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APP’s Schilling lies to CNN about cancellation of CPAC free speech panel

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“The thing that’s upsetting to me is that I did this directly with her. I was honest with her, I was direct with her,” Schilling said. “She decides to go to Breitbart on the radio this morning without even giving me a heads up.”

“It’s just crazy and it’s why conservatives lose,” he added. “It’s because they’re all about personalities.”

This is a lie. Schilling and I agreed to cancel the panel on a phone call I had with him last night. I told him on that same call that I had Breitbart in the morning to discuss the panel. In claiming he was blindsided by my announcing that the panel was canceled, he is lying outright.

What’s more, he has appropriated, without asking me or consulting with me, the title and focus of my panel as I submitted it to CPAC, along with my speakers roster — minus Jim Hoft and me.

It’s bitterly ironic: a free speech from which two speakers have been banned. It shows what a travesty CPAC has become.

“Drama erupts at CPAC after panel told to drop speaker who attacked Florida shooting survivor,” by Oliver Darcy and Tom Kludt, CNN, February 21, 2018:

The Conservative Political Action Conference hasn’t even started and a snafu is once again stealing the limelight ahead of the annual event.

News of the last-minute chaos emerged on Wednesday morning when Pamela Geller, the radical anti-Muslim activist who was organizing a discussion on the “suppression of conservative views on social media,” canceled her event over being asked by the American Principles Project, the organization sponsoring the panel, to remove Jim Hoft as a speaker after he spread conspiracy theories about a student survivor of last week’s Florida shooting.

“APP made Hoft’s presence a make-or-break issue,” Geller said in an email to CNN. “I was not prepared to drop a speaker from a free speech panel because leftists have chosen him as their next target.”…

Hoft, the founder of the right-wing fringe website The Gateway Pundit, courted controversy earlier this week after his website attacked David Hogg, a student survivor of the Florida school shooting who has been calling for a national conversation on gun violence in television appearances in the wake of the February 14 massacre.

Lucian Wintrich, The Gateway Pundit’s White House correspondent, claimed in one story on Hoft’s far-right site that he had “exposed” Hogg, suggesting the student was running cover for the FBI because of his father’s previous employment as an agent at the bureau. The story declared, without real evidence, that Hogg “appears to have been coached on anti-Trump lines” and characterized him as “a pawn” of the media and “well-trained political operatives” for “anti-Trump rhetoric and anti-gun legislation.”

Despite the public’s outrage over the report, which was published on Monday, Wintrich defended his article in a statement to The Wrap, saying he had no reservations about it: “Native Americans are the only ones with reservations,” he told the website.

This is not the first time Hoft has drawn controversy. The Gateway Pundit is infamous for spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories over the years.

Terry Schilling, executive director of the American Principle’s Project, told CNN he had contacted Geller on Tuesday night to tell her that, for such reasons, including Hoft would distract from the panel’s intent.

“Going after these kids is just completely unacceptable, and from my point of view, it was going to take over the media coverage of the panel,” Schilling said.

Geller responded by scrapping the entire panel.

Schilling said he resents how Geller handled the matter.

“The thing that’s upsetting to me is that I did this directly with her. I was honest with her, I was direct with her,” Schilling said. “She decides to go to Breitbart on the radio this morning without even giving me a heads up.”

“It’s just crazy and it’s why conservatives lose,” he added. “It’s because they’re all about personalities.”

The now-canceled social media censorship panel had been set to include a number of right-wing agitators including James O’Keefe, the guerrilla filmmaker. Also set to speak was Dan Gainor, vice president of the Media Research Center, an organization which says it exposes supposed liberal bias in media.

The event stirred buzz when it was announced earlier this week. One contingent of conservatives denounced the presence of figures like Hoft and Geller at CPAC, while others said they looked forward to the event. The far-right website Breitbart, for instance, which was previously headed by former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, played it up as the lead story on the front homepage of its website. “Def a must-attend,” tweeted senior Breitbart editor Amanda House.

Hoft told CNN that he was “very disappointed” in the decision to bar him from the event. Despite the APP being responsible for the decision to prohibit him from the panel, Hoft cast blame on CPAC, accusing the organization of taking its “marching orders from Chelsea Clinton,” who had called out Hoft on Twitter for spreading conspiracy theories about Hogg.

“I hope fellow conservatives see the importance in discussing this issue without fear of consequence,” he said….

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