Right-wing provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos said he was being sarcastic when he told a reporter that he fantasized about the gunning down of journalists, after a massive social media backlash blamed him for inciting violence ahead of the Capital Gazette newspaper shooting on Thursday.
“I can’t wait for the vigilante squads to start gunning journalists down on sight,” Mr. Yiannopoulos reportedly told the Observer over text message, in response to a question about a story on a New York City restaurant he is said to frequent.
When asked by Observer reporter Davis Richardson to elaborate on the statement, Mr. Yiannopoulos said it was his “standard response to a request for comment.” He also reportedly sent the same message to The Daily Beast’s Will Sommer.
Social media users immediately blamed Mr. Yiannopoulos for inciting violence against journalists after a gunman shot and killed five people and wounded several others Thursday afternoon at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Maryland.
I hope Milo Yiannopoulos is never allowed to step foot in the US again.— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) June 28, 2018
Looks like Milo Yiannopoulos got his fucked up wish. Throw his ass in jail.— Scott Dworkin (@funder) June 28, 2018
In a Facebook post, Mr. Yiannopoulos said his comment was meant as a “troll” of inquiring journalists and that reports he was inciting violence were “wholly false.”
“I regret nothing I said, though of course like any normal person I am saddened to hear of needless death,” he wrote. “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.
“If there turns out to be any dimension to this crime related to my private, misreported remarks, the responsibility for that lies squarely and wholly with the Beast and the Observer for drumming up fake hysteria about a private joke, and with the verified liberals who pretended they thought I was serious,” he continued. “I made a private, offhand troll to two hostile reporters, who breathlessly publicized it and like vermin their fellow journalists swarmed to remind the world how much they hate Milo. If the Left was truly horrified by violence against journalists, they would have shown it in the aftermath of Charlie Hebdo. As you all know, they didn’t.”
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