Editor's note: This interview was released on August 19. Jeremiah B Leonard wrote a transcript of it, for which the San Francisco Review of Books is very grateful. His work is included below the video.
Once upon a time, the left was America's foremost defender of free speech principles. Nowadays, it is increasingly hostile toward freedom of expression. What happened? Milo Yiannopoulos explains -- about this and many other matters -- on this week's episode of 'Cotto/Gottfried.'
COTTO: Freedom of speech used to be the hallmark issue of the left, but now the left has cooled on it and conservatives have picked up the torch. Why has this happened? What does it mean for our future? Milo Yiannopoulos is one of our time’s most controversial and outspoken political commentators. He addresses this issue, and others, on this week’s episode of Cotto/Gottfried. I am your cohost Joseph Ford Cotto, editor in chief of the San Francisco review of books. My cohost is Paul Gottfried, Head of our editorial board.
In the 1960s, the left was vigorously in favor of freedom of speech; that was the cornerstone of it popular movement. But by the 2000’s one could say that the left has become very much opposed to freedom of speech, specifically by the 2010’s, sorry. Milo, what do you think explains this radical transformation?
YIANNOPOULOS: I guess it’s fairly simple, which is that any movement, or orthodoxy, or cluster of the leaves finds itself in power tends to want to consolidate and protect that power. I don’t buy the arguments from some people on the political right that somehow the left is intrinsically or structurally hostile to free speech. I think they’re a bit silly. But quite clearly institutions, organizations or whatever seek to perpetuate themselves and their value systems by crushing dissent. Now where that happens elsewhere in the world outside of America it happens much more quickly and much more brutally and you might say more effectively in countries that don’t have the first amendment or long proud histories of free expression, but in America it seems to happen more slowly. It seems to be pendulous.
In the 60s, as we know, the left were aggressively using their right to free speech to push for progressive change. And today, given that they more or less run all of the major institutions and entities in civil society it’s conservatives who are the sort of free speech insurgents getting up everybody’s noses, irritating everyone, saying things you’re not supposed to say.
So I don’t buy the arguments that there is something intrinsically anti-free speech about progressive or left-wing political positions. Although, there do seem to be more repressive left-wing regimes that crack down on free speech these days, when you look at the world generally, than right wing ones. I think it’s simply a case of ideologies seeking to perpetuate and protect themselves once they get into power.
COTTO: Paul, do you have anything to say?
GOTTFRIED: My position on these matters, which I’ve stated many times, is that I don’t think that the left ever believed in free speech. It was always a tactic that could be used to neutralize or destabilize it’s enemy, and then once it was in a position of power it proceeded to do as it did in the Soviet Union which is to crush the opposition.
One of the big mistakes that the conservative movement in the United States and of course Western Europe made was to assume that the left was fanatically devoted to free speech, and we conservatives are smarter, we know that not all speech should be free, and we are in favor of censorship or something like this. This is an argument that I remember Willmoore Kendall and others making in National Review. It was an article made by the conservative members of the German Christian Democratic Party into the 1970s.
I think this is a stupid tactic. A, because what it did was make the arguments for the left which the left of course would avail itself of as soon as it came to power, that not all opinions should be permitted, and that some opinions are hurtful and insensitive and it is the duty of a civilized society to ban those opinions and punish to those who express them.
COTTO: Do you think that freedom of speech is something which—and this is directed at Milo— do you think freedom of speech is something which private sector companies such as Twitter or Facebook and the like should try to uphold in terms of how their users communicate with each other, or do you think that freedom of speech on private property really isn’t a very big concern?
YIANNOPOULOS: Well this really is the big dilemma for conservatives for the next decade. We’ve become comfortable with regulating other kinds of industries; oil, power, other things on which our society depends. Conservatives have become more or less fairly comfortable on wading in, regulating them, to some extent getting in bed with them. The problem for conservatives is that they’ve never really had to consider what happens when society doesn’t just rest on oil and gas and all the rest of it because society also rests, as it does in a globalized information economy. Much of the power and freedom and power that people enjoy, society breasts to an increasing extend on free expression. And you would think that would be great because it is enshrined in the first amendment and what not.
But conservatives have worked themselves into this position where if you’re sure that you want to protect this sacrosanct inviolability of the free market you must allow private corporations to do whatever they like. I don’t agree with that position, National Review and the like are holding the line on that position and I think they’re wrong; I think they are dangerously wrong. Because quite clearly the enormous power, and let’s be clear, Facebook, Google and the other behemoths, Microsoft… these companies wield so much more influence and power, not just politically but also financially and in every other way than any of the bad, overbearing corporations of the past, more than big pharma, more than the banks, more than any other bit of life that will be perfectly happy to wade into and provide guard rails along side. So, you know banking, heavily regulated by the government. You might even say that the international banking system cannot really function without strong states that’s sort of legitimize it, regulate it, and enable it. Big Pharma, likewise, all kinds of federal regulations. There’s nothing that looks at what is happening on social media with the tech companies generally, and effectively just enforces the citizens rights to be themselves and do whatever they want. And that’s the sort of consumer protection that is entirely lacking and absent.
I guess the left has learned from conservative see in the past making compromises with this stuff, who knows why, where or whatever, but the left as it exists institutionally in universities, in government, in the various other entities that run us have very successfully converged with this new industry. They share it’s politics, it panders to them, and they want to control its trajectory, and they want to do that by happily, merrily handing over some degree of control about how we may be allowed to express ourselves online in exchange for those technology companies always making decisions in the right direction.
For instance, they are perfectly happy to allow Twitter and Facebook and Google to start coming down heavily on free speech so long as it’s conservatives who suffer. This is an enormously shortsighted strategy by the left. But the immediate consequences of it are that we are under siege. Our free expression is under siege like never before. And to answer your question directly, I do think that companies that wield as much power, that have unassailable monopolistic positions, that have anti-competitive, anti-trust practices which seems an unarguable proposition to me, in the way these big companies do, I do think they should be regulated like public utilities because that’s precisely what they are.
COTTO: Paul, do you have any thoughts on that?
GOTTFRIED: Yeah, I totally agree with what Milo is saying, with trying to rein in Google and other high-tech companies which are stifling undesirable free speech. The Democratic Party has absolutely no reason to try to control google, to stand up for free speech against what high-tech companies are doing because these companies are doing the work of the Democratic Party. Now, I’m not saying that the Republican Party will have the courage to do this on its own because being the Republican Party, it probably won’t. But one of the two major parties, what is the larger of our two major parties has a vested interest in allowing these hi-tech companies to stifle the free speech of those who disagree with the party.
YIANNOPOULOS: I think we’ve gone a little further than that now though. Perhaps it was true five or ten years ago that this is a perfect example of the kind of slippery-slope argument in free speech; you allow this to happen, you allow this to happen, you allow this to happen, and suddenly you wander into absurdities. The issue, it seems to me, or rather it’s something to consider, is that Twitter for instance, and let’s just take Twitter as an example of a company that has an enormously outsized influence on journalists. Journalists don’t pick up the phones anymore. They find their stories on Twitter. And what they see on Twitter doesn’t just determine what they’re going to write, but it also influences how they’ll write it up. Because, by and large, they’ve already had a quick check around the newsroom as it were with their mates. In the case of Twitter it’s not just doing the business of the Democrat party, and in some cases it’s not doing the business of the Democrat party at all. The politics of Twitter much more closely represent those of this insurgent young New Yorker, Miss Cortez (what’s her name? Miss Ocasio Cortez?) than they do the institutional Democrat party. So actually what the left has done is in thinking that if they allow tech to just sort of start to regulate conservative speech out of the public square that they’ll be laughing, what they’ve actually done is open the door to ideological extremists because these technology companies, especially the low to mid-level staff that work the trust and safety department, these Orwellian branches of tech start ups that are really just there to crush conservatism where ever they find it, what’s actually happening is that they are becoming ever more radicalized to the point where established Democrat party orthodoxy is becoming un-woke.
I mean, the politics of Twitter as an organization that for instance much more closely represented the protesters who want to abolish ICE. They effectively want to just get rid of borders. That’s not the Democrat party position, I mean not yet, maybe it will be in six months, or six years probably more likely. But yes in a way they kind of stood back and allowed it to happen, and pretended that they didn’t see it. And I remember giving interviews to journalists four years ago and saying, “where is the evidence that conservatives are being censored, give me the evidence” and I said “well you’re going to see it in the next few years,” and they were like, “well, OK but …”. What’s happening is that these companies are becoming hijacked by gender warriors, by race baiters, by the worst most-noxious but loudest and most extreme elements from the left, guess what, just like universities did and just like the media did too. There was no reason to assume it would go any differently in tech, and it didn’t. But in many cases these people are just as much of a menace to the institutional Democrats as the rest of us. I mean, these people are not Hillary Clinton fans, they are Bernie Sanders and insurgent left social justice warriors who many cases hate their own institutional party as much as they hate the rest of us. Look at antifa attacking journalists which the journalists of course will never cover, will never mention ABC News, what is it ABC or NBC, I forget, but who got attacked by antifa and they did not mention it on air, at the pathetic so-called white nationalist stupidity in DC last weekend. These radical leftists hate the institutions that spawned them which is a clue to how they got like this because it is their parents running them, as much as any of the rest of us do, and they’re as dangerous to the body politic as they are to the Democrat party itself. So I think, maybe post Trump we’ve got to a situation where actually most of these big tech companies are sliding quite violently and quickly to the left even of the Democrats.
COTTO: In discussing leftists who want to quash free speech social justice warriors, really, I think to be precise, I’ll start this question with Milo, then Paul can share his two cents, but Milo what do you think motivates these people their quest for power? Do you think it’s something conventionally political, or do you think it something beyond the realm of politics?
YIANNOPOULOS: Oh, it’s nothing to do with politics really. It’s really psychiatric. These are people whose parents had what looks to them to be effortless existences where everything came to them easily. Those of us who grew up in the 90s, grew up in the 80s, grew up in the 90s, we really made it look like it was easy, and everyone was happy and got along OK, and there wasn’t any kind of racial tension, and everyone had enough money, at least it felt like that at the time, and no one was hated for being successful. To the generation below that seeing their changing economic prospects from their parents generation, not understanding why they can’t have all the things their parents seem to have acquired so effortlessly, and then going out into a world created by the campus radicals of the 60s and 70s, this world where traditional authority has been completely fractured, where it hasn’t been fractured, it’s been smashed into a million pieces. They’re handed ready-made victimhood scripts, so if you grow up there is anything even slightly remotely wrong with your perfect middle class existence you can blame, if you’re a woman, the patriarchy. If you’re black, white supremacy. If you’re gay, homophobia. Some people can claim all of these things, it’s called intersectionality, your life being crap for lots of reasons.
It’s not really political at all, it seems to me it’s this sort of millennial psychiatric dysfunction, whereby a combination of economic pressures, and entitlement, poor discipline, terrible education, have all kind of coalesced, along with of course the march ever leftwards of all the institutions that teach and entertain these kids, so Hollywood and the music business, at the same time as the media, at the same time as the universities, pushing them ever leftward, evermore into this dreary and miserable identity politics, it’s produced a generation, that wants other people to hurt as much as it is hurting. It wants to visit revenge on his parents’ generation, it wants to visit revenge on the world for not just handing everything out.
I’m coasting towards 35, but you’ll hear people maybe 10 years older than me and above constantly talking about the entitlement of young people. They have no idea just how deep it goes, because this posturing, this political chicanery and nonsense and lunacy. All of this really comes more from a psychiatric dysfunction than any kind of deep political conviction. It comes from a generation that is hurting, has no outlet for that hurt because of the legacy of PC in the 90s, and has realized that a society that operates on the basis of victimhood, and whining and complaining and offence-taking, can be manipulated by the most appallingly ill-qualified actors if only they will scream loud enough and if only they will trumpet their own terrible circumstances with enough enthusiasm. And that’s what’s really terrifying about millennials, because they’re right.
The campus radicals of the 60s and 70s that sort of became the establishment, flirted with PC in the 90s, brought it back in the late to thousands or early 2010s have gifted the millennials the most awesome and terrifying weapon. It’s like giving a nuke to a toddler. By gifting them a society that runs as much by offence-taking, feelings, victimhood, and these nebulous, subjective, unfalsifiable claims, as it does by money. And as any child knows, and these millennials are nothing if not perpetual children, screaming and bawling and shouting works on the weak parent. And the whole country, the whole of western civilization if you ask me, has turned into a weak and indulgent parent that gives these people precisely what they want instead of telling them to grow up, shut up, and get on with building something of their own.
GOTTFRIED: I agree entirely with the psychopathological approach that Milo is taking. It’s not an extension of Marxism, it’s not about Socioeconomic problems. It’s an act of cultural outrage, it’s directed against traditional cultural moral values, social hierarchies, and it’s always done in the name of the oppressed and for the purpose of achieving greater equality. Anyone in Canada will stand up for John MacDonald, the father of the confederation, whose statues are being pulled down all over the Canadian confederation he founded because supposedly because he said something nasty about first or Native Americans, or whatever they are called up there. What we are dealing with is a very, very widespread political phenomenon. The problem is how to stop it. Is it possible to stop it? And I would like to know if Milo is willing or can offer some solutions to a problem that we all agree exists.
YIANNOPOULOS: Well, I think you’re right to identify it as a phenomenon. I think the political is secondary though. You’re definitely right to identify it as a cultural thing, but really this seems to me more than anything else to be a religious crisis.
This is the first generation that is almost entirely non-religious. The more I look into this stuff the more I look at the sort of generational, political shift uprising, all the rest of it, there is something dramatically different about the last 20 years. And it is because that it’s in the last 20 years that Christianity has completely evaporated from public life. And those checks and balances that were previously provided, you alluded at the beginning of the show to social values or whatever, well those social values were provided ultimately from Judeo Christianity. And it’s complete expulsion from public life, which happened in the 70s, 80s and 90s, while establishment conservatives sat back and did nothing, imagining that that would be fine, you know, “people should be free to practice their own religion at home, and that’s OK, if people are ridiculing Christians on TV I guess we’ll deal with it. What are we going to do against these powerful entertainment stars who are saying F you?! And all the rest of it?!” Well by doing so, by not sticking up for their values, they basically condemned America to something we’ve seen many times in history before, going all the way back to the ancient world, which is the late decadent, valueless, weak final days of the empire that no longer know what it’s for, what it believes in, or what its identity or character is based on, and is therefore easily overrun by the Visigoths. It seems to me that that’s the period that America is rapidly kind of sliding into. I don’t know if it’s possible to arrest that decline. Certainly it would have been 10 or 20 years ago. Is it now? I suspect we’re right on the cusp. I think we probably have until the end of this term of this president to do something significant to wake up the majority of the country. And I’m not suggesting that they should all be forcibly converted to Catholicism, as much as I would personally enjoy that, but certainly the loss of religion in public life it seems to me is the main driver behind this. The prime mover behind all of the negative changes, and all of the destructive political and academic and cultural currents that we now summarize as political correctness, safe spaces, trigger warnings, social justice warriors, all of this ultimately comes from the evaporation , and actually the forcible expulsion of Christianity from the public sphere. This is a Christian capitalist-democracy allowing cultural Marxism, allowing you know leftism to crush the most important pillar of that tripartite structure which is the face, which is the Christian bit, because without that none of the rest will hold. And the rest isn’t holding.
COTTO: Before I post the final question, I have to add two things. Number one, to look at how PC I suppose large companies express themselves in nowadays in relation to how un-PC they were not so long ago, the 1991 film Beauty and The Beast, an animated movie which took place in pre-revolutionary France pretty accurately depicted the culture of pre-revolutionary France. Then the remake, which I couldn’t even sit through, has a really multicultural situation specifically with blacks. In pre-revolutionary France they were depicted as being almost as prominent as whites there; or if not almost, then to a large extent certainly nothing like what the history actually showed. And Disney, from what I understand, pretty much acknowledged this but they didn’t care because they were obviously trying to get into the modern-day political current. But to really so egregiously violate any pretense...
GOTTFRIED: ... a better example I think is The Birth of a Nation of [Griffith] which celebrates the virtues of the early Klan defending southern women against rape. The later one shows a black slave revolt, the one that was made last year.
The inversion of the original movie which celebrates black violence, and I think that we’re going to see more and more of this. Even an awful movie, a supposedly conservative awful movie like Death of a Nation that Dinesh D'souza put together, dumps on the southern whites. They are compared to the radical left today. And I think this all indicates we have moved as a society systematically in other ways in trying to accommodate leftist sensibility.
YIANNOPOULOS: One of the things that does worry me is the rewriting of history. Nobody minds a marvel character showing up as a woman or whatever really, but it’s weird and it’s odd and it starts to unsettle people when the clear obvious facts of history are denied or deemphasized or glossed over.
And this is not a new phenomenon. This has been going on for decades. I hope that this is the apotheosis of it, I hope that the zenith was in 2015, but I’m pretty sure that it will not be, when the movie Stonewall came out. Now this was a Roland Emmerich movie, this had all the makings of a gigantic woke blockbuster in the vein as Black Panther. But Stonewall didn’t pay sufficient attention to the contributions of trans women of color in the liberation of gay people. And there were no contributions from trans women of color. There were two black drag queens who were perpetually high and drunk, and who were peripheral in the story of Stonewall. But what happened and that particular moment of history was almost entirely driven by gay white-men. And gay white men aren’t woke enough anymore.
So this movie which unfortunately for Emmerich focuses on the gay white men who actually did it. It was condemned as insufficiently woke because it did not artificially and ahistorically elevate people who the left were trying to suggest are responsible for the achievement of gay rights in America. With the result that this movie made less than $300,000 at the box office. It was slammed in the press, and of course PBS and ABC, CBS journalist are all looking not to movie critics or historians, what they’re doing is they’re looking to woke bloggers, for what to think about this movie. And the press about it was abominable. Why? Because it actually explained what happened, not the woke version of history and this is the same thing Google does; search results, look for American inventors, it’s going to show you a bunch of people that you’ve never heard of. I’m looking for the guys that did electricity and the lightbulb, but you won’t find them, unless you search for American inventors like in the Spanish version of Google where they haven’t gerrymandered the results to give you more female and black faces.
We would be nowhere without the inventions of women and blacks and all the rest of it, refrigerators wouldn’t work without them as we’re endlessly told by Mic and BuzzFeed, and Gawker, well not Gawker anymore. But simply saying things that are not true about history is one of the mechanisms through which authoritarian regimes exercise control, this is one of the many ways in which Orwell was so prescient.
When you control how history is told, when you control what is learned about history, and in most cases in most regimes telling people as little as possible about history provides you with the maximum amount of power over them possible, which is one of the reasons that education in this country is so lousy. This is how authoritarian regimes perpetuate themselves, and it’s precisely what the left is doing by punishing even feminist gay-friendly, woke, it doesn’t matter; if it doesn’t precisely conform to the prevailing orthodoxy not just that decade but that year it is cast out of the church as heresy. And this is why I refer to this as a religious crisis because all the free speech and political stuff really is down the line, is down the food chain from the fact that we have ripped out Christianity and replaced it with social justice.
Because when you remove religion from universities, and religion was previously it was the purpose of university education. Yale’s founding statement refers to saving people with education from the ignorance of the devil. When you remove Christianity, the central organizing principle from higher education, you don’t just get rid of it, you open up the space for something worse to move in. And something worse has moved in, and it’s Marxism. Now I think we see in our own country in the west all of the hallmarks of countries where Marxism has proceeded more conventionally and more politically, which is widespread suppression.
Look, there’s a reason why I am patient zero when it comes to social media bans, because I’m funny and because I make jokes. Because what’s the first thing that dictators get rid of? Satire and humor. The sound of laughter is the thing that dictators and autocrats hate the most, which is why they go for people who persuade with humor first. That’s why I got banned from Twitter before everybody else. That’s why I can’t speak on college campuses anymore, because they can’t bear the idea that somebody somewhere is laughing at them, because it weakens them. They know how powerful that tool is. Because they’ve been using it themselves. Public shaming, it’s a form of bullying, but it’s not direct physical intimidation. It’s inviting people to laugh at someone. And that’s what they did with Christians, and with Republicans, and the two were interchangeable for decades in this country. Invited so-called “centrist normal people“ to laugh at the crazy bible thumpers. It was a form of bullying but it used ridicule, so when somebody uses it back at them they become public enemy number one, and they become ripe for professional annihilation and unpersoning. This rewriting of history to which you were alluding he’s not a new development but it is gathering steam and gathering pace, and it’s the thing that makes me the most convinced that all the crazy, frothy, fulminating far-right shock jocks of the 1990s actually had it pretty much right. Even they could not have predicted 2018. And most of the things they were saying, most of the things that my parents of my generation at least, were saying and worrying about if they were on the “far right“ in the 1990s, all of those things have come to pass.
COTTO: Actually, some of what you said goes into the second point that I was going to make which is about religion.
A dear uncle of mine just died, and I was the only one to inherit his collection of Judaica (things relating to the Jewish religion) which has been our family history for literally thousands of years, and it’s a shame because no one else pretty much was interested besides me, absolutely no one. And even though I’m an only child, my father side of the family is pretty large so you’d think there would have been someone. But there just wasn’t. So what you were saying Milo about the total drop off in religious observance and the cultural ramifications of that …
YIANNOPOULOS: Well, Jews have been the worst. I’m Jewish on my mother side, so according to Jewish law, matrilineally speaking, I’m Jewish, although I was raised Catholic and I think of myself as Catholic. But secular Jews in public life have done more damage than anybody else. It’s a group that consistently votes against its own interests. Just like black Americans do, by siding with a party that would be perfectly happy if Israel was wiped off the map. The secularization I’m talking about, the lack of religion in public life, you only have to look at what has happened too well-educated Jewish people in America to realize what happens when you take religion out of the equation. They find something else, and they find something worse. And in a sense the rest of America is now following suit, because of our outsized influence in various things, whether you want to say it’s Ashkenazi IQ or whatever it is, our outsized influence in various spheres of public life, I feel like we’re taking the rest of the country down with us.
COTTO: And the last question goes to your experience of being banned on Twitter. You were, as you mentioned, I think you were pretty much the first if not one of the first major personalities to get the Twitter hammer. What did that teach you Milo about free speech and what do you think the ramifications of that lesson are for the future? And then of course Paul share your views on that once Milo’s done.
YIANNOPOULOS: I think it was the first time I realized that Orwell wasn’t wrong but he was inadequate to explain the full horrors of the future. Because what he failed to foresee was that the greatest threats to free speech in western Democratic capitalist societies would not come from the government. Now in Europe you can’t readily criticize Islam without risking your freedom. That much is certainly true, but in America you can by and large say whatever you want and not get thrown in jail provided you’re not directly inciting violence against another person. But you can’t really live a full life, and you certainly, absolutely cannot live in the public eye, in the public sphere. And I realized quit early on that I was happy to be a martyr for this stuff, because I like being a trend setter, and if the coolest, trendiest, most fabulous thing in America in 2015 to 2025 is going to be getting banned from things then I want to get banned first from everything. So I’m perfectly fine with that.
It taught me that it was going to in fact be−I suppose this is sort of a left wing critique really−but it was going to be some new conglomerate of evil, capitalist organizations that were going to ruin our lives. And it wasn’t the military-industrial complex as envisaged by the left, and reflected in the 70s and 80s movies like Alien, where you got what is it the [Weyland-Yutani] or whatever it is corporation, all these sci-fi movies where big technology companies are pretty much indistinguishable from the government, although we’re kind of heading that way, that’s a conversation for another day. But there seems to be increasingly less distinction it’s true, between Facebook, Google and the various bits of the US government, and I expect that kind of comingling and fudging to continue. But they are at least for the time being still private corporations. And Orwell didn’t really foresee the threats to free expression. The tyranny in this particular way we’re talking about in this conversation was going to come from the private sector. Very remarkable to me.
And the other observation that I’ll make just for now is that the continuing stupidity, and shortsightedness, the jaw-dropping myopia of American conservatives, just when you think you have seen all of the stupid, dumb idiocy that republicanism has to offer you find a new as-yet unplumbed depth. Nothing more stupid than not listening to Matt Drudge’s warning that these social media companies were going to suck everybody in and then just turn the lights off. It’s like you move into our house and you give control of your electricity supply, and water supply and everything else two people outside who can just turn it all off at any time if you say the wrong things, and I don’t think Orwell really for saw that, I suppose this banned stuff cemented in my mind that you cannot really trust not just the government but private companies either to themselves insist upon and deliver freedom of expression for private citizens. And this is I think what every generation discovers and it is that freedom is not inherited from prior generations. It has to be earned all over again with every new generation against new enemies.
The natural inclination, the natural instinct of people is to control, is to have dominion over others. And when you have vast corporations, they have the same instincts for a variety some similar found some different motivations. Governments have a vested interest in engorging and enlarging themselves. Everyone, everywhere, at all times is seeking to exert control, influence over others. And this is why I have such high regard, and such love and admiration for truth tellers and freedom fighters all over the world whether it’s Ayaan Hirsi Ali who is speaking out about the extraordinarily misogynistic tyranny of the regime she came from. Or whether it’s some conservatives in America who, and you’ve got to give him some credit for this, Alex Jones has become a kind of martyr for this too. I’ll be the first want to say I think Alex is bonkers on a lot, but he’s also someone that reports things before others do. And there is absolutely no justification for the sort of coordinated unpersoning that happened to him, and here’s something else they did it’s why I’m saying conservatives are stupid, conservatism and I include myself in this to some extent, conservative media, conservative personalities, we all started building social media into our business models. We handed over distribution of our content to Twitter and Facebook, to companies that are dedicated to our annihilation. And we Merrily handed over not just our data, we had it over a core component of our business practices to people who hate us and who want us wiped from the face of the planet, and it’s remarkable for me. It was Matt Drudge Who was warning about that on Alex Jones show a decade ago and nobody listened. And it’s very remarkable to me that people still don’t seem to be learning the lesson. And you have National Review kind of looking the other way on the Alex Jones thing, quietly sort of enjoying it because… why? … he’s their biggest competition. Not quietly, LOUDLY enjoying it when I get banned from something, loudly enjoying my frustrations on college campuses … why? … because they’re enjoying slamming down the competition at every available opportunity.
They are presiding over an ever smaller, a shrinking Citadel of evermore irrelevant conservative pontification while around them the world burns. And as much as I hate the left, and as much as I despise social justice warriors and as much as I profoundly and fundamentally disagree with the basic political principles Marxism and socialism and communism there’s nobody I hate more than my [father’s] and grandfather’s generation of conservatives who handed the keys to our great civilization handed the keys to the west over to the lunatic asylum. And they have fatally weakened us against the rise of Islam, they have fatally weakened us against the inevitable blowback from globalism and from the global information economy they … [audio drops out] ... keeping ourselves free and strong. And that, although they may not express it like that is why people voted for Donald Trump. And it’s one of the reasons that I like him so much.
I just wish that the press would give more of a hearing to people that have intelligent, articulate things to say about why people voted in the apparently bonkers direction that they did in the last election, rather than just assuming it’s all racism, it’s all sexism therefore shut up, go away, we’ll let you know what to think, how to think, and what you can say about it, and don’t you ever DARE vote for somebody like that again.
So, it’s a real shame to me that they have not learned their lesson, but my goodness, it’s now very clear but you cannot trust companies once they get to a certain size, that you cannot trust the government either to protect the free expression of private individuals, and thank goodness that America has a second amendment. I hate to say it, I hate to think it, I’ve spent my entire career condemning people who use violence to achieve political objectives but who knows where this is going and if it does come to civil war thank goodness our side is the side with all the guns who can actually shoot them.
GOTTFRIED: I’m going to say something which probably will shock Milo; I do not dislike the left as much as I loathe the conservative movement. And looking back up on my already very-long life almost every bad thing that has happened to me was done by the official conservative movement, or the authorized conservative movement.
Most recently as Joseph knows two days ago somebody backed out of an interview because I might have been present and Mark Levin who is the editor of Conservative Review considers me unfit company for his lackey.
And this has been going on since the 1980s when it was suspected that I was not sufficiently Zionistic, or did not have other views which the neoconservatives wanted members of their conservative movement to profess. And this has involved calling universities, keeping me out of jobs, calling publishers who now will not publish my books, and then books of mine when they do get published, do not get reviewed in conservative journals. They do get reviewed in new republic and leftist journals. And I’ve had far less struggle with the left although I am on the right, admittedly on the right, than I have with the official conservative movement ... In the 1980s people were allowed to [unintelligible] the conservative movement, take it over so that you get not Milo but dunderheads like Rich Lowry , and predictable idiots like Jonah Goldberg that ranting lout Levin who did not want his Lackey to be on the same program with me.
One learns nothing from them. There’s nothing I have learned from them intellectually or politically. But It seems that they are driven by it inexhaustible animus against me, and this seems to grow stronger and stronger with the years. I do recognize that in the larger scheme of things the official left as opposed to the official conservative movement is more dangerous, I think it represents a greater threat to our freedom but I would say in the course of my life the major enemy I have faced, and the ones who have kept me from any kind of professional success in this country have been the so-called conservatives and particularly the neoconservatives, whom I utterly detest, more than any other group I’ve ever had dealings with my entire life.
YIANNOPOULOS: Well Paul and I are sisters in that, absolutely united entirely in that view. Those are the same people who have caused the most trouble for me. They are the people who celebrate, who dance every time I have a college talk called off. And some of the people you mentioned from National Review specifically where involved intimately and coordinating with left-wing critics of mine, various rounds of controversies and what not I suppose it’s heartening in a way to hear that I’m not the only one, although of course I knew that there were other people who have experienced this and other people who hate them as much as I do.
And the thing that’s really galling, the thing that just makes me want to shake my head in despair and disbelief is that these conservatives who are by the way, for intellectual gate keepers, remarkably dumb and poorly educated, these so-called gate keepers of republicanism of conservatism they don’t just go for the throats of people who believe slightly differently from them who believe in slightly different kinds of conservatism from them. They go for the throats of people who are the most effective fighters that they could possibly have, if only they would bring them into the fold. And who knows! Maybe they would persuade me about their desperate need to intervene in every conflict everywhere in the world all the time. Maybe they’d persuade me about … I’m a pretty solid fan of Israel but mostly for pragmatic reasons, mostly because I want it to exist in a world where we have such a powerful and terrifying Muslim Middle East, but maybe they’d persuade me that there are other reasons I should take it even more seriously than I already do. The amazing thing to me is not just that these people go for their ideological rivals within the conservative movement like a sort of overweight beardy Mean Girls, but it’s even worse than that, they systematically knock out conservatism’s most effective fighters and for that they can never be forgiven. And for that they deserve every ounce of condemnation that you give them, that I give them, and that everyone else gives them. And that of course is another reason why the current president is in office.
COTTO: That was really an outstanding discussion, I’m glad we were able to have it. Thank you for tuning in everyone. See you next week.