All is not well at Breitbart News.
A senior editor at the right-wing publication tells Washingtonian that “at least a half-dozen” employees are prepared to leave the company if Milo Yiannopoulos is not promptly fired. A second Breitbart source confirms this estimate.
Yiannopoulos, himself a senior editor at Breitbart, was booted from his speaking slot at this week’s Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC), following taped revelations in which he appears to endorse pedophilia.
“The fact of the matter is that there’s been so many things that have been objectionable about Milo over the last couple of years, quite frankly. This is something far more sinister,” the senior editor says. “If the company isn’t willing to act, there are at least half a dozen people who are willing to walk out over it.”
“Talking abut young boys and somehow seeking to ameliorate concerns over young boys’ relationships with older men…I’m pretty sure everyone in the company would vomit upon hearing these words,” the source continues. “What right-thinking person doesn’t feel sick to their stomach when hearing something like that?”
The American Conservative Union, which hosts CPAC, ignited a firestorm on Saturday over its decision to host Yiannopoulos, an “alt-right” provocateur who as recently as Friday, appearing on Real Time, said he didn’t know if he was conservative.
The backlash across conservative circles escalated on Sunday evening, when the Reagan Battalion, a conservative blog, tweeted a link to a podcast in which Yiannopoulos questioned age-of-consent laws and suggested that minors as young as 13 were “sexually mature” enough for relations with adults. In it, Yiannopoulos said:
Pedophilia is not a sexual attraction to somebody 13 years old, who is sexually mature. Pedophilia is attraction to children who have not reached puberty. Pedophilia is attraction to people who don’t have functioning sex organs yet who have not gone through puberty.
Yiannopoulos swiftly issued a response to the backlash on his Facebook page. “I do not support pedophilia. Period. It is a vile and disgusting crime, perhaps the very worst,” he writes. He went on to denounce the videos as “selectively edited,” “part of a coordinated effort” among “establishment Republicans” to “discredit” him.
“There are rules, there is ideology, and there is philosophy in conservatism,” the senior editor says. “If nothing comes of this, we’ve broken all of them.”