On Thursday’s episode of FNC's 'Tucker Carlson Tonight,' Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos discussed the violent protests that greeted him at Berkeley on Wednesday night.
CARLSON: So, here's the reason I want to talk to I want to talk to you, not to endorse your views, many of which I agree with, some of which I don't. But the point is, you tried to express your views and were prevented by a violent mob. So, if you were an anarchist or a scientologist or activist, it wouldn't matter. You were not allowed to exercise your First Amendment rights and that is shocking. Give us first a quick recap of what happened last night to you.
YIANNOPOULOS: Well, I think I agree with you in the first place. I mean, I'm not any of these things of these posters characterize me as an effort to legitimize the violence. But even if I were, it wouldn't matter, as you say.
YIANNOPOULOS: So, I went in to do my talk, we go in a couple of hours ago to set up our attack and for me to, you know, put in a costume or something (INAUDIBLE). I was going to go -- well, I was going to talk about cultural appropriation in a full Native American headdress, in a full custom headdress with my name embroidered on it. I was so mad that I didn't get to wear that. Anyway, we wanted an hour or so beforehand, we were planning it, and suddenly, there were these explosions outside.
There were firecrackers and rocks being thrown to the building. The police were having things hurled at them. And then, I was evacuated to the fifth floor by the fire escape, all very exciting. And then, suddenly, you know, I was being taken out of the building, I was informed that I was being evacuated because there were hundreds of protesters outside, blowing things up, holding things of the police. The police didn't seem to be doing very much besides from hiding inside the building. The ground floor had been stormed.
So, we had to rush down to the parking lot, find one car, the exit was blocked. So, we ran into another car, we finally got in one. And I was, you know, bundled in, put in a bulletproof vest and whisked away. And that is the price you pay for being a libertarian or conservative when American close campuses.
CARLSON: So, what is so striking, no doubt the average police officer does not sympathize with a mob like that. I just had no doubt about it.
CARLSON: But the truth is, they did not come to your defense in a meaningful way. The video proves it here. Why?
YIANNOPOULOS: Well, we don't know or absolutely sure. One thing I can tell you is that the mayor of Berkeley, who was sort of gleefully egging the stuff on yesterday, who, today had to apologize for the usual leftist name-calling of me today --
CARLSON: What did he say about you?
YIANNOPOULOS: The usual slurs, you know, this White supremacist speaker, I mean, anyone who has spent five seconds in my company, or two seconds in my bedroom knows that I am not a white supremacist. But you know, these usual slurs, in a sort of effort to legitimize violence against you. I don't want to -- the worst possible name. It is like, you know, the punch a Nazi thing. Right? Well, I can imagine a reasonable person being taken some way along the argument that is okay to punch Nazis. But the problem is, the left cause everyone Nazis. So, basically they can punch any --
CARLSON: Isn't it Nazis who do the punching? Isn't it what separate Nazis from the rest of us? They don't tolerate dissent but civilized people do?
YIANNOPOULOS: You would think so. I mean, when my book was announced of course, there were people saying, they were going to burn it while calling me the fascist. I mean, this is the sort of irony that progressive left doesn't seem to appreciate. But the real problem is this name calling because, you know, as grateful as I am to be on your show, I like the attention, the real people that I want to hear from are, you know, the guys who are on CNN, who are legitimizing ordinary conservatives being called White supremacists, anti-Semites, racist, sexist, when they are not. There is inevitable, obvious consequence.
CARLSON: Well, you know, obviously, I have an interest in this because I don't anymore work at that network. So, I don't even want to affirm what you just said. But I have to because it is true. Now, here is a tweet that they sent out and I'm quoting.
CARLSON: This is from a CNN twitter feed. "Extremists Milo Yiannopoulos, whose Berkeley event sparks protest takes on the college establishment and rallies white supremacist." That is from the CNN twitter feed. Is any of that true?
YIANNOPOULOS: No. It is beggars' belief. I mean, it is just beggars' belief.
CARLSON: But the subject is, you deserve it.
YIANNOPOULOS: Yes, it is. Yes, it is. And these people must be held to account. You know, the media has created this environment that is okay to say almost anything about somebody who is, you know, right of Jane Fonda. You know, if you are slightly conservative or even libertarian points of view, especially if you are persuasive and charismatic and funny and effective like we both are, you will get called the most appalling things. And it's a way of legitimizing, in some cases, as happened last night, violent responses.
CARLSON: But what I find so striking about this, is that it should not be a left right debate. Because all Americans, as their birthright, have the right, and try to the bill of rights, to say what they think is true. Period. And yet, I checked extensively, sorted our staff, to find liberals defending you, I found one.
Peter Beinart at "The Atlantic," who is a sincere and principled liberal, defended you.
CARLSON: The rest did not. And some, in fact, seem to endorse the violence against you, that squelch as your speech.
YIANNOPOULOS: Well, they're in a -- because if you come out against it and you condemn it, you are sort of thing there is something wrong with your own side. You are saying that something you have done has created an environment in which is okay to physically attack the guests. I mean, you know, let's be completely clear. This is an attempt to paint what happened last night as the destruction of property and as sort of, you know, as protest. It wasn't. It was violent rioting in which people were physically assaulted.
People were bleeding, people were beaten. You know, all sorts of things happen. People who just showed up, not all of whom who were fans of mine, but just wanted to come and just listen to what I had to say. You know, and those people were attacked, physically attacked. Right. This is political violence in response to perfectly mainstream opinions. And what CNN and other networks like that want to do is to suggest that there is something otherworldly or sinister or nefarious about me to legitimize the bad behavior on their own side.
CARLSON: But even if there is something otherworldly or sinister or nefarious about you, you still have a right, an absolute right to despise your political views, do you not?
YIANNOPOULOS: Sure. Sure.
CARLSON: I mean, at what point --
YIANNOPOULOS: It is particularly ridiculous, when you know, I don't say, as even the New York magazine admitted today, anything that is outside of the mainstream, let's say, any typical Trump voter, I don't have opinions that, you know, millions of Americans don't share. You know, I just happen to say them on a slightly more provocative and interesting way in a slightly larger platform.
CARLSON: So, just to give you -- this is "The New York Times" headline over the story about what happened last night, this is today. "Berkeley cancels Milo Yiannopoulos speech and Donald Trump tweets outrage." No mention of the fact that you were shot down by a mob. And this is the first line. "A speech by the divisive right-wing writer Milo Yiannopoulos."
YIANNOPOULOS: They are trying to insinuate, I mean, Bloomberg did the same thing. They said, Milo Yiannopoulos sparks riots. Hang on a second to now. What are they trying --
CARLSON: So, where is this heading exactly?
YIANNOPOULOS: Well, I feel actually more optimistic about this and probably most conservatives because, you know, I have been on more college campuses than anybody else in America for the last 12 months as part of my tour. And I have seen a change in atmosphere. I've seen conservatives becoming more emboldened and happier. I have seen also huge numbers of alumni changing their positions on whether or not they're going to support their old schools. I mean, Missouri, when they kind of pander to raise baiter, they discovered they lost, you know, 30, $40 million on donations. Enrollment went down so much they had to close two dorms. You know this.
YIANNOPOULOS: This is going to start happening all over America. And my view is, you know, the American higher education market, and it is a market, is going to fix this. Because schools are going to have to pick. Either they go the direction of the University of Chicago and they say, you know, what, don't apply here if you want safe spaces and trigger warnings. This is a place you'd come to be a challenge. This is a place you'd come to expose yourself to people you think that you are going to hate. And see if it changes your point of view. Or they're going to go to the direction of the University of Missouri. And only one type of those institutions is going to be a financially viable in the long term.
CARLSON: So, I'm sure we will get mail saying, you know, Milo is not a serious person, he's a provocateur which I would say, I would care less. He's got a point of view and has a right to express. But I am interested in your response to that criticism because you hear a lot that you are not actually making an argument, that you're intentionally trying to provoke the kind of response we saw last night.
YIANNOPOULOS: Well, my responses is, "so what, who cares." I'm an entertainer, I'm a performer, people like, you know -- one of the things that authoritarians hate, one of the things (INAUDIBLE) hate is the sound of laughter. Because they can't control it. They can't control what you find funny. That is one of the reasons to laugh, is always trying to dictate what humor is acceptable. You know, you can't tell that joke because that is sexist. You can't tell a joke because that is racist. Well, they do that because laughter, you can't control. And trying to sort of hammer that down, I'm the worst example for them of somebody who is persuasive and interesting and funny.
Every one of my shows is sold out. Every single time I do, people would say, I have never thought of that. You've really converted me. So, that makes me dangerous. Dangerous because my audience is so young, so big, so strong. I am a person probably that annoys them more than anybody except Donald Trump because I'm a sexist. And that scares them.
CARLSON: Who, by the way, tweeted about you I think at three in the morning yesterday. To say "this is appalling" and to threaten pulling federal funding from the University of California system, to which the Lieutenant Governor by the way of California did not attack Gavin Newsom, did not attack the mob, it set vehicles on fire, and tried to injure you and did injure a bunch of other people, but attacked Trump for threatening the funding.
YIANNOPOULOS: Well, you know, this seems to be a fairly obvious consequence. If you don't uphold your legal responsibility to, you know, to enforce the First Amendment, you know, to provide speakers with platforms and audiences with safe, you know, the ability to listen to speakers of all different kinds, agnostic ideology, as you are saying earlier, if you don't do that as a university, you are not performing your essential function.
You know, Berkeley gets $317 million a year. It is one of the biggest research universities. It is one of the highest ranked research universities.
YIANNOPOULOS: But it is turning out graduates who don't do very much because only 47 percent of the graduates going to fall time employment when they leave. It seems to me that a lot of that federal money could be re- purpose very effectively if Berkeley refuses to honor its First Amendment commitments.
CARLSON: For HBEC (ph) repair training, I would say. So, I want to get your book. You are traveling the country because you are selling a book.
YIANNOPOULOS: Well, I just started, I think I'm about to switch into the book to her. So, Berkeley was supposed to be the last grand finale, my wonderful costume finale, was supposed to be the grand finale. I am now focused -- I am now focused on the book of course, which is rocketed to number one of the Amazon bestsellers.
CARLSON: So, it's a Simon & Schuster book and they took a lot of criticism for giving you an advanced on the book, and for publishing it in the first place. And part of their response was to pledge that the book would not contain what is called "hate speech."
CARLSON: What is hate speech?
YIANNOPOULOS: I don't know. I have no idea. And I don't think anybody else knows, either. I mean, it seems to be speech that somebody doesn't like somewhere. A joke that is wrong, some, you know, thing that someone, that if in someone's sensibilities or hurt feelings or politics or something. Certainly, the Supreme Court doesn't recognize it as a kind of speech that should be, you know, treated with any special reference or whatever. Hate speech it seems to be is been defined by the political left as anything we don't like, anything that violates social justice doctrines, feminism, Black Lives Matter kind of ideology. It is not something that I have ever heard particularly effectively defined.
CARLSON: I have literally no idea what it is.
YIANNOPOULOS: I have no idea what it is.
CARLSON: But because your publisher, Simon & Schuster, has pledged to keep it out of your book, did an editor say to you, here is what we define hate speech and here's what we're going to be striking from your manager?
YIANNOPOULOS: I'm getting in so much trouble. I don't know what they mean by that. Look, all I can tell you, this book actually is going to be a lot more serious than people probably anticipate from me. I have my college tour to lob bombs, to be outrageous, whatever. This book is actually pretty meaty, pretty substantial. To demonstrates a lot of reading, a lot of consideration of the issues. This book is already going to be one of the big books of 2017. It is going to be one of those big, sort of signature, cultural moments for particular millennial generation that suddenly woke up and decided that being Republican was cool, as was a libertarian, you know, punk alternative choice.
I'm one of the people they look up to, you know, as a whatever, cultural figure. This book actually is a much more serious than people imagine. So, if you are a feminist, Black Lives Matter activist who is looking to be offended by this book, you might be disappointed. And if you are somebody who is going and just thinking, oh, this is going to be a load of, you know, jokes about his black boyfriends and, you know, and name calling and fat jokes, you might also be disappointed. This is a pretty substantial book. It's a book that sets out where I believe America went wrong in terms of respecting the First Amendment, the state of free speech on American college campuses and on the media and in academia. And everywhere else in American --
CARLSON: We talked about this last night briefly. But you are obviously an immigrant to this country from the UK.
YIANNOPOULOS: On a visa technically.
CARLSON: On a visa technically. Presumably, you came here with the assumption that this was a place where you could express your beliefs, even if not everyone agreed with those.
YIANNOPOULOS: Yes, it's horrifying.
CARLSON: How has it lived up to the billing?
YIANNOPOULOS: It was horrifying. Honestly, I don't mean to be theatrical -- but it was horrifying to come here, you know, land of the free, home of the brave, blah, blah, blah, you know, and for me, to be a journalist here, you know, imagine, the fourth state in America, you could have say, do, be, anything. Right? That's what you would think coming from Europe. We really don't have free speech protections. I mean, if it exists, there are rules about it. If it exists, it is regulated in Europe, you know?
In Europe, you can get arrested for being misogynist, arrested for being offensive. You know, these are actual offenses. These are things that police can come and take you away for in Europe. Americans have to understand how bad it is in Europe. In America, I always imagined that this was a country where we could be, do and say, anything. And when I discovered, not just in journalism, but also in entertainment industry, and particularly, and most importantly in academia, which is where I kind of try to pop my tanks on the lawn and really take the fight to the left, which is why they hate me so much, because conservatives there are so spineless all the time. I take the fight to them. On American college campuses, I have experienced, you know, restrictions on the freedom of speech, groupthink, and penalties, social and institutional penalties.
CARLSON: Yes. And financial penalties.
YIANNOPOULOS: And financial penalties. For free expression like nothing I ever experience.
CARLSON: So, real quick, we are almost out of time but we have guardians of the First Amendment, the official ones, the ACLU is the leading one historically. We try to get anti-American ahead of it on tonight to talk about this.
CARLSON: He is refused to come on. He also, by the way, the human rights campaign to come on and talk about this too. But is anybody from the ACLU or Pan-American or any people who claimed to represent the First Amendment called you to say, we are going to help?
YIANNOPOULOS: No. Of course not. No. Of course not. Because these organizations have been, you know, have almost completely given themselves over to a particular view of free speech that is hugely restricted. In which circumscribes, you know, which cuts out mainstream, ordinary conservative opinion. There's a reason, there is a sort of parallel conservative media in this country, there is a reason why this extraordinary bifurcation between liberals and conservatives in this country, it is because the establishment, the media, academic, and entertainment establishment has made a certain sorts of political opinion, respectable, reasonable, mainstream opinion impossible to express in public.
CARLSON: The definition of corruption. Unfortunately. Milo, thanks a lot. That was interesting. Good to see you.