Milo Yiannopoulos, the self-styled poster child of the ‘alt-right’ movement, has gone down like a bucket of cold sick after a tense televised encounter with Channel 4 News’s Cathy Newman where he claimed the wage gap and university rape culture is “not real”.
The Breitbart News senior editor brought his right-wing schtick to the broadcaster in the aftermath of his boss, Steve Bannon, being handed a plum role as Donald Trump’s chief strategist - leading US politicians to raise the alarm over a “white nationalist” entering the White House.
Yiannopoulos - who is banned from Twitter amid a racism row - was confronted by the journalist over his brand of say-anything commentary, and in particular his contrary definition of feminism.
Newman read out a series of Breitbart headlines written by editors in Bannon’s charge, including:
“Would you rather your child had feminism or cancer.”
“There’s no hiring bias among women in tech, they just suck at interviews.”
“That’s extreme, that’s ugly,” argued Newman, not unreasonably.
“It’s not extreme,” Yiannopoulos rejoindered. “They’re my headlines, not Steve’s.”
Yiannopoulos - who described himself as a “second wave feminist” - went on to claim “women agree with me”. He said:
“Seven per cent of women identify themselves as feminists. It’s only journalists who are still feminists. They say one thing and behave very differently. Feminists like to say when they are on the defensive, ‘ooh, don’t you believe in equal rights?’ How they actually behave is nasty, vindictive and mean.”
He went to rage against how the age of the “grievance brigade, victimhood, hurt feelings about some kind of special currency” was coming to an end, with Newman managing to stay cool in the face of the now familiar tropes.
He said that feminists and movements like Black Lives Matter had a policy of “feelings first, facts later” for the last 30 years. He said:
“They spread conspiracy theories, propaganda about the wage gap, campus rape culture - this stuff isn’t real.”
Yiannopoulos’s argument that Bannon cannot hold bigoted views went like this:
“Breitbart is a company staffed almost entirely by Jews. I am a gay Jew and he made me a star.”
It has echoes of The Office’s David Brent once defending his sales rep, Chris Finch.
“Chris Finch was in an argument once and he went, ‘How can I hate women, my mum’s one.’”