J: Tomi Lahren’s rise to fame was pretty quick. She’s known for her conservative, opinionated and sharply delivered thoughts on her show for The Blaze’s biggest stars. The 24-year-old political commentator and video host was a viral hit — whether she made you mad or you agreed. But after she made pro-choice comments on The View, The Blaze fired her in March.
L: I find this whole situation a little ironic because Lahren’s comments about being pro-choice felt very much a part of the libertarian view of government. Basically, the government should stay out of everyone’s lives as much as possible. This is a view that The Blaze’s founder Glenn Beck subscribes to, but she was fired anyway. I’m also pretty sure she even did a segment on abortion that falls in line with traditional conservative thinking before any of this happened.
J: She was fired more because she appeared to be less conservative than she portrays herself. Glenn Beck might be fine with her personal beliefs, but if her conservative audience isn’t then she was going to lose her audience. It would have made The Blaze lose viewers too. From a business standpoint, it’s better to lose her than a significant portion of your audience.
L: That makes sense. Another thing I find interesting is that her show gained so much popularity because of sharing on Facebook. Honestly, her segments demonstrate the divide between red and blue Facebook pretty well. If you had no conservative friends, you would likely never come across her videos. But if your feed was mostly conservative, her videos were everywhere. She just struck a chord with her Republican viewers.
J: I never heard of her until her “millennial” video. My first impression was not that she was a media professional but rather a very angry woman with a camera. I think she made it seem like it was okay to angry and if you seemed angry, then your beliefs where more justified or accurate. I don’t know if she set herself up for failure or success — now that her beliefs don’t completely align with one side. I mean someone might give her a book deal but what major media organization is going to hire her?
L: This entire situation really emphasizes an issue with partisan media. Unless you’re going to work for a legacy outlet as a commentator, you have to be on the right or the left. Many personalities are boxed into one line of thinking with little room for embracing various positions on all sides.
J: Or you know, you can be an objective journalist trying to do your job with ethics in mind. I think Lahren’s biggest hurdle is she vocalized her audience’s beliefs than presenting her own. I don’t know how much of Lahren’s anger is genuine or just viral video making. It’s very hard to believe she’s actually that ranty.
L: The current media environment really lowers the priority on good journalism in favor of partisan punditry. Media networks sell personalities with strong opinions instead of great reporting. Lahren created a personality and brand for herself. But almost any brand is precarious. It’s very hard to build a reputation, but very easy to destroy one. J
J: Now that I think about it, I don’t know if she’s taken a major hit to her brand though. She just lost her job and she has a ton free publicity. She managed to say some pretty eyebrow-raising, “where is your soul?” statements without any backlash. She seems like she could create her own platform, get a book deal and become a commentator on Fox or something.
L: I mean, if Megyn Kelly can work for NBC, Tomi Lahren can definitely work for Fox News. It’ll be intriguing to see where she ends up.
J: An anger management class, is my suggestion.