Remember that VH1 pop-culture show “Best Week Ever”? Well, we know one person who is not currently having the Best Week Ever … and it’s Milo Yiannopoulos. The now-former Breitbart News editor ended up resigning from his post and losing his book deal after some comments were made to light from a past podcast interview, ones that were viewed as incendiary and in defense of pedophilia.
What’s most interesting about Yiannopoulos’ quick downfall is that much of it arguably stemmed from two events: A protest at UC Berkeley that quickly became violent and destructive (which led to his speaking appearance being canceled), and then an interview on last week’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” The host was specifically criticized for his decision to allow Milo on the program, but in a follow-up interview with the New York Times, Maher credits the appearance for part of his ultimate downfall:
“I said, specifically, sunlight is the best disinfectant. Then we had Milo on, despite the fact that many people said, ‘Oh, how dare you give a platform to this man.’ What I think people saw was an emotionally needy Ann Coulter wannabe, trying to make a buck off of the left’s propensity for outrage.
“And by the end of the weekend, by dinnertime Monday, he’s dropped as a speaker at CPAC. Then he’s dropped by Breitbart, and his book deal falls through. As I say, sunlight is the best disinfectant. You’re welcome.”
The logic presented here by Maher is an interesting one: Expose controversial people to a wider audience, and then hope that they eventually unravel themselves as a result. In this case, the strategy worked. The risk that you do run when you go in this direction is that you could eventually put yourself in a position where someone buys into what this person is saying and they develop a larger following. There are cases to be made on both sides.
Given that what happened to Milo in the end did happen, the question that we’ve got for you is rather simple: Do you think that Maher should continue to have guests this controversial on the show, or do you think this was a rare situation where someone unraveled so quickly? Is the risk worth taking? Share in the comments below. (Photo: HBO.)