by Alex Bennett
It’s rather telling that in the Facebook post he used for image repair as a result of backlash against his apparent condoning of pedophilia, Yiannopoulos titled the post “A note for idiots.”
This seems to imply that anyone who disagrees with him, or reasonably interprets his words as a result of how they’re presented by the media, can’t possibly be reasonable or rational or intelligent people in Yiannopoulos’s eyes. Clearly, according to him, you’re either in full agreement with everything he says and willing to defend him against anything, or an idiot who isn’t worth his time.
And this is really just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to studying Yiannopoulos.
First off – the usage of denial. Yiannopoulos denies that he supports pedophilia, even though what he said really did imply that he doesn’t think it’s that big of a deal. He also tries to shift the blame rather quickly to “the media” for apparently taking what he said out of context or manipulating it through clever editing.
He also tried bolstering, when he talked about how through his journalism he outed three separate pedophiles. He used minimization, arguing that what he was talking about wasn’t really as bad as people were saying, and that when he said “boy” he didn’t mean a child, but instead a consenting adult over the UK age of consent of 16. Supposedly, when homosexual men talk about “boys” that’s just what it means.
Yiannopoulos also attacks the accusers. In one response to a comment, Yiannopoulos said “Sad to see conservative media go the same way as CNN and all the rest. This is why no one trusts them any more and they don’t have any readers.”
These tactics are similar to those used by Donald Trump, who denounces essentially every major news source as a source of “fake news.”
However, notably absent from his posts are any kind of actual mortification. If he talked about remorse, it was remorse over the way his words were interpreted or the way footage was edited. He did not express remorse over saying what he did, trying to argue that everything was just a misunderstanding. He did not accept responsibility for what he said, he did not sincerely apologize, and he did not ask for forgiveness.
And yet the audience response was still fairly positive among his Facebook followers.
There were many negative comments, but the fact that there were some comments which still supported Yiannopoulos despite his words and actions, and the fact those comments got a large amount of likes, is indicative of how fervent his supporters are regardless of whatever he does to piss people off.
Here’s the video from which Yiannopoulos’s comments were taken.
One thing’s for sure – his image repair tactics could use some work, but apparently his fanbase has some people who really will support him no matter what he says. I’m still not sure why they would support him, though. Perhaps I’ll find out with later research.