WASHINGTON, DC – Alpha News was on hand at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held Feb. 22-25 at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Washington, DC. One controversy at CPAC revolved around conservative personality and former Breitbart Senior Tech Editor, Milo Yiannopoulos. The week prior to the event, Yiannopoulos was invited as a keynote speaker at the conference, but was disinvited just a few days later after videos emerged where he appeared to defend pedophilia. Yiannopoulos apologized for the comments and resigned from Breitbart.
Fox News Reporter Jesse Watters interviewed CPAC attendees about CPAC’s decision to disinvite Yiannopoulos to speak at the event. Among those he interviewed, some expressed vehement relief that Milo was not there. Others expressed support for him, but also agreed with the decision.
However, there was a contingent of people who were openly upset by CPAC’s treatment of Yiannopoulos. Mike Cernovich, lawyer, author, free speech activist, and documentary filmmaker, was one of those upset that CPAC rescinded Yiannopoulos’ invitation to speak. Cernovich is affiliated with the “New Right Conservative” movement, which, as he recently told NYMagazine, should not be confused with the neo-Nazi lead “Alt-Right” movement.
“I’m new right — it’s different.” He sees himself in this group, he said, with Alex Jones, the conspiracy-theorist radio host and founder of Infowars; Paul Joseph Watson, the Infowars editor; Tucker Carlson, the Fox News host, a choice that might surprise some; and Yiannopoulos, whom he continues to believe in despite his recent controversy. “He was almost in the majors,” he said of Yiannopoulos, “but he’ll be back in a year.”
These were not, he was careful to clarify, members of the alt-right. That group, he complained, only had his initial support due to a misunderstanding. “I didn’t realize it was, like, a white, ethno-nationalist thing,” he said. “They lost it with the Nazi salute.” (New York Magazine)
Cernovich, along with Michael Flynn, Jr. and the group, MAGA3X (organizers of the Inaugural event, “The DeploraBall”), organized and hosted the Bull Moose Party, at Shelly’s Back Room – a cigar bar in downtown DC – on Friday Feb. 24. The party was limited to 250 people, with the location held secret until the afternoon of the event. Those wishing to attend the party submitted applications to the organizers who then sent approved attendees the Eventbrite invitation.
— Mike Cernovich 🇺🇸 (@Cernovich) February 25, 2017
Many of those in attendance were Trump-supporting Millennials with strong social media presences. Also attending were people aspiring to political office or were elected officials. A notable attendee was James O’Keefe of Project Veritas – the media site that released the videos showing DNC-Clinton collusion behind the violent protests at Trump rallies during the 2016 campaign.
— Stephen Darlow (@StevenDarlow) February 25, 2017
Alpha News was at the the Bull Moose party when Cernovich asked the crowd, “Did anyone watch Milo’s speech today at CPAC? Why wasn’t Milo speaking at CPAC today? He got shut up because CPAC believes the media over us. So are we on Milo’s side or are we on the side of fake news?” Cernovich continued, “We have to send the message that we don’t care about Paul Ryan, CPAC, all these people – we don’t care what they say, we’re doing our own thing, we’re doing our own movement.”
The enthusiastic response to Cervonich’s statements reaffirms the disappointment felt by some CPAC attendees with the organization’s decision to cancel Yiannopoulos’s speech.
As Alpha News has reported, Yiannopoulos is controversial, attracting protesters at all of his events. A year ago, he spoke at an event at the U of M where protesters and members of the group Students for a Democratic Society attempted to shut the event down, but were unsuccessful. At another Yiannopoulos event at Berkeley in California, the protesters turned violent and did succeed causing the event’s last-minute cancellation.