Milo Yiannopoulos practically needs no introduction, but let’s try one anyway.

The former tech editor of alt-right publication Breitbart and self-styled ‘internet super-villain’ has made a career out of saying provocative things about women, people of colour, Muslims, transgender people, and pretty much everyone else who isn’t a white, Trump-voting man. He’s used his queer status as a defence shield for all the other vile garbage that falls out of his mouth. He thinks feminism is cancer, was banned from Twitter for leading a harassment campaign against Leslie Jones, and once wrote a piece claiming “women on the [contraceptive] pill don’t look right and don’t talk right.” (He later claimed this was “obvious” satire, but given his general tactic of mixing inflammatory comments with pseudo-intellectualism, that’s stretching the limits of the word ‘obvious’ to the absolute maximum.)

Most recently, he was the subject of a huge BuzzFeed News investigation that revealed how he sought the input of white supremacists for a feature on the alt-right, closely steered by editor (and former Trump advisor) Steve Bannon.

Anyway, this charming individual is heading to Australian shores later this year, and so the Sunrise decided to interview him this morning. Spoiler: it did not go well.

“Do you actually believe in the things you say, or are you just trying to stir the pot?” asked Kochie, following a montage of some of the more outrageous and well-known Yiannopoulos controversies.

“I don’t know why it should be weird that a gay guy would be skeptical or fearful of Islam,” he replied, in a blindingly obvious attempt to shield himself from criticism by invoking the same ‘identity politics’ he so despises. “I don’t see anything strange about a gay person liking the bible and liking the first amendment and liking low taxes.”

He continued: “I don’t find anything odd about me, really. In order to find me peculiar or strange or in order to think that perhaps I’m putting it on, you have to sign up to this idea of identity politics, which suggests that just because somebody is black or gay or a woman then they have to have particularly political or ideological positions. I reject that idea.”

Kochie responded by saying that he didn’t care if Yiannopoulos was gay or not, but called him “a real life Borat that’s just out there to make fun of everyone.”

(For the record: comedians make fun of everyone. What Yiannopoulos does is abuse.)

Co-host Monique Wright then listed some of Yiannopoulos’ more outrageous claims: that rape culture a fantasy, feminism is cancer, and that women on the pill don’t look right or talk right.

“Well all those things are true,” he replied, laughing. “To say that there is a ‘rape culture’ implies that there is a system or environment that encourages rape. That doesn’t exist on American college campuses. And to believe in the statistics that feminists pedal, that one in four, one in five women is going to be sexually assaulted in her time on campus, you’d have to believe that American college campuses have rape rates that approach those of the Congo, where rape is used as a weapon of war. We don’t reward rapists in our society, we put them in prison.”

Uhhhh–

The Milo Yiannopoulos Interview On ‘Sunrise’ Today Was A Total TrainwreckAmerica made a sexual assaulter President, but okay.

Yiannopoulos then claimed that most women in the United States and the United Kingdom do not describe themselves as feminists (false for the U.S., sadly true for the U.K.), and expressed his assumption that “Australia being a very sensible country would share those views too”. (Wrong, on both counts. No country that accidentally elected a huge buffoon like David Leyonhjelm could be considered ‘sensible’.)

“I’m just not sure why you want to be hurtful rather than have a reasoned debate,” Monique tried.

Yiannopoulos then launched into a speech that essentially boils down to ‘I like to say unpopular things and everybody who’s mad at me just doesn’t want me telling the truth’. It’s all a bit exhausting, tbh. Yiannopoulos is a troll, but he’s also smart enough to include a nugget of truth in everything he says as a kind of defence mechanism. (Certain brands of the pill do cause women to put on weight; feminism as a social movement isn’t above critique.)

“Things that people don’t want you to say is stuff that they kind of know is real but you’re just not supposed to say in polite society,” he said. “Well my function in culture, my purpose if you like, is to say those things that other people are either unable to do or aren’t willing to do, because I want to be a firestarter.”

The thing ended with Kochie making a quip that he “stands by” his original comment that Yiannopoulos was nothing more than an attention seeker, but that’s not the point. Of course he’s an attention seeker. That’s how he literally makes his money.

Instead, Sunrise presented the interview as ‘Kochie and Mon take on Milo Yiannopoulos‘ when they did nothing of the sort. They didn’t engage in a single point or challenge his views, but merely read out his offences like some kind of rap sheet and asked him nicely to elaborate. The thing you have to remember is that Yiannopoulos is proud of this shit. You’re essentially reminding him of his greatest achievements.

People weren’t too happy that Sunrise had given him time at all.

On the other end of the spectrum, Yiannopoulos’ fans are gloating about the interview.

“Sunrise 7 hosts are idiots,” wrote on fan. “Milo didn’t say anything wrong. Defended all the Rediculous (sic) claims by Kochie. Milo won that argument 100%.”

“Best retort frm Milo on Sunrise this morning,” wrote another. “Dumb interviewer ‘U always say that’. Milo “U should ask different questions darling!”

“Sunrise got owned by Milo,” said a third.

The point is: if you’re going to interview one of the most inflammatory trolls to ever leave his mother’s basement, at least have the gall to challenge him on literally anything.

Channel 7 didn’t return requests for comment. You can watch the interview here.

Image: Sunrise / Channel 7