Conservative superstar Milo Yiannopoulos has announced over Instagram that he is suing the New York Observer for libel. The Observer ran a headline based on his response to a media request where he joked about “vigilante squads gunning down journalists” that made it seem as though he was encouraging violence, specifically causing Thursday’s shooting in Maryland that left five dead.
Milo spoke exclusively to Big League Politics explaining his reasoning for the lawsuit.
“The New York Observer and its reporter Davis Richardson knowingly and maliciously cooked up a hysterical frenzy, presenting a dumb private remark as a ‘threat’ or ‘incitement,'” Milo stated. “The only people making a fuss about hurting journalists this week were other journalists, and they did so knowing they were spreading dangerous falsehoods. The Observer and their reporter are directly responsible for the 250,000 tweets today accusing me of complicity in the deaths of five people, and they are going to pay for their malicious libel.”
Milo sent the message to Daily Beast reporter Will Sommer, who was requesting comment on a story relating to him joining the U.K. Independence Party (UKIP). The message was clearly sent as a joke, which from Milo isn’t a stranger to. Despite this, the article was run making it seem as though he was making a call to violence.
Sommer is well known for attacking conservatives, and runs a weekly newsletter which does just that on a regular basis. Milo not taking his request seriously shouldn’t have been much of a surprise, and his response could have been easily ignored, or at least reported in context.
After reports of the shooting in Maryland, which was targeted at the Capital Gazette, thousands of Tweets referencing the Observer’s article came out blaming Milo for the shooting. As it turns out, the shooting was not motivated by Milo, or any political figure, but rather a lawsuit the shooter lost in 2015 against the paper.
In his Instagram post showing a text message to the reporter who covered his story, Milo states that he is spending money he was initially going to spend to sue publisher Simon & Schuster, who dropped a settled book deal with him a year ago. Milo appears to pledge to spend $3 million on the lawsuit.
Big League Politics will keep you updated on this ongoing story.
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