Tags: Matt Schlapp | Milo Yiannopoulos | Sexual Comments

Matt Schlapp: Yiannopoulos 'Brave' Speaker, But Comments Went Too Far

(MSNBC/"Morning Joe")

By    |   Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 09:43 AM

Milo Yiannopoulos is "brave" to stand up and speak out against political correctness, but his past comments about relationships between men and boys went too far, American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp said Tuesday about the decision to strip a keynote speech slot at this week's Conservative Political Action Conference away from the controversial Breitbart editor.

"We are okay with having controversy on the stage at CPAC," Schlapp told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "We don't endorse everything every speaker says at CPAC. As a matter of fact, since I've been chairman, we've tried to take the controversies, especially those amongst conservatives and put them on our stage but there are boundaries."

"Yiannopoulos wanted to give remarks about his experience on campus, where he is often shut down," said Schlapp.

"There was so much press around his attempt to speak at Berkeley. We think what happens with these speech codes and chilling of free speech on campus is un-American. It's wrong. He's brave to stand up in those situations."

Yiannopoulos' appearance at the University of California at Berkeley was canceled after violent protests erupted, creating controversy among many free speech advocates.

Over the weekend, though, after Yiannapolis's appearance was announced, a conservative group, The Reagan Battalion, released taped comments the conservative "disrupter" had made about sexual consent, statutory rape, child abuse, homosexuality, and Jews.

"It just broke through very important boundaries, and we felt like CPAC stage was not an appropriate place for this any longer," said Schlapp of the ACU, which sponsors CPAC.

Yiannopoulos has blamed deceptive editing and his own "sloppy phrasing" for any indication he supported pedophilia, and said he was speaking about his own relationship as a 17-year-old, with a man who was 29. The age of consent in the United Kingdom, where Yiannopoulos is from, is 16.

Schlapp said he made the decision to drop Yiannopoulos from the speaker's stage, and that the controversial pundit had approached him about speaking.

"Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough, though, noted that Yiannopoulos has also made some "extraordinarily offensive anti-Semitic remarks," and asked if someone more suitable, like possibly Sen. Ted Cruz, should have been picked to speak out against codes on political correctness on America's college campuses.

"Whether we like it or not, he is a big voice in this movement," Schlapp said. "We believe our attendees can handle it and make their own judgments whether or not they think a speaker is saying what is accurate or inaccurate or being hateful.

"I don't want to shield that kind of conversation from our attendees. As a matter of fact, a lot of attendees want to have the conversation before them and make their own choices."

But with Yiannopoulos' comments about sexual abuse, Schlapp said it's also important to exercise discretion "when people are outside the zone."

There have been many times Yiannopoulos has been outside that zone, Schlapp said, but he was invited to speak on the issue of free speech on college campuses.

Yiannopoulos has been described as conservative, but doesn't use that label for himself, said Schlapp.

"He calls himself more of a libertarian," said Schlapp. "Libertarians have a very important role at CPAC. The fact is he's got a voice a lot of young people listen to. I would rather have our attendees here make their own judgments than me censor them."

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Milo Yiannopoulos is "brave" to stand up and speak out against political correctness, but his past comments about relationships between men and boys went too far, American Conservative Union Chairman Matt Schlapp said Tuesday...
Matt Schlapp, Milo Yiannopoulos, Sexual Comments
Tuesday, 21 Feb 2017 09:43 AM
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