Milo Yiannopoulos has put his fans through the wringer in the past several days.
On Thursday, you see, the alleged journalist and GamerGate darling didn’t show up for a talk he was scheduled to give at the University of Houston — with no warning or explanation.
When news of this hit Twitter, his fans realized he hadn’t Tweeted anything for a day, highly unusual behavior for the logorrheic Milo. Friends — and his colleagues at Breitbart — reported that he wasn’t responding to messages or picking up his phone.
At this point, some of his fans went into full panic mode. “Where’s Milo” posts sprung up on KotakuInAction, the main GamerGate hub on Reddit, like mushrooms after a rainstorm. While some resorted to the mildly racist and homophobic jokes about big black you-know-whats that Milo and his fans so delight in, others wondered aloud if their dear leader had been captured or otherwise harmed by evil SJWs.
And then, suddenly, he was back, announcing on Twitter that, yes, he was still alive. “If I ever do get assassinated by feminists don’t worry I’ll let you know on Twitter,” he added in a second Tweet.
He offered no explanation, and no apology — not for leaving the organizers of his talk at the University of Houson in the lurch, or for the panic he’d caused amongst his followers.
By Saturday, he had returned to Tweeting normally, as if nothing had happened. He made AIDS jokes; he declared that Muslims should be expelled from the UK; he boasted that his videos on YouTube had gotten 5 million views. He let his 200.000 followers — or at least that portion of them that are real — know about the pledge of one Trump fan who promised to get MAGA — short for “Make America Great Again” — tattooed on his anus if his Tweet was retweeted 500 times. (It was.)
And, without saying a word about what happened in Houston, Milo happily plugged the talk he will soon be giving in Washington DC — that is. if he shows up.
You know who did manage to offer an apology for Milo’s no-show? The College Republicans, who had to improvise when it became clear their speaker had gone missing.
In a post on Facebook, the organizers of the event wrote:
Hello all, we, as a board, would like to sincerely apologize for how the event tonight transpired. We’d also like to thank everyone to for coming out, and ultimately staying, even after it was evident Milo was not showing up. During the evening, we tried our hardest to get in contact with Milo, to no avail. We are all disappointed, and, we’d like you to know, the board shares in your disappointment after working for weeks to try and put on a successful event.
Many of you traveled a long distance to come see Milo speak, and we’d like to earnestly thank you and apologize to you at the same time.
They went on to thank several people who’d stepped up and held an impromptu political debate for those who had decided to stay.
Again, we’d like to thank all of you for coming out to the event, and we apologize for Milo not showing up. We truly hope you will see that we tried our hardest to create a fun evening for all, and will come join us again, soon.
The organizers followed this up with a second apologetic post — and an achingly sincere apology video from the main organizer.
This may be the first time in my life I’ve ever been even slightly impressed with the behavior of College Republicans.
So what happened to Milo? He apparently told the College Republicans — who passed it along on Facebook — that he’d “had a health problem, and was unable to make it.”
Somehow that “health problem” didn’t keep Milo from meeting with other fans.
My favorite foreigner is in Houston for the night pic.twitter.com/mt3lAKyW91
— Austin Fitzpatrick (@AFitzpatrick_) April 17, 2016
— JK (@jk_bacon) April 16, 2016
I’m assuming that Milo is alive in these photos and we don’t have some sort of Weekend at Bernie’s thing going on.
If Milo isn’t literally a corpse being propped up in front of the cameras, it seems a bit weird that his “health problem” didn’t get in the way of hitting the bars, but somehow made it impossible for him to type the words “I’m sorry” on Twitter.
But his fans seem to have forgiven him. I can only wonder what sort of epic sh*tstorm would have rained down on, say, Anita Sarkeesian if she’d missed a speaking engagement without explanation or apology.