Comments from conservative “provocateur” and all-around bigoted carbuncle Milo Yiannopoulos about his desire for mass executions of journalists are now coming back to bite him in the ass.
Earlier this week, in a personal message to Observer reporter Davis Richardson, Yiannopoulos wrote, “I can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight.”
This comment is now even more damning in the aftermath of a gunman opening fire in the Capital Gazette newsroom on Thursday. Yiannopoulos’ remark is unsettling similar to Trump’s recent statement at a rally in South Carolina this week, in which he reiterated his old claims about the media being the “enemy of the people.”
— The Hill (@thehill) June 28, 2018
While the Capital Gazette says that the shooter was motivated by a personal feud which dates back to 2012, the confluence of these events is deeply upsetting for many who believe that the media is being so maligned by Trump supporters that reporters are now in physical jeopardy.
Yiannopoulos took to Facebook on Thursday to walk back his claims, telling everyone that he was simply joking.
“You’re about to see a raft of news stories claiming that I am responsible for inspiring the deaths of journalists,” he writes. “The truth, as always, is the opposite of what the media tells you.”
“I sent a troll about ‘vigilante death squads’ as a *private* response to a few hostile journalists who were asking me for comment, basically as a way of saying, ‘F**k off.’ They then published it,” Milo claims. “Amazed they were pretending to take my joke as a ‘threat,’ I reposted these stories on Instagram to mock them — and to make it clear that I wasn’t being serious.”
Unsurprisingly, the public was less-than-receptive to this cowardly deflection of blame. After all, wishing for executions of journalists when gun violence in this country is already out of control doesn’t sound like “a troll” — it sounds like a call to action.
While Trump has thus far avoided speaking about the tragedy on camera, it seems quite evident that the president is simply dodging the possibility of trying to reconcile his maligning of the media with his official duty to issue words of condolence during this trying time.
Because, as we’ve learned, neither Trump nor Yiannopoulos can work up the gall to take responsibility for their words.