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Tomi Lahren (/ˈtɒmi ˈlærən/; born August 11, 1992) is an American conservative political commentator and former television host.[1] She garnered international attention as the host of Tomi on TheBlaze, particularly for her short video segments called "final thoughts", in which she frequently criticized liberal politics.[2] Many of her videos went viral, with The New York Times describing her as a "rising media star".[3] Lahren was suspended from TheBlaze in March 2017 shortly after expressing her belief that women should have legal access to abortion in an interview on The View.[4] Shortly thereafter, she began working for Great America Alliance, an advocacy organization that supports Donald Trump,[5] and, in August 2017, she joined Fox News as a contributor.[6]

Tomi Lahren
Tomi Lahren by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Lahren in 2016
Born (1992-08-11) August 11, 1992 (age 25)
Rapid City, South Dakota, U.S.
Residence Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Alma mater University of Nevada, Las Vegas
Occupation Vlogger: Tomi Lahren's Final Thoughts
Conservative political commentator
Employer Fox News/Fox Nation
Political party Republican

Lahren's commentaries have frequently been described by critics as racist, a label she disputes,[3] and she has been described by media outlets as a "white power Barbie".[7]

Contents

Early life

Lahren grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota, in a military family, and attended Central High School.[8][9] She is of German and Norwegian descent.[10] Lahren is a Christian.[11] Lahren graduated from University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with a B.A. in broadcast journalism and political science in 2014.[12] She also hosted and associate produced the university's political roundtable show The Scramble.[13] Lahren interned for Republican congresswoman Kristi Noem, serving as the first intern for Noem's Rapid City office.[14]

Career

Hoping to find an internship in political commentary, Lahren applied to One America News Network (OANN), obtained an interview, and was instead offered the opportunity to host her own show. She moved to San Diego, California and began working for OANN. On Point with Tomi Lahren debuted in August 2014.[15][8][16]

In July 2015, a video of her commentary concerning the 2015 Chattanooga shootings garnered widespread attention.[17] On August 19, Lahren announced that she had completed her last show with OANN. She moved to Texas, and began a new show with TheBlaze in November 2015. She has become known for ending her program with three-minute segments called "final thoughts" in which she speaks extremely quickly. These segments have become widely popular on social media, but have been variously referred to as "screeds" and "rants".[18]

In January 2016, Lahren endorsed Marco Rubio for president in the Republican Party presidential primary.[19][20] On November 30, Lahren appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah for a 26-minute interview segment. Many critics compared her appearance with former host Jon Stewart's friendly rivalry with Bill O'Reilly.[21][22][23]

On March 17, 2017, Lahren made a guest appearance on The View, where she stated that women should have access to abortion and accused those who held pro-life positions of being hypocrites. TheBlaze, whose owner Glenn Beck is pro-life and openly criticized Lahren for her comments, immediately suspended her with pay,[4][24] leading Lahren to file a wrongful termination suit.[25][26][27] The suit was settled under an agreement in which Lahren kept her Facebook page but removed videos she had made with TheBlaze.[28]

In May 2017, Lahren began working in a communications role at Great America Alliance, an offshoot of Great America PAC, a large pro-Donald Trump super PAC. Great America Alliance is chaired by Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani. Lahren described her role there as a "side gig" and said she would return to television as a commentator.[5] In August 2017, Lahren joined Fox News as a contributor.[12]

Political views

Lahren describes herself as a "constitutional conservative".[29] She has said that she is a commentator, not a journalist,[7] and has said that her shows are not about presenting news neutrally, but about commentary and "mak[ing] the news".[18]

Lahren's commentaries have been described by critics as often racist, a label she disputes,[3] and commentators have described her as a "white power Barbie".[7] She has been described as an "anti-feminist who admires strong women", whose positions on immigration are similar to those of Donald Trump.[18] She has criticized African Americans for various social issues, including drug abuse and unemployment.[18] She has stated that while she does not consider herself a feminist,[30] she believes in women's empowerment, and looks up to various women from both the political left and the political right.[18]

In July 2016, Lahren wrote a tweet comparing the Black Lives Matter movement to the Ku Klux Klan.[18] Tens of thousands of people signed a Change.org petition in response asking for her to be fired from TheBlaze.[31] The petition was unsuccessful. In November 2016, Lahren released a video on the protests against Donald Trump.[32] In August 2016, she released a video criticizing NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who had been protesting racism by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before football games.[3]

In March 2017, Lahren stated that she was pro-choice, sparking criticism from a number of anti-abortion writers.[33] TheBlaze owner Glenn Beck, among others, noted that Lahren had previously publicly said she was pro-life, in addition to numerous other inconsistencies on other issues.[26] Soon thereafter, Lahren said to Playboy that she has always been pro-abortion rights as a matter of national law but personally anti-abortion.[34][35]

References

  1. ^ Schmidt, Samantha (2017-07-31). "Tomi Lahren, conservative firebrand, bashes Obamacare while benefiting from it". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-02-27. 
  2. ^ Wilson, Jason (2016-09-23). "The rise of Tomi Lahren, the media star lampooned as 'white power Barbie'". the Guardian. Retrieved 2018-02-27. 
  3. ^ a b c d Bromwich, Jonah Engel (December 4, 2016). "Tomi Lahren: Young, Vocal and the Right's Rising Media Star". The New York Times. 
  4. ^ a b Estepa, Jessica (March 20, 2017). "Commentator Tomi Lahren suspended from TheBlaze". USA Today. 
  5. ^ a b Schmidt, Samantha (May 23, 2017). "Tomi Lahren lands new gig at pro-Trump advocacy group after settling suit with the Blaze". The Washington Post. 
  6. ^ Otterson, Joe (August 30, 2017). "Fox News Signs Tomi Lahren as Contributor". Variety. 
  7. ^ a b c Wilson, Jason (September 23, 2016). "The rise of Tomi Lahren, the media star lampooned as 'white power Barbie'". The Guardian. 
  8. ^ a b Hammond, Christy (September 21, 2014). Rapid City woman anchors political talk show at 22, Rapid City Journal
  9. ^ Soderlin, Barbara (May 7, 2010). Teens gear up for first job hunt, Rapid City Journal
  10. ^ "Tomi Lahren: the young Republican who's bigger than Trump on Facebook". BBC. November 29, 2016. Retrieved November 29, 2016. 
  11. ^ Laukaitis, Tobi (2017-12-04). "Lahren shares her 'final thoughts' on politics, faith with Liberty students". Liberty News Service. Lynchburg, Virginia: Liberty University. Retrieved 2017-12-05. 
  12. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (August 30, 2017). "Fox News Signs Tomi Lahren as Contributor". Retrieved August 30, 2017. 
  13. ^ The Scramble - Episode 315, UNLV Journalism and Media Studies, youtube channel
  14. ^ "Who Is Tomi Lahren? 10 Things You Need to Know About the 24-Year-Old Conservative Commentator". March 16, 2017. Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  15. ^ "Tomi Lahren on Twitter". Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  16. ^ Beattie, James (July 20, 2015). Watch: News Anchor Gets Fed Up With Obama, Says What Everyone's Thinking In EPIC Rant, Western Journalism Center
  17. ^ Conley, Cole (July 21, 2015). TV host Tomi Lahren slams Obama's Middle East policy, USA Today
  18. ^ a b c d e f Wendling, Mike (November 30, 2016). "Tomi Lahren: the young Republican who's bigger than Trump on Facebook". Retrieved December 7, 2016 – via www.bbc.com. 
  19. ^ "New video highlights Marco Rubio's conservative credentials - Florida Politics". Florida Politics. 2016-01-14. Retrieved 2017-04-08. 
  20. ^ TheBlaze (2016-03-11), Blue Wall: Why Tomi Supports Marco Rubio | "Tomi", retrieved 2017-04-09 
  21. ^ Deerwester, Jayme (December 1, 2016). "After that 'Daily Show' interview, is Tomi Lahren Trevor Noah's Bill O'Reilly?". USA Today. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  22. ^ Bradley, Laura (December 1, 2016). "The Daily Show Just Got One Step Closer to Reviving the Spirit of Jon Stewart". Vanity Fair. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  23. ^ O'Neal, Sean (December 1, 2016). "Trevor Noah has his best interview yet with living Facebook screed Tomi Lahren". The A.V. Club. Retrieved December 1, 2016. 
  24. ^ "Tomi Lahren 'banned permanently' from The Blaze". March 26, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2017. 
  25. ^ "Tomi Lahren sues Glenn Beck and The Blaze for wrongful termination". USA Today. April 7, 2017. Retrieved April 7, 2017. 
  26. ^ a b Martin, Naomi (April 7, 2017). "Tomi Lahren sues Glenn Beck, The Blaze for wrongful termination over pro-choice stance". The Dallas Morning News. Retrieved April 7, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Tomi Lahren Sues Glenn Beck For Wrongful Termination". Retrieved April 19, 2017. 
  28. ^ Hawkins, Derek (May 2, 2017). "Tomi Lahren settles lawsuit with Glenn Beck, the Blaze, ending abortion comment dust-up". The Washington Post. 
  29. ^ McGough, Cameron (March 18, 2017). "Conservative host Tomi Lahren came out as pro-choice". Retrieved March 18, 2017. 
  30. ^ "'I will not lay down and play dead — ever,' Tomi Lahren tells 'Nightline' - Texas". Dallas News. April 13, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2017. 
  31. ^ Tulp, Sophia (July 13, 2016). "Over 56,000 people want Tomi Lahren fired from TheBlaze after KKK tweet". USA Today. Retrieved December 7, 2016. 
  32. ^ Bryant, Nick. "CLINTON VS TRUMP HOW DID IT COME TO THIS?." Australian Women's Weekly 86, no. 3 (March 2016): 86. Publisher Provided Full Text Searching File, EBSCOhost (accessed November 14, 2016).
  33. ^ Schmidt, Samantha (18 March 2017). "'I'm pro-choice,' says Tomi Lahren: 'Stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body'". The Washington Post. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  34. ^ "Tomi Lahren Exclusively Talks To Playboy After Her Blaze Fallout". Playboy. May 2, 2017. 
  35. ^ Guinto, Joseph (May 7, 2017). "Tomi Lahren Will Not Shut Up". Politico. 

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