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Former ‘Silicon Valley’ Writer Named in Breitbart Exposé: Leaked Emails Reveal Crude Remarks About GamerGate Targets

Tech journalist Dan Lyons, who also wrote for the HBO comedy in 2015 and 2016, claimed to have apologized to women he insulted, though at least one hasn't received his message.


As Hollywood got caught up in the maelstrom surrounding Harvey Weinstein on Thursday, another major media story also broke courtesy of Buzzfeed, revealing how Breitbart News and Milo Yiannopoulos influenced the mainstream media with Nazi and white nationalist ideas over the past few years.

The detailed story was partly based on a number of emails sent and received by Yiannopoulos. Those exchanges included a number of reporters, who would email Yiannopoulos encouraging him to attack certain women, offer up tips, or simply ask crude questions. Among those emailing Yiannopoulos was journalist Dan Lyons, who in 2015 seemed awfully interested in the gender of various GamerGate targets who were in Yiannopoulos’s bullseye.

These emails, per Buzzfeed’s quotes and screenshots, include Lyons asking Yiannopoulos if game designer Zoë Quinn is “a biological female or trans?”, to which Yiannopoulos replied “She is a girl… A hideous girl but a girl.”

Lyons has been a well-established voice in tech journalism for decades at publications like Forbes and Newsweek; he also created the satirical blog Fake Steve Jobs, which began skewering the Apple CEO in 2006. He wrote for the Emmy-nominated “Silicon Valley” in 2015 and 2016, although the only episode for which he is the sole credited writer is Season 2’s “White Hat/Black Hat.” Lyons did not write for “Silicon Valley” Season 4, and is now back working as a journalist.

Following the publication of Buzzfeed’s story on Thursday, Lyons responded on Twitter, first to a tweet from “Silicon Valley” star Kumail Nanjiani about the story (Nanjiani has since deleted his original tweet, but did later tweet a link to the Buzzfeed story in full). Lyons’ responses:

In additional tweets replying to Nanjiani, Lyons defended himself and his record as an “outspoken critic of bro culture, SV culture, diversity problems,” who has “never met Milo. Don’t like his politics or antics. Traded a few emails with him in 2015, for this BFeed says I’m part of some cabal feeding Nazi ideology into mainstream via Milo & Breitbart. It’s ridiculous.”

Following his Tweets to Nanjiani, Lyons then made some statements regarding the women he emailed Yiannopoulos about.

Unfortunately, those apologies seemed not to have gone through initially — at least according to Quinn, whose Tweets from Thursday evening reveal that she hadn’t gotten the message.

Lyons, per a screenshot from Quinn, then blocked her on Twitter.

But then, approximately 12 hours later, he chose to reach out to Quinn again on Twitter with a potential explanation for why she might not have received his apology:

Followed by another attempt at making contact.

Whether or not Quinn chooses to respond and/or accept Lyons’ apology is pending. Here is what matters: based on how this played out on Twitter, it definitely seems that this situation could have been handled better.

Of course, the best possible scenario would have been this: For Lyons to have never felt like it was a good idea to send Yiannopoulos those emails in the first place.

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