shut case for me at this point.

      Before Yiannopoulos ever appeared there was the usual debate about whether he should be allowed on campus, about safe spaces, and all the rest. It was easy for me to come down on the side of free expression, despite my personal distaste for this guy. Whether he want “too far” here depends not on whether the person is a student but whether the person is a “public figure”. If it was the president of the Student Association I would pretty easily say “fair game”. If it is just a person who filed a Title IX grievance, then it is not “fair game”.

      • cherrybombsim
        Posted December 16, 2016 at 4:03 pm | Permalink

        I am wondering whether this is some kind of hoax, playing on fears that belligerent, unhinged males will be able to legally bully their way into girls’ bathrooms.

        • GBJames
          Posted December 16, 2016 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

          No, it is not a hoax. Further down this page I provide a link to a TV news story about this student and the UWM women’s locker room that appeared many months before Milo appeared on campus.

    • Ken Phelps
      Posted December 16, 2016 at 3:09 pm | Permalink

      Given the student’s letter to the chancellor, I suspect his choice as a public target was far from random. He very quickly morphed from victim to asshole, thus playing directly into Milo’s thesis.

      • Cindy
        Posted December 16, 2016 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

        While Milo definitely proved his point, the student appears to be, in my armchair estimation, mentally ill. I find xir reaction to be deplorable, but this is someone with mental health issues who was pushed over the edge.

  4. Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Milo is the quintessential personification of reaction formation. Any platform he has been allotted is one platform too many.

    • Simon
      Posted December 16, 2016 at 1:49 pm | Permalink

      Completely disagree. He is very good at exposing the intolerant and deliberately threatening behaviour of self-righteous snowflakes. He really knows how to wind them up. It’s unfortunate that Kramer got caught up in it, but then her email to the chancellor hints that she is perhaps a member of that SJW breed that has zero regard for the well-being of the out group.

      • Posted December 16, 2016 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

        Isn’t “self-righteous snowflake” the ellinikí glóssa translation for Yiannopoulos? He’s a tech media mountebank.

      • Saul Sorrell-Till
        Posted December 17, 2016 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        He’s very good at exposing the hypocrisy of one side only and papering over the vastly more disturbing actions of the horde of pathetic, angry gargoyles who hang on his every word.
        He has an instinctive ‘feel’ for the kind of pronouncements that are just sufficiently controversial to attract the kind of counter-productive, proving-his-point leftist reactions he loves, but not controversial enough to ever really cross the line, and he walks that line too well not to know what he’s doing. He’s scabrous and intelligent, in a quick, garish, entirely shallow way, so he’s enjoyable to watch, and he makes his and his supporters’ enemies look ridiculous on a regular basis(which is always satisfying), but to a genuine liberal he’s a vacuous, hypocritical distraction. And a jabbering gobshite with all the intellectual rigour of a tabloid columnist.
        The worst criticism I can muster is that in the very serious debate we’re having about politics and society and democracy and selfhood he’s an intellectual pygmy. To laud him is like lauding The Monster Raving Loony Party for teaching us about the value of democracy.

        • Ivo
          Posted December 17, 2016 at 1:50 pm | Permalink

          +1 totally agree

        • Posted December 17, 2016 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

          “but to a genuine liberal he’s a vacuous, hypocritical distraction. And a jabbering gobshite with all the intellectual rigour of a tabloid columnist.”

          I agree with everything you said, but that particularly.

    • ToddP
      Posted December 16, 2016 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

      Agreed. My capacity to entertain defenses of Milo’s antics vanished long ago. He’s as much of a con man as Trump, while masquerading as some brave defender of free speech. But he doesn’t actually care, he merely wants the adulation and the lulz. Milo represents the worst aspects of the Trump troll brigade of idiots, utterly worthless and vacuous theater, with the sole intent of ridiculing others for laughs. He’s not a voice of reason, he’s a professional button pusher.

      • Ken Phelps
        Posted December 16, 2016 at 3:06 pm | Permalink

        The problem is that the people whose buttons he pushes intrude themselves and their buttons into other people’s lives in a way that makes it clear that they and Milo are just flip sides of the same self-absorbed, attention-seeking coin. A pox on both their houses.

        • ToddP
          Posted December 16, 2016 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          Absolutely 100% with you there. The lunatic fringes have damn near taken over the asylum. And now enter Trump, guaranteed to feed and stoke the worst elements of both sides, with no ability to ease tensions. Trump couldn’t unite this country if the two sides were a magnet and a metal spoon. It seems the worst of all worlds is upon us. I’m buying liquor in bulk.

        • Saul Sorrell-Till
          Posted December 17, 2016 at 7:42 am | Permalink

          They are flip-sides of the same coin, but I don’t think they are equivalent in terms of the seriousness of the threat they pose. On one side is a frivolous, ostensibly well-meaning bunch of spoiled narcissists who’ve worked out they’re customers and thus can shove their universities around; on the other we have the footsoldiers of the new right-wing resurgence, who post pictures of Jewish writers’ children in gas chambers and black women as monkeys.

          • ToddP
            Posted December 17, 2016 at 8:58 am | Permalink

            Good point. The campus crybabies are annoying, but they didn’t just win control of every branch of our Federal government. With these MAGA goons being emboldened by Trump’s victory, we’re closer to seeing actual, legitimate hate speech being unleashed on campuses, if not things far worse than that.

            Trump is an infallible god to these morons. They whine about “safe space culture”, yet whenever they get criticized or rebuked for their hateful memes, they’re very quick to cry victim and claim censorship (meanwhile, they ban any dissenting comments from their Reddit sub). They remind me of the classic bully behavior of responding to someone saying “Don’t touch me!” by sticking their finger as close to the person’s face as possible while taunting “I’m not touching you, I’m not touching you!”

            • Saul Sorrell-Till
              Posted December 18, 2016 at 6:57 am | Permalink

              Good analogy. That’s essentially what Milo does for a job. Never quite lays a finger on the person, so when anyone complains he can say ‘I never touched them*’.

              *’although I did get my twat army to post pictures of them being gassed to death. LOL.’

  5. Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    If he had blurred out the face and not mentioned her name, he can say whatever he likes as far as I’m concerned.

    I think the strongest argument against his handwringing is that apparently nobody in the entire room knew about this transgression of a man in the women’s room. If it’s as big a deal as he says, why is is so unknown on campus?

    • eric
      Posted December 16, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Or perhaps it was known on campus and nobody really cared.

    • Posted December 16, 2016 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

      Because women who complain are regarded as bigots and may be punished, like the cis woman who was ordered out of Planet Fitness.

      • Cindy
        Posted December 16, 2016 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

        It gets worse…lesbians who won’t have PIV sex with lades-who-have-male-genitalia are misogynist bigots..

        Gay conversion therapy:

        A friend of mine who recently went full SJW posted a screed on her blog about how lesbians who won’t have PIV sex are horrible misogynists, because biological sex is in the brain, not the genitals! That they are the true misogynists, and not the male genital-having people who would shame lesbians into PIV sex…

        Sometimes I feel that the world is so upside down…

        • Brujo Feo
          Posted December 16, 2016 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

          Cindy: it gets even worse than all of that. While “lesbians who won’t have PIV sex with lades-who-have-male-genitalia are misogynist bigots,” it also turns out that ANY females who WILL have PIV sex are…hell, I can’t figure out exactly what they are, but it would seem that they’re up to no good of some sort or another:

          So if I can restrict myself to NON-penetrative acts with women (and let’s note that there is no shortage of interesting alternative forms), does that make me one of the good guys, and magically unable to act oppressively toward women?

          Talk about the world being upside down…

          • nicky
            Posted December 16, 2016 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

            It should be noted that that ‘witchwind’ piece trivialises real (i.e. non-consensual) rape, since all intercourse (PIV), consensual or not, is called rape.
            Not surprising no thinking person takes ‘radical feminism’ seriously anymore.

        • Tim Harris
          Posted December 19, 2016 at 5:27 am | Permalink

          What I find peculiar is the idea of having sex with someone as some sort of moral obligation that seems to underlie this sort of stuff. Why SHOULD a lesbian have ‘PIV sex’ (who invented that dreadful term?) with someone? She is doubtless not attracted to someone with a penis, whatever gender they claim themselves to be, and there is surely no need for her to feel guilty about it. Again, it seems to be women, chiefly, on whom this sort of guilt is chiefly imposed. I have not heard of gay men feeling guilty, or being told they were transphobic, because they were not attracted to people who lacked a penis.

          • Tim Harris
            Posted December 19, 2016 at 5:27 am | Permalink


  6. eric
    Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    she undercut her arguments by calling the chancellor names

    Agreed, but I think she does have a point. Other than writing a letter, neither the Chancellor nor the school really did anything to ‘defend’ or ‘support’ her.

    This pretty much shows that his letter was a callous PR stunt. If someone is hurt in front of you, a caring person reaches out to them (as best they can). You ask: are you all right? How can I help you? The chancellor saw one of his students singled out and verbally attacked by a speaker. He did not reach out. Did not ask if she was okay. So it seems pretty obvious that he really doesn’t care, except insofar as the incident affects the reputation of the school.

    • Posted December 16, 2016 at 10:12 am | Permalink

      But it wasn’t “in front of” the chancellor.

    • darrelle
      Posted December 16, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      I agree that the student made some valid points in her letter.

  7. GBJames
    Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:58 am | Permalink

    The student (Justine Kramer) was featured in TV reports many months before this talk took place.

    I believe she would qualify as a “limited purpose public figure”.

  8. Somite
    Posted December 16, 2016 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Can we comment on how bad and histrionic Milo’s approach is? It’s clear he is just inciting the base emotion of anyone who listens, without any real insight into the issues. I don’t understand why anyone gives him a minute of their time.

    Even this post is an emotional response to watching two minutes of his drivel.

    We have much better people that discuss these issues in a constructive, and academic manner.

    • Posted December 16, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      Sorry but I watched a lot more than two minutes of that speech. Do you want to take that back?

      And it’s not an “emotional response”. Milo is an important figure in the free speech controversy, and I don’t think I was “emotional” in what I said.

      Check the Roolz, Somite.

      • Somite
        Posted December 16, 2016 at 11:28 am | Permalink

        I meant my post is due to my emotional response to his drivel because I couldn’t stand more than two minutes of it.

        Sorry! I see I didn’t make it clear.

    • Michael Waterhouse
      Posted December 16, 2016 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

      I completely disagree with you.

      I’m quite left. Old school left.
      I like Milo. I disagree with Milo.
      Milo is entertaining and intelligent and insightful, in his own way.

      Hearing arguments and rhetoric on various topics by various opinionated people is how we refine our own beliefs, even if disagreeing all the way.

  9. Posted December 16, 2016 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    …the way liberals always operate, using the government and the courts to weasel their way where they don’t belong.

    So, when there’s a dispute between private parties over rights and privileges, Milo doesn’t think they should seek arbitration from “the government and the courts”. I thought that according to the libertarian philosophy, that’s virtually the only purpose of the government and courts. If we’re not supposed to seek resolution through the court system, I wonder what other ways Milo would suggest for resolving rights disputes?

  10. jaxkayaker
    Posted December 16, 2016 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Milo is a jackass but even jackasses have rights. Criticizing his speech is wholly appropriate, of course, because others have the same rights. Calling his speech criminal is ridiculous hyperbole that doesn’t do any good to persuade fence sitters that he’s wrong. It’s good as catharsis, I suppose.

    Does Milo self-identify as libertarian? If not, what makes him libertarian, in your estimate, Jerry?

    • Posted December 16, 2016 at 10:36 am | Permalink

      I believe he has expressed libertarian sentiments, and that some people call him a libertarian. I was going to call him a right-winger, but that didn’t seem right, either.

      • Brujo Feo
        Posted December 16, 2016 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

        Jerry: speaking as one of the few resident libertarians, I’m not sure that that’s an adequate reason to tar us with Milo, who seems to be a most disagreeable skin-job. (Extra points for the reference…)

        But that being said, I understand your dilemma. I checked out the website for this “Young Americans for Liberty,” and the most illuminating part seemed to be their “Strategic Partners” link at And they DO seem to exist at that “strange-bedfellows” nexus of actual libertarians and the far right. But note also the “lefty” organizations…anti-war, anti-drug war, etc. It’s those kinds of relationships that have right-wingers constantly accusing libertarians of being closet leftists.

        And Mr. Oberski: aside from all of the other commenters who have astutely stated WHY it’s a good idea that you’re wrong, let me just put on the lawyer hat here for a moment and state unequivocally that you ARE wrong, at least as far as the quoted language goes. (I didn’t watch the two-hour video…there isn’t enough tequila in México to make me do that to myself.) There’s nothing even remotely close to an incitement to any violent or criminal act so as to make the speech itself subject to any sort of legal sanction.

    • darrelle
      Posted December 16, 2016 at 11:11 am | Permalink

      I don’t follow Milo so have never heard him identify himself first hand as such, but in more than one article I’ve read involving him the journalist has referred to him as a “self-proclaimed cultural libertarian.”

      Though his behavior is over-the-top the positions and values he proselytizes are a close match to many self proclaimed libertarians I’ve encountered in my life.

      Of course self proclaimed libertarians are a large group and I am aware that there are also many that are not like Milo. Regardless of this clarification I’m sure a libertarian or two will stop by and tell me how I know nothing about libertarians and am completely wrong. To any who may, my response is that like it or not it is true that there are significant numbers of the group that tag themselves with the label “libertarian” who share many of Milo’s outspoken values and you may be able to fool yourself about that but you aren’t fooling me.

      • BJ
        Posted December 16, 2016 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        I think your point fails on two counts.

        First, you clearly haven’t done much research on Milo and his supposed “libertarian” views. He wrote an article explaining what he thinks “cultural libertarian” means: it basically comes down to someone who supports free speech and the lack of censorship with regards to culture. More importantly, he has specifically stated on multiple occasions that he is NOT a libertarian in the general sense.

        Second, it is fallacious to tar an entire group with fringe jerks who use their label. Are we to discount all feminists/feminism because there’s a significant number of extremist, hateful, bigoted people among those who use the label of “feminist”? Every group has jerks, and it’s a very weak argument to say, “well, these people use your label, so you’re responsible for them regardless of whether they actually comport with your general group philosophy.”

        • darrelle
          Posted December 16, 2016 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          Your comment fails on all points. For example I never tarred any group because of a few of its members. Just the opposite actually. Perhaps you are overly sensitive. Do you by chance self identify as libertarian? You are a perfect example of what I meant by my last sentence.

          • BJ
            Posted December 17, 2016 at 8:31 am | Permalink

            You couldn’t be further from the truth. I’m essentially a left-wing socialist (though I try to avoid such labels for exactly the reason that things like what you said is always a problem). I simply don’t like tactics like this.

            You said, “…like it or not it is true that there are significant numbers of the group that tag themselves with the label ‘libertarian’ who share many of Milo’s outspoken values and you may be able to fool yourself about that but you aren’t fooling me.”

            Again, nobody is trying to fool you. There is nothing to notice or hide or attempt to fool people about. There are jerks who use the label of every group, and it is irresponsible and fallacious to try and force that group into some kind of responsibility for them, and to attempt tarring them with their antics or make them look intellectually dishonest because of them.

            And now you’ve attempted to call me out as a sensitive libertarian to discredit any counterarguments I presented, rather than responding to the two completely civil points I made. I’m not a libertarian, and even if I was, this is yet another line of fallacious argumentation.

            • darrelle
              Posted December 17, 2016 at 9:15 am | Permalink

              Again you are off the mark. Perhaps you’d have been better off asking questions.

        • Craw
          Posted December 17, 2016 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          I think your last sentence DOES tar whole groups. You state that anyone who disavows some of Milo’s positions is either trying to fool you or themselves. In other words, no matter what they say or do they cannot actually disavow anything you associate with the label.

  11. Craw
    Posted December 16, 2016 at 10:56 am | Permalink

    Is the problem actually Milo singling out a student? I don’t see how that complaint can make sense. Imagine that the same student was denied access to the washroom, and someone protested that exclusion. Wouldn’t they “single out” that same student? Think of all the times , when discussing a policy, people actually cite real examples from the same university. So I don’t think that’s a valid complaint here.

    Nor can it be that the student did not want to be singled out. You cannot have it both ways: demand to be treated one way in public yet deny anyone the right to discuss what you do in public.

    What is a valid complaint was that Milo was rude. It didn’t need to be to discuss the issue. It was rude and mean, and petty.

    And that’s what’s wrong with the student’s reply too.

    Manners are under-rated.

    • DiscoveredJoys
      Posted December 17, 2016 at 3:15 am | Permalink

      I agree wholeheartedly. If we believe in free speech then we are obliged to tolerate offensive or abusive speech unalloyed by any restrictions other than the libel laws and incitements to violence.

      I have not watched the whole video, but unless there is clear libel or incitement to violence (that could reasonably be tested in a court) then Milo Yiannopoulos was rude and offensive and you can judge him for that – but to stifle his speech is censorship.

      And arguably the letter from the transgender student is setting no better example.

  12. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted December 16, 2016 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    The student letter has the following legitimate points.

    1) Mark Mone could have personally contacted the offended student and offered some individual condolences. “A single e-mail mass sent” seems a bit tokenish, and a bit posterior-covering.

    2) The student feels harassed daily and constantly.

    I’d like to know more about the allegations in the last paragraph about the cops being called over a petition to cancel Milo.

  13. JonLynnHarvey
    Posted December 16, 2016 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    My goodness, Wikipedia reveals Milo is a gay Catholic. Now this dude has more issues than I realized!!

    • Ken Kukec
      Posted December 16, 2016 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      Milo is a provocateur; I suspect much of his public persona is a pose.

      Andrew Sullivan is a conservative gay Catholic (from a country in thee south of England adjacent to the one Milo was raised in), but is otherwise the polar opposite of Milo.

      • Ken Kukec
        Posted December 16, 2016 at 1:01 pm | Permalink


  14. Rita
    Posted December 16, 2016 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    It’s interesting that so many of these comments are focused on Milo’s talk, but I thought the point of your post was mainly that the Chancellor’s response was appropriate, and that the student’s response was over the top due to the name-calling. I agree.

    • eric
      Posted December 16, 2016 at 1:56 pm | Permalink

      The student’s response was over-the-top and the name calling probably hurt her cause more than it helped. However, IMO the Chancellor’s response was not really appropriate, because it seemed far more concerned with serving his own interests and the interests of the administration, rather than with actually helping the student.

      • GBJames
        Posted December 16, 2016 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

        What exactly should the Chancellor do to “help” the student?

        • Posted December 16, 2016 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

          Thinking about this, I think the Chancellor should have reached out to the student personally, expressed sorrow at the way she was treated by Milo (and other students), and tell her that he’d support her right to be free from personal harassment to the best of his ability. Good discussion thread, by the way!

          • GBJames
            Posted December 16, 2016 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

            Perhaps. That would be a reasonable act, but I doubt it would have been acceptable to the student. The student letter of outrage makes clear what the response would likely have been.

            Students are adults. Perhaps the Chancellor could have acted differently here but that seems a matter of etiquette. At the end of the day I come down where I started. Freedom of expression comes first. Even for obnoxious characters like Milo Y. Student activists become “limited purpose public figures” when they go on TV to advocate for their causes. They don’t deserve any more protection than any other person in that position.

          • Craw
            Posted December 17, 2016 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

            Like GBJames I am a bit doubtful. I don’t think anything the chancellor might have done would have mollified this student. There is power in being supposedly aggrieved.
            Also I do not think it appropriate for the university to apologize to students for hearing arguments they dislike. What you (PCC) suggest comes perilously close to that at the very least.

  15. @eightyc
    Posted December 16, 2016 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    lolz. oh please.

    You mean the same students attempting to silence Milo’s right to speak freely?

    So let me get this straight. Students can attack Milo in any way they like and Milo can’t fight back?

    Come on now. That’s weak.

    • Linn
      Posted December 17, 2016 at 2:18 am | Permalink

      Ehm, it’s the opposite from where I’m standing. Everyone seems to defend him, no matter how he attacks and bullies people, because he’s appearantly oh so “charming” and those horrid transpeople and leftists deserve it.

      When someone finally strikes back at him they’re called out for being rude. Appearantly, being rude is only acceptable for trumpists, while liberals should shut up.

      I’ve seen the same type of comments concerning Trump himself, where his supporters excuse every comment made by him (because he’s only a provocateur and a troll appearantly), but journalists criticizing him are accused of being rude.

      • ToddP
        Posted December 17, 2016 at 4:02 am | Permalink


      • GBJames
        Posted December 17, 2016 at 9:14 am | Permalink

        I see very few people defending him. The defense is for his right to speak.

        Why is that such a difficult distinction to comprehend?

        • Craw
          Posted December 17, 2016 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

          Rules for radicals: personalize it. The *attack* is on free speech, the *tactic* is to personalize it — to make it about Milo. No-one is miscomprehending the distinction.

          • Linn
            Posted December 18, 2016 at 6:49 am | Permalink

            So everyone that criticise others, are actually against free speech? Everyone that spoke against Trump or Clinton weren’t actually against them, but against free speech?
            Jerry is actually a radical arguing against free speech because he dared use his free speech to criticise milo? Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more ridiculous.

            I guess every time our gracious host is writing about horrible religious events, he’s actually against freedom of religion and every time he criticises something said by an islamist or conservative christian, he’s trying to take away their free speech by “personalising” the attack?

            (Note, I’m assuming your comment was about me since it was below my post, that’s why I’m responding like I do. There’s no denying that some extremists use every excuse to attack others freedom of speech, though as far as I see it, the right wingers are the ones trying to take away basic human rights and they’re rising all over Europe as well now).

        • Linn
          Posted December 18, 2016 at 6:31 am | Permalink

          Ehm. I’ve seen plenty of people defending him. He has an entire fanbase after all that applauds him every turn, but gets pissed off when others use their own free speech against him (and yes, I’ve seen this behaviour from plenty of his followers so I’m not making it up). So do Trump (if it’s him you’re thinking of). Trump and his followers isn’t excactly a bastion of free speech considering one of Trump’s spokeswomen talked about making a list of all the people criticizing him and that he would get his revenge.
          But I guess it’s okay if right wingers do it?

          I’ve always been amused (and saddened) by how almost every comment section in my local newspapers have been taken over by the right wing these days, yet the few times a liberal dares write a comment, the right wingers complain about their free speech being denied them. It’s utterly ridiculous.

          Newsflash to anyone that doesn’t know this, the right to free speech does NOT mean that people aren’t allowed to disagree with right wingers. I certainly have no issue with free speech, but I call out right wing nuts when I see them.

          But appearantly, by using my free speech to criticize someone for being a bully and criticizing his fanbase for being hypocritical, I’m criticizing free speech? Go figure.

          • GBJames
            Posted December 18, 2016 at 9:37 am | Permalink

            Perhaps we’ve got different scoping in our comments. I’m talking about here on WEIT. You seem to be referring to the general populace. I would not dispute in the least that there are a lot of right wing folk out there who will defend him at every opportunity. Those are the folk who just installed Trump. Such folk are rare on these pages.

            • Posted December 18, 2016 at 10:31 am | Permalink

              I don’t see many people outright defending him here, and saying his behavior in this instance was acceptable, but I see quite bit of defense in the sense of damage control, and attempts to mitigate his behavior as acceptable because he’s a “defender of free speech”.

              • GBJames
                Posted December 18, 2016 at 10:35 am | Permalink

                I think it is a mistake to confuse defense of his use of free speech and defense of his ideas. I’m among the more adamant defenders of his use of speech but have no interest in defending his ideas. If you see that as “damage control”, then what am I to say?

              • Posted December 18, 2016 at 10:41 am | Permalink

                “I’m among the more adamant defenders of his use of speech but have no interest in defending his ideas. If you see that as “damage control”, then what am I to say?”

                I’m likewise a defender of his free speech, but bringing it up in the context of this post is damage control.

              • GBJames
                Posted December 18, 2016 at 11:00 am | Permalink


                I’ve been following this situation closely since it occurred three blocks from where I live. Before Milo landed on campus it had already generated enough hubbub that our local state representative had commented on the subject (firmly on the side of free speech while some of his constituents were advocating for de-platforming) (fwiw, he is way over on the left side of the spectrum, where I sit).

                This controversy is not about whether Mr. Y has sensible things to say. It is about, and has always been about, whether Mr. Y went “too far” by identifying a student in his talk. After following it, I have decided that he didn’t. (Note: “Too far” here means “libelous”, not “impolite”.)

                The word “student”, in the context of a university, doesn’t provide any more cause for “protection” than any other adult person is entitled to. This particular student inserted herself into the public sphere by going on TV to advocate for a social/political position. That’s her right and the more power to people who advocate in public for what they feel right.

                This student has a right to make clear her feelings about, among other things, the UWM Chancellor. And Milo has a right to make clear his opinion about those, like this student, who advocate for the right to use the “other sex” bathrooms.

                Actually, Mike, I have no idea what you even mean by “damage control”. What “damage” is being controlled?

            • Linn
              Posted December 18, 2016 at 11:01 pm | Permalink

              Ok. It seems a misunderstanding then. 🙂

              • GBJames
                Posted December 19, 2016 at 7:05 am | Permalink

                I remain convinced that most arguments on the Internet are between people who agree with each other.

  16. Larry Smith
    Posted December 16, 2016 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    FWIW, note that Feral Pines (the name that appears on the Facebook account issuing the threats to Milo) was a trans woman who died in the tragic Oakland warehouse fire recently. There have been other actions taken recently in her name, it would appear:

  17. A Hermit
    Posted December 20, 2016 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Speech has consequences, like people deciding they don’t want to listen to your crap.

    It’s these idiot crybabies like Milo who want to be able to say any offensive thing and then moan and whine when they have to pay those consequences who don’t understand how free speech works…

    • GBJames
      Posted December 20, 2016 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      What is your point, exactly? (Beyond the fact that you dislike Milo.)

      • A Hermit
        Posted December 20, 2016 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

        My point is that the current groaning and gnashing of teeth over a university disinviting someone who contributes nothing of value in the first place has nothing to do with free speech.

        No one is obligated to provide a platform for every self promoting demagogue who demands one.

        • Posted December 20, 2016 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

          Hooray! Finally we have located the arbiter of what speech is worthwhile. Now we’ll know who to bother listening too.

        • GBJames
          Posted December 21, 2016 at 7:39 am | Permalink

          I finally understand your “nym”. As A Hermit you’ve managed to completely avoid understand the actual situation we’re discussing. Must be from living in a cave or something.

          • Cindy
            Posted December 21, 2016 at 7:43 am | Permalink

            A hermit is a disciple of Pharyngula.

            Zie also believe that Dawkins is evil etc and should “suffer the consequences” of his non-sjw approved speech

            You are talking to an ideologue.

    • Posted December 20, 2016 at 6:13 pm | Permalink

      I’m pretty sure it’s you who don’t understand how free speech works. You’re not obligated to listen but if he’s invited by others, by what right do you shut that down?

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