Tomi Lahren’s Show Stops Production After Pro-Choice Comments Made on The View
After writing about Tomi Lahren back in December, I silently promised myself that I would never write about her again. I didn’t want to give her any more of a platform than she already has. However, now that Trump has become President, I believe that examining the Tomi Lahrens of the world is especially important in that it allows us to navigate our increasingly fraught path toward gender equality.
Lahren is in the news this week after a recent interview on The View in which she proclaimed that she is “pro-choice.” As reported by The Daily Beast, she said:
“I’m pro choice, and here’s why. I am a constitutional, y’know, someone that loves the Constitution. I’m someone that’s for limited government. So I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies. I can sit here and say that, as a Republican and I can say, you know what, I’m for limited government, so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well…”
That actually makes…sense. Despite the fact that one can’t be a “constitutional” (you can be a constitutionalist), I can at least understand, even if I don’t agree with, the viewpoint that if you believe in limited government, you would certainly believe in limited government with regard to your health care and decision to be a parent.
What I’ve never understood is the hypocrisy of, say, being “pro-life” but also being pro-death penalty. Or being “pro-life” but only when it comes to unborn children and not when it comes to children who are very much alive. Suddenly, it’s all let’s screw the poor and their children, or the children of sluts who got themselves knocked up, because they clearly didn’t work hard enough/have good values and morals and deserve what they get. Really, this whole “pro-life” thing tends to be very conditional.
Fellow Conservatives were quick to point out Lahren’s “hypocrisy,” though, bringing up an episode of her own show on Glenn Beck’s TheBlaze digital network from back in December in which she called people who get abortions “baby killers”:
— The Reagan Battalion (@ReaganBattalion) March 17, 2017
For those who can’t watch the video, she says, “The pro-choicers are supposed to be about rare and safe abortions. That’s how they avoid sounding like straight-up baby killers.” She goes on to say, “Then we have Lena freakin’ Dunham out there wishing she could have murdered a fetus.”
Despite the ignorance apparent in this statement, the fact is that her private beliefs about abortion have nothing to do with whether or not she is pro-choice. That’s the entire point of the pro-choice position. People who are pro-choice are not necessarily pro-abortion. What they are is in favor a person’s right to decide for themselves whether or not they want to carry a child.
There are plenty of things to which I’m morally opposed that I understand need to be legal for reasons of public safety and protecting people’s civil and human rights. For example, I’m morally opposed to racism and sexism. However, I am a fierce defender of the First Amendment that guarantees freedom of speech. I don’t believe the government can or should limit someone’s ability to speak, no matter how reprehensible their views, so long as those words aren’t followed by actions that hurt people.
And before anyone starts, notice I said government. Private organizations and companies (like The Mary Sue!) have the right to allow or not allow a platform to anyone’s speech, and people have the right to express their pleasure or displeasure accordingly. That’s how individual entities express that particular freedom. All the First Amendment guarantees you is legal protection, not protection from The Court of Public Opinion. There, you’re on your own. For better or worse.
So, with regard to Lahren expressing her “pro-choice” viewpoint in light of her “baby killer” comment: all that says to me is that she’s someone who is personally opposed to abortion, but believes that it’s not the government’s job to legislate. That’s not her being a “hypocrite.” That’s her showing an understanding the difference between personal opinion and how government should assert itself in the lives of its citizens.
We very definitely disagree on what government is and is not responsible for, but at least I understand her. This time.
Now, The Daily Beast has reported that Lahren’s show has been suspended for the week. Or rather, wouldn’t be in production this week. It’s a bit unclear as to what is actually happening:
Two sources told The Daily Beast that Leon Wolf, TheBlaze’s managing editor, had sent a messages to Blaze staff informing them that Lahren’s show would “not be in production this week.” When reached by The Daily Beast on Monday, Wolf said that “it was communicated to me that [Tomi’s] show was not going to be produced this week,” and that he wanted to let Blaze employees know before they heard about it elsewhere. He said he did not specifically use the term “suspended.”
Oooookay. While it is very easy for me to imagine that her attempt to call out some hypocrisy among Conservatives might have caused this to happen, I don’t know that for sure. Here’s what I do know. Lahren’s boss, Conservative pundit Glenn Beck, wasted absolutely zero time in taking her to task while being extremely patronizing in the process.
First, he started by saying the following on his radio show: “If you’re pro-choice, you can have a job at TheBlaze. I don’t hire people who are sycophants or have my opinion.” He cites former Real News host Amy Holmes, who was an openly pro-choice employee of TheBlaze. She’s since moved on to be an independent conservative pundit elsewhere. Fine.
Actually, he started, seemingly imitating our country’s Tweeter-In-Chief, by taking to Twitter first thing and lampooning his 24-year-old employee from his own network:
Rule another label out. I am NOT a “constitutional”. I believe in LIFE, liberty and property. Just an old fashioned “constitutionalist.”
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) March 17, 2017
He continued through the weekend:
— Glenn Beck (@glennbeck) March 20, 2017
He then goes on and on about “intellectual honesty” and “rigor,” insinuating that Lahren has none. I don’t disagree, but it’s strange to me to see a male boss attempt to publicly shame a much-younger, female employee by making her the topic of a public reprimand, only to then say, in true hypocrite fashion, in reference to viewers expressing that Lahren should lose her job, “That’s not for you to call, that’s not appropriate to be discussed on the radio. That’s in the privacy of the office of TheBlaze.”
— Andrew Kirell (@AndrewKirell) March 20, 2017
OK. So you’re all about privacy and protecting your employee from others who would call for her to lose her job…but you’ll spend 5 minutes of your radio show talking about how she lacks “intellectual rigor.” And now, suddenly, her show is not in production for the week and it’s unclear as to whether or not it will be coming back, despite her having a contract through September.
What’s particularly funny is Beck’s insistence that “Bomb-throwing in today’s world is dangerous. It can destroy people if your aim is clicks, views, and ratings” when he hired Lahren specifically for her ability to throw bombs. Her entire purpose on TheBlaze is to be that inflammatory young voice that stirs shit for clicks. It’s only a problem when the shit she stirs is in her own house. Beck doesn’t care about her “intellectual rigor” when she’s toeing the company line. Despite his claims to the contrary, he does indeed hire people he expects will be sycophants who will share his opinion, and if they don’t share his opinion, he publicly questions their “intellectual rigor.”
I’m forced to wonder what the response from Beck would’ve been had a young male correspondent done the same thing. Then again, would a young male Conservative even think to be pro-choice? I don’t know. *Raise your hand if you’re a Conservative dude who’s pro-choice, I guess.*
Tomi Lahren uses hate as a weapon. She is vicious, racist, and doesn’t understand feminism. She’s duplicitous, saying one thing when she’s invited on a talk show, only to retreat to the safe space of her own show to spit vitriol for ratings, vitriol Beck pays for and has come to expect. I don’t in any way support Lahren’s views or methods.
What I do support is her right not to be targeted and thrown under the bus based on her gender and her youth.
So, in the spirit of Patrick Henry or whatever, this is me disagreeing with what she has to say, but defending her right to say it, and it irks me that she’s being singled out for expressing a point of view that doesn’t jibe with the Right’s idea of what being a woman is. It’s important to me that all women raise their political voices. So, even though Lahren shits all over things like the Women’s March, I march for women like her as much as I’m marching for women like me, or women who believe what I believe.
Now listen, I’m well aware that thin, blonde, conventionally attractive women don’t need my help. They get plenty of help from the patriarchy when it suits them. But it’s hypocritical to decry sexist behavior toward one woman, only to allow it for another because schadenfreude. I’m trying to be better about that, even when it’s difficult. Especially when it’s difficult.
(image via screencap)
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