Milo Yiannopoulos (hereafter Milo) is a somewhat famous e-celebrity and social media pundit. He is perhaps best known for his role in the GamerGate controversy. Milo is currently giving speeches at various university events in the United States; an activity that he has dubbed the ‘Dangerous Faggot’ tour.
He also happens to be jewish. (1)
Despite his self-portrayal as a ‘crusader’ for justice; Milo is a consummate showman and shock jock not a true believer in any ideology of the moment that he claims to espouse. (2) As part of his ongoing ‘Dangerous Faggot’ tour he has even sung the American national anthem dressed like a transvestite, which gives you some idea of Milo’s general modus operandi and intellectual vacuousness. (3)
One of the tools that Milo used to trigger (i.e. get a rise out of) the political left was to claim in January 2016 that he was going to set up a college fund exclusively to support White men. As he himself admits: this wasn’t because he believed in the necessity of combating rampant anti-White discrimination and bias at colleges, but simply to trigger the political left. (4)
However it quickly became apparent to Milo that such a scheme could actually attract a significant amount of funding. The plan for the ‘Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant’ swiftly began to take shape after Milo managed to successfully solicit donations from ‘very famous rappers, novelists, politicians’ who are quietly ‘friends of his’. (5)
This is plausible I suppose, but it does make one wonder: just who are these people and given that their donations of presumably significant sums of money (something between $100,000 and $350,000 has been collected or pledged) (5) would necessarily make their support of Milo public.
Soon after the announcement of its creation Milo even ran a live-streamed fundraising event for the ‘Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant’, which also contributed significantly to the aforementioned donation and pledge figure. (6) The first fifty bursaries of $2,500 each were to be distributed in early summer 2016 in time for students returning to, or preparing to attend, college.
Summer came and went, but yet there was no announcement that the applications process for the promised bursaries was open, no one knew where the money was and there was (and is still as I write this) no properly constituted charitable legal entity behind the‘Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant’. (7)
The problem here is obvious: Milo has raised a lot of money for a specific charitable purpose and has signally failed to even arrange for basic administration to be done.
Naturally many of the e-celebrities and donors who took part in/contributed to this funding, such as transsexual vlogger Blaire White, are incredibly upset at this sorry state of affairs and have been demanding an explanation from Milo via their social media accounts. (8)
Being conscious that the extremely damaging controversy surrounding the non-activity and broken promises of the ‘Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant’. Milo has taken to his own show to ‘explain’ the situation to his fans and donors. (9)
Predictably our boy is trying to explain away his personal and professional failings as being due to overwork and having a hectic e-celebrity schedule. This is, of course, nonsense because the only ‘overwork’ Milo is undertaking at present is scooting around the United States giving short presentations to groups of students plus performing his usual journalistic activities. If Milo was unable to do the requisite work to make this happen then it was up to him to make sure that someone else did.
In other words: he should have delegated.
Since, as the Advocate has pointed out, his failure to properly set up the ‘Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant’ may well itself be a legal issue. Since Milo represented the ‘Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant’ as charity before it had even applied with the IRS to be one, which is tantamount to fraud. (10)
Milo himself has implicitly recognised this fact when he admitted that he might have ‘wound up’ the ‘wrong people’ on this occasion. (11) The ‘wrong people’ are lawyers and his erstwhile supporters like Blaire White.
What Milo skips over in all of this is the inconvenient fact that Margaret MacLennan, the (former) administrator of the ‘Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant’ and an e-celebrity in her own right, has revealed and provided evidence that all the money was wired to Milo’s personal account not one set up specifically for the ‘Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant’. (12)
MacLennan also stated that her role was to ‘develop the application and reward process’, which is incredibly vague but also necessarily suggests that Milo is personally responsible for, and has direct control of, the financial affairs of the ‘Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant’.
Milo has yet to release a financial statement or any evidence that the donated funds are still intact and separated from his own personal finances as per normal accounting and legal practice. That this is the situation is quite frankly alarming and suggests that in spite of Milo’s assurances: the donated money may well not be intact and separate from his own personal finances.
That this could well be the case is also suggested by the fact that Milo originally claimed that he would pay all administrative and operating expenses out of his own pocket (including MacLennan’s salary), but this never materialised. (13)
MacLennan has also disclosed that she was recently offered $500 by an intermediary for Milo for ‘services rendered’, which she refused on the grounds that she could not verify if this money offered was coming from Milo’s actual savings or the donations to the‘Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant’ that are sitting in his personal bank account. (14)
The fact that it has taken six months for Milo to offer MacLennan any compensation – however paltry – for her work for the‘Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant’ and then only after the media had begun closely scrutinising Milo’s financial affairs. All rather goes to suggest that this monetary offer isn’t so much compensation for services rendered, but rather a rather ham-fisted attempt to get MacLennan to accept hush money.
MacLennan is after all a major source of leaks in regards to the media about the ‘Yiannopoulous Privilege Grant’s’ financial affairs. So much so that Milo has turned nastily on MacLennan and labelled her as ‘incompetent’ in a recent exchange with journalists on this issue. (15)
Interestingly faced with his own lack of financial transparency Milo immediately claimed that he would disburse the funds in the spring of 2017. However with the announcement that the ‘Yiannopoulous Privilege Grant’ is now accepting applications on 31st January 2017; (16) another curious inconsistency has come to light.
This is that the grants of $2,500 will only be to ten applicants (17) not the original fifty. (18) That is a disbursement of only $25,000, which is only a quarter of the minimum that amount Milo is believed to have received in donations ($100,000) while a merely fourteenth of the maximum amount he is quoted as having received ($350,000).
This seems odd precisely because if sufficient funds have already been collected – as we know they have – then there is no reason not to rectify the failure to meet the previous deadline of the 2016/2017 academic year by fully disbursing in the spring of 2017.
After all: if you have the money and have made a promise then you should keep to that.
Why would Milo not do this?
Obviously we don’t know precisely why, but the likeliest reason not to fully disburse the funds in the 2016/2017 academic year is if the donated funds – that remember were transferred to Milo’s personal bank account – are not intact and separate from Milo’s own personal funds (i.e. he has been using them to fund or pay for something unrelated to the ‘Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant’).
Therefore Milo needs time in order to find a way to recover that money or acquire more funds in order to cover the funding gap. It is worth remembering that as far as any source on this aware: there is no evidence that Milo has declared how much money he got from the donations. All we know is that he claims to have got something in the region of £350,000 in donations and pledges.
Since this money is in Milo’s personal account and, as far as we know, not kept separately from his personal savings; it therefore follows that Milo has had both access and the ability to use the money in whatever way he sees fit as there is no direct financial oversight of his dealings as it stands.
The simple fact is that we don’t know what Milo has done with the money other than that:
A) The capital is, as far as we know, in his personal account.
B) He has had the capital in his personal account for around a year (February/March 2016 to February 2017) and thus has financially benefited from having this capital in his account (in terms of interest etc).
C) There is no financial transparency about where the capital is or how much is there.
D) He is only apparently planning to disburse a quarter to a fourteenth of the total amount raised.
Now call me suspicious but that doesn’t sound like an honest mistake and it certainly isn’t anything remotely like good practice. In fact it rather sounds like Milo is attempting to buy time so he can do and/or rectify something.
What else is there to rectify in this situation but a financial irregularity?
There isn’t; well at least nothing that anyone not privy to the inner workings of Milo’s mind is aware of anyway.
Now add to this that it just so happens that Milo has appointed Colin Madine, one of his own subordinates at Breitbart News, (19) to lead the ‘administration’ of the ‘Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant’ scheme. (20)
That this is a direct conflict of interest is obvious and an especially reprehensible one in an ostensibly charitable organisation, but it is a useful situation if you are trying to cover something up.
Since Madine is obviously beholden to Milo, because the latter can exact retribution against Madine’s career and employment status at Breitbart if Madine squeals to outsiders about the controversial financial affairs as MacLennan had previously done. Creating this conflict of interest and thus enabling a form of blackmail allows Milo to control the flow of information a lot better than just employing skilled people who aren’t completely beholden to him for their livelihoods and future career prospects.
Further Milo has previous form for financial and legal misconduct. For example: he failed to register his company Sentinel Media under the Data Protection Act in 2011 in Britain. (21)
Indeed he used precisely the same excuse regarding this infringement of the law (i.e. my lawyers are sorting it out) as he has with his failure to create a properly constituted legal charity to form the financial basis of the ‘Yiannopoulos Privilege Grant’.
Milo was convicted by a British court for his part in the Sentinel Media debacle.
What are the chances that this con-man and self-styled prankster is trying the same trick again?
After all: it is only other people’s money… right?
As with MacLennan; Milo also failed to pay Jason Hesse’s – editor of the magazine ‘The Kernal’ owned by Milo’s Sentinel Media – contractually-agreed wages. (22)
Milo also failed to pay agreed royalties to contributors and photographers for the use of their work in this same magazine. (23)
Indeed Milo’s conduct towards his employees and contributors at ‘The Kernal’ was nothing short of atrocious.
To quote the Guardian:
‘Hesse told MediaGuardian: “Milo never paid me a penny for the work I did as editor, nor for the three months of hosting bills I paid for The Kernel, nor for the money I lent to him personally. Why he thinks he can just get away with it is beyond me. I hope that the high court’s order will help him finally understand that it isn’t his choice to decide whether or not he wants to pay me; it’s the law.”
Two other former writers, Margot Huysman and Mic Wright, say they are still waiting for a balance of about £4,000 each to be paid. Yiannopoulos paid each of them about £1,000 at the end of October and, they say, promised further payments each month – but those were not forthcoming. When Huysman complained of the non-payment on Twitter, he sent her emails saying “You’ve already made yourself permanently unemployable in London with your hysterical, brainless tweeting, by behaving like a common prostitute and after starting a war with me, as perhaps you are now discovering” and implying he had a salacious picture of her from a party that he would publish if she persisted in complaining.’ (24)
Clearly this sort of behaviour is not acceptable, but it does strongly suggest that Milo is an extremely bitter and twisted individual with severe psychological issues under all that superficial glibness.
It also indicates that Madine isn’t likely to wish to cross his boss and explains why Milo failed to honour the financial promises he made to MacLennan only to then offer her hush money and call her ‘incompetent’ when the media began scrutinising his dubious financial affairs.
This is the real Milo Yiannopoulos: a deceitful, bitter and twisted jewish man who fails to honour his promises, fails to pay and then tries to blackmail his employees. In addition to hiding some $100,000 to £350,000 of other people’s charitable donations in his own personal bank account, which he suddenly has no wish to disburse quite as quickly as when it wasn’t falsely inflating his own financial position.
The question you have to ask yourself about Milo is simply this: is everybody else who has worked with and been burned by him wrong or is the real Milo the tantrum-prone egotistical monster that they describe?
For more from Dr. Karl Radl, go to semiticcontroversies.blogspot.com
(1) http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-news-and-politics/203888/donald-trumps-little-boy; http://forward.com/fast-forward/361705/watch-milo-yiannopoulos-says-hes-a-jew-not-a-nazi/
(5) http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/08/19/breitbart-editor-milo-yiannopoulos-takes-100-000-for-charity-gives-0.html; http://www.advocate.com/media/2016/8/22/gay-conservative-milo-yiannopoulos-faces-scrutiny-white-mens-scholarship-fund
(6) Cf. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFGyZsOM-aY
(7) http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/08/19/breitbart-editor-milo-yiannopoulos-takes-100-000-for-charity-gives-0.html; http://www.advocate.com/media/2016/8/22/gay-conservative-milo-yiannopoulos-faces-scrutiny-white-mens-scholarship-fund
(8) http://imgur.com/a/q6DpV; https://www.theguardian.com/technology/news-blog/2016/aug/19/milo-yiannopoulos-denies-spending-privilege-fund
(12) Ibid; http://imgur.com/a/9w05X
(15) This is the necessary implication of his comments quoted in: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/news-blog/2016/aug/19/milo-yiannopoulos-denies-spending-privilege-fund
(16) https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/2765918/milo-yiannopoulos-privilege-grant-scheme-opens-applications-to-help-white-men-get-degree/; https://privilegegrant.com/01/1465