Milo Yiannopoulos Announced as Keynote Speaker for CPAC...Not So Fast
Someone please tell me this is fake news.
[See update below]
The Washington gathering, known as CPAC, is the premiere event for established conservatives. This year’s speakers include Vice President Mike Pence, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, former presidential candidate Carly Fiorina and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, as well as media personalities like Lou Dobbs and Mark Levin.
None of the 60 or so confirmed speakers, though, will have more stage time than Yiannopoulos at this year’s event, which runs Feb. 22-25 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center. The speeches will be broadcast live on C-SPAN.
Organizers of CPAC are set to officially announce Saturday the addition of Yiannoppoulos [sic], whose Friday night appearance on Real Time with Bill Maher has been a hot topic among conservatives and liberals alike. On the show, he criticized HBO stars Amy Schumer, Sarah Silverman and Lena Dunham and addressed his well-known problem with actress Leslie Jones.
Yiannopoulos told The Hollywood Reporter his CPAC presentation will focus on his "experiences in America battling feminists, Black Lives Matter, the media, professors and the entertainment industry.”
As of right now CPAC—the Conservative Political Action Committee—has only announced that Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos will be a speaker at next week's conference. American Conservative Union (ACU) Chairman Matt Schlapp confirmed on Saturday that the gay provocateur and defender of the alt-right will be there.
But not so fast on the keynote speaker bit. According to ACU board member Ned Ryun, the board was not consulted on the decision to have Yiannopoulos as a keynote speaker:
Ryun later tweeted out:
Ryun told PJM that he will be issuing a press release about the decision on Monday. Reportedly there are other board members who are unhappy about it.
Getting back to Schlapp's tweet, crying "free speech" is a rather silly way to preemptively defend what Schlapp knows will be a controversial decision. Of course Yiannopoulos has a right to free speech. No one on the right would disagree with that. And he has a right to do whatever he wants in his bedroom. But no one is guaranteed the right to a platform at a conference that has "conservative" in its name. And there's nothing in the First Amendment that would compel a conservative organization to promote views that are antithetical to conservatism.