Here’s something Milo Yiannopoulos probably wasn’t expecting when he filed a lawsuit against Simon & Schuster for breach of contract for canceling the publication of his controversial book, Dangerous, earlier this year: Public mockery of his manuscript and its edits. (Yiannopoulos went on to self-publish the book and landed on Amazon’s best-seller list.) On Wednesday, writer Jason Pinter tweeted a screenshot of Simon & Schuster’s rebuttal. And on Thursday, software engineer Sarah Mei, after realizing that the documents filed in the case were now publicly available, paid a visit to the New York county clerk’s website for herself and shared even more scathingly choice editorial nuggets online, to the delight of Twitter.
The comments—from a time before Yiannopoulos appeared to publicly defend pedophilia, and when Simon & Schuster still intended to publish his book—include critiques of his argument, his opinions, his personality, his language, his grammar, his analogies, and his humor. There are also factual corrections and calls for evidence, and in one case, a request to remove an entire chapter. Though this is all part of the usual process of editing a manuscript, there’s something especially delicious about seeing so many of Yiannopoulos’ arguments described as “gratuitous,” “ridiculously reductive” and “DELETE UGH” by his increasingly exasperated editor.
As Mei points out, Yiannopoulos’ editor Mitchell Ivers is a conservative himself—in fact, he’s the editorial director of Threshold Editions, an imprint of Simon & Schuster that specializes in conservative nonfiction. But while there’s a possibility he agrees with Yiannopoulos on some points, even Ivers could see that the man and his manuscript had gone very far off the conservative deep end. Whatever his views, Ivers seemed committed to not publishing total tripe, and it’s satisfying to watch someone wield editorial authority over Yiannopoulos and tell him that the opinions he regularly spouts are unsubstantiated—and that his jokes aren’t funny.
You can find the whole annotated manuscript here, but we’ve assembled some of our favorite comments below:
On Yiannopoulos’ style:
Comment [A3]: Avoid parenthetical insults—they just diminish your authority. Throughout the book you’re [sic] best points seem to be lost in a sea of self-aggrandizement and scattershot thinking.
Comment [A185]: This is definitely not the place for more of your narcissism.
Comment [A293]: …You can’t just toss out poorly thought out theories about “going back into the closet,” as you might in a college lecture.
Comment [A407]: Tiresome and off the point.
Comment [A418]: The whole chapter is a problem in tone. Your usual style NEGATES any value your information might have.
Comment [A424]: Ego and self-aggrandizement backfire in book.
On his humor or lack thereof:
Comment [A12]: Delete irrelevant and superfluous ethnic joke.
Comment [A96]: Gets in the way of the point you’re making—and is not even funny.
Comment [Al44]: Three unfunny jokes in a row. DELETE.
Comment [A183]: Deleting this. It’s clearly the wrong joke in the wrong place. At a certain point, you have to decide that the importance of your message is more important than your irreverent side.
Comment [A244]: Attempts at humor here are too weak and too long.
Comment [A406]: This is not the time or place for another black-dick joke.
When he accuses feminism of being a merchandise money-grab:
Comment [A726]: Um… like your MILO SWAG?
When he accuses feminist Jessica Valenti of hate speech:
Comment [A137]: If that headline is hate speech, THIS WHOLE BOOK is hate speech.
When he calls feminists “attention-seeking:”
Comment [A198]: This is what people say about you.
When he calls the mainstream media “partisan propaganda masquerading as journalism:”
Comment [A267]: You MUST ACKNOWLEDGE that this is EXACTLY what people accuse you and Breitbart of being: “a new age of partisan propaganda masquerading as journalism.”
When he references “anonymous trolls and unscrupulous activists:”
Comment [A498]: Many would call you one of those things.
When he suggests conservatives need on-screen representation:
Comment [A345]: You’re basically making an argument for representation here—that kids need visible conservative role models to become conservatives themselves. Do you also then agree, that kids of color need role models on screens as well?
When he calls Gawker stupid for outing Peter Thiel:
Comment [A590]: But didn’t you out Jack Dorsey of Twitter on Breitbart?
On Hillary Clinton’s “demonic rituals”:
Comment [A32]: This entire paragraph is just repeating Fake News. There was NO blood, NO semen and there was NO Satanism. Delete.
On claims the left has always hated America:
Comment [A74]: NO. IT. HAS. NOT.
On denying the existence of fake news:
Comment [A98]: …To deny the existence of fake news entirely is preposterous. Too many people have seen—and fallen for—fake-news stories for this section to have even a shred of credibility. DELETE
On accusing the left of “crying wolf” about Trump’s crimes:
Comment [A264]: Much wasn’t wolf—much of what the media reported about Trump was true.
On claiming that the Cold War ended when America landed on the moon:
Comment [A409]: Moon landing was 1969. Berlin Wall didn’t fall till 1990. Russia quitting the space race was NOT the end of the Cold War.
On claiming Trump is the most gay friendly Republican president ever:
Comment [A588]: Except for his vice president and every proposed member of his cabinet.
When he claims celebrities are only moving to white nations:
Comment [A59]: Let’s not call South Africa “white.”
On his penchant for “denizens of the dark continent”:
Comment [A68]: Rephrase this. “Dark continent” will irritate in the wrong way. Sounds like “darkies.”
On opening the chapter with physical insults:
Comment [A120]: Don’t start chapter with accusation that feminists = fat
On the use of the word “lesbianie:”
Comment [A127]: No need to drag the lesbians into this. And DON’T use lesbian as a slur!
On feminists being against caring for children:
Comment [A143]: Feminists can care for children. So can lesbians.
On male feminists:
Comment [A205]: Stick with virgins. “Perverts” is unnecessary.
On Mitt Romney:
Comment [A280]: Let’s leave “cuck” out of it here.
On transgender people:
Comment [A166]: I will not accept a manuscript that labels an entire class of people “mentally ill.”
When he suggests that the next generation of gay geniuses are being mopped up instead of being born:
Comment [A318]: …Do you mean that semen is being mopped up? And that the gay men spilling their seed would have produced gay offspring? Because that isn’t true.
Comment [A452]: How? Absurd charge
Comment [A453]: Again, absurd charge
Comment [A456]: No
Comment [A457]: This entire argument is ridiculous
Comment [A458]: This would never happen
Comment [A459]: This is not true
Comment [A460]: This is not true either
Comment [A462]: Not necessarily true
Comment [A463]: Not true
When he asks confidently “Is my argument a few paragraphs back starting to make sense now?”
Comment [A305]: NO!
When he suggested the reader is on their way to graduating from the University of Milo:
Comment [A476]: Are you kidding? You would have lost them pages and pages ago.
On the chapter “Why Ugly People Hate Me”:
Comment [A416]: Delete entire chapter. The book is better overall without hitting these “ugly people” notes in the other chapters and better overfill by deleting this one.
On Milo’s Personal Beauty Routine:
Comment [A490]: This feels like a Patrick Bateman joke, If so, not worth making. If you intend it sincerely, this is not that kind of book.
Comment [A471]: All this pop psychology is hogwash. You can’t say ugly people are drawn to the left. Have you ever seen the people at a Trump rally?