‘This lunatic asylum has gone so far left that we’re seen as hate mongers,’ Gavin McInnes said
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pennsylvania — A free speech organization brought two center-right speakers to Pennsylvania State University without incident, despite problems last year and a leftist group’s statement that it would “go on the offensive.”
Uncensored America featured comedian Alex Stein and special guest Gavin McInnes Monday night for a “Politically Provocative Comedy Night” at the Pennsylvania campus.
Stein, a Blaze Media personality, told The College Fix after the event that the show was a “culmination of a long process of getting shut down by the university.”
Stein and McInnes entertained the crowd without interruption “even though Penn State didn’t approve [the event] until 10 days before” and “it was basically held off campus at the basketball arena instead of the center of campus like last time,” Stein said.
“I’m just happy I was able to speak at the university and bring my buddy Gavin to make the event even more memorable,” he said.
McInnes, founder of Vice Media and the Proud Boys, told The Fix in an in-person interview that both his and Stein’s political views “are pretty much the same as Hillary Clinton and Obama and Bill Clinton’s back in 2005.”
“We have normal liberal views, but this lunatic asylum has gone so far left that we’re seen as hate mongers,” he said.
“That’s why it’s so important for people to come to these talks, so they can see the villains they keep hearing about and realize that once they look under the bed that the boogeyman is just a sweet little guy taking a nap,” he said.
Last year, an event featuring Stein was canceled on the day it was supposed to take place, due to the “threat of escalating violence,” according to a news release published by the university at the time.
Penn State Student Committee for Defense and Solidarity accused McInnes in a letter sent to the student paper that week of being an “architect of the contemporary nationwide neo-fascist movement,” The Fix reported at the time.
The “movement…attacks trans rights, reproductive rights, worker rights and the lives of Black and Brown people,” according to the letter.
Leftist Penn State student organization Student Committee for Defense and Solidarity made vaguely threatening announcements regarding the event on social media earlier in the week.
The statement was posted on SCDS’s Instagram, which has since been deleted, which revealed that the group was planning to “go on the offensive.”
Stein posted screenshots of the statement to his X account before they were deleted.
They are pissed that I’m coming back to Penn State tonight pic.twitter.com/mPDGoMByaM
— Alex Stein #99 (@alexstein99) October 23, 2023
“We must take our struggle to the source of these speakers, when and where they do not expect it,” the group wrote.
Sean Semanko, Uncensored America founder, told The Fix via text message that the event venue made it safer this time around.
“The university has put us in a much more secure venue: the Bryce Jordan center,” Semanko said. “The BJC has safely hosted many amazing artists and comedians like Elton John, Taylor Swift, Bill Maher, Jeff Dunham…and now Alex Stein!”
The university gave McInnes and Stein increased security measures from last year, public media outlet WPSU reported. Penn State permitted the men to speak freely per its new policy on visitors’ rights and responsibilities, which went into effect Oct. 3.
“Visitors have the right to freedom of speech, assembly, advocacy, and inquiry,” the policy states.
The Fix reached out to PSU twice requesting specifics on what was done to allow the event to take place but did not receive a response.
During the demonstrations before last year’s event, “police ran through the crowd on horses, and appeared to allow a man in a yellow bandana, the color of the Proud Boys, to pass into a campus building after a fistfight broke out among protestors,” according to Yahoo News.
The aftermath of the frenzy has turned into a he-said, she-said, as both supporters and protesters of the event now claim to various media outlets the other side sprayed them with chemical irritants, The Fix reported.
McInnes and Stein are not the only conservative speakers to have resisted cancelation recently at Penn State.
On Oct. 11, two pro-transgender activists were handcuffed and placed in a police cruiser before women’s rights activist Riley Gaines had started her speech during “Real Women’s Day,” an event affirming womanhood as biological, The Fix reported.
Despite controversy before the event, Gaines was still able to speak, arriving shortly after the two protesters were arrested.
IMAGE: Logan Dubil for The College Fix