Tomi Lahren and Our Media Problem

April 2, 2017
By Jacqueline Souza

Recently, conservative news anchor Tomi Lahren was suspended from her position at The Blaze for sharing her unexpected views on abortion on the talk show “The View”. When prompted, she declared that:

“I’m someone that is for limited government, so I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government, but I think that the government should decide what women do with their bodies…stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well…I’m not glorifying abortion. I don’t personally advocate for it. I just don’t think it’s the government’s place to dictate.”

This comment instantly created backlash among a number of her avid followers, and ultimately led to her suspension from the hyper-conservative news outlet as it did not fit with the site’s general traditionalist rhetoric.

However, it’s clear that her fans and employers are supportive of her most inflammatory comments. As a news anchor, Lahren has been wildly outspoken about her bigoted beliefs; she has compared Black Lives Matter to the KKK, criticizes any and all backlash to Trump’s election, made wildly false claims about Syrian refugees, and transphobic comments after the HB2 controversy in North Carolina.

I have yet to answer one lingering question: why were her pro-choice comments the final straw? Lahren is an anchor who claims to spread “the truth” (to her, this means perpetuating racism, sexism, and xenophobia, among other things) while clinging to the “cool girl” attitude that keeps her relevant.

When will we stop giving attention to these so-called pundits who push forward a violent, white supremacist narrative? When will we hold these anchors accountable for their racism, their transphobia, their self-righteousness? That will require us to collectively recognize that we have a media problem, and we are far from that when we defend anchors like Lahren for just “telling it like it is”.

 

Jacqueline Souza is an intern for New People and also studies sociology and journalism at the University of Pittsburgh. She is interested in racial justice, social movements, and U.S. politics.

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