The Milo Yiannopoulos-organized, mysteriously funded, very possibly still-to-be-cancelled "Free Speech Week" at Berkeley, which is set to begin a week from Sunday, has quite a roster of controversial names on its full schedule of speakers. Yiannopoulos put out the full schedule in a press release Thursday because, he said, the reaction to his earlier announcement about the inclusion of Steve Bannon had been "so huge," as the Daily Californian reports. Among those allegedly scheduled to appear, in addition to Milo himself and his biggest female role model Ann Coulter, are recently fired Google engineer turned conservative hero James Damore, anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller, and noted conspiracy theorist and alt-right radio host Mike Cernovich.
There's also former-Pussycat Doll-turned-Trump-supporter Kaya Jones, and a veritable who's-who (I guess?) of alt-right and conservative mouthpieces.
Who's paying for all this? Certainly not the tiny student group called the Berkeley Patriot, who's the ostensible sponsor. And the Daily Cal notes that none of the "key deadlines" in terms of venue rentals and security have been met for this event at the university level, which calls to question whether this isn't just a red herring to elicit a cancelation from the university that the right-wing media can then seize on the headline "UC Berkeley Cancels Free Speech Week" being the easiest irony imaginable for all those who have been crowing about "censorship" and political correctness at liberal institutions.
Is Milo paying for this with some of the $12 million he claimed to the LA Times had been given to him by some mysterious "investors" so he could establish "Milo Inc."? Hard to say!
Because I don't spend my time trolling the alt-right web or its Twitter and Reddit dens, I don't recognize most of these names but I get the obviously facetious themes Yiannopoulos has chosen for each day's program, which include "Zuck 2020" (a reference to Mark Zuckerberg's rumored eyeing of a presidential bid, though it's unclear how that will unite the speeches of five people including James Damore), and "Islamic Peace and Tolerance Day." The last day, "Mario Savio Is Dead," references one of the leaders of the Free Speech Movement at Berkeley in the 1960s.
You can almost hear Yiannopoulos's grating, giddy laughter as he came up with these.
It should also be noted that Yiannopoulos has himself on the schedule on three of the four days. Could he actually have that much to say?
Sept. 24: “Feminism Awareness Day”
Sept. 25: “Zuck 2020”
Heather Mac Donald
Professor Jordan Peterson
Sept. 26: “Islamic Peace and Tolerance Day”
Sept. 27: “Mario Savio is Dead”
We'll be hearing all about this, as the details get hammered out, or as it gets canceled, next week.