Lahren in 2018
Tomi Rae Augustus Lahren
August 11, 1992
Rapid City, South Dakota, U.S.
|Alma mater||University of Nevada, Las Vegas|
Tomi Rae Augustus Lahren (/ /; born August 11, 1992) is an American conservative political commentator and former television host. She hosted Tomi on TheBlaze, where she gained notice for her short video segments called "final thoughts", in which she frequently criticized liberal politics. Many of her videos went viral, with The New York Times describing her as a "rising media star". Lahren was suspended from TheBlaze in March 2017 after saying in an interview on The View that she believed women should have legal access to abortion. Shortly thereafter, she began working for Great America Alliance, an advocacy organization that supports Donald Trump, and, in August 2017, she joined Fox News as a contributor and now[when?] hosts a talk show on Fox Nation.
Early life and education
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Lahren grew up in Rapid City, South Dakota, and graduated from Central High School in 2010. She is of German and Norwegian descent. Lahren graduated from University of Nevada, Las Vegas in 2014 with a B.A. in broadcast journalism and political science. She also hosted and associate produced the university's political roundtable show The Scramble. Lahren interned for Republican then-congresswoman Kristi Noem from South Dakota, serving as the first intern at Noem's Rapid City office.
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.
In July 2015, a video of her commentary on the 2015 Chattanooga shootings garnered widespread attention. 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 became known for ending her program with three-minute segments called "final thoughts", in which she spoke extremely quickly. These segments became widely popular on social media, but have been called "screeds" and "rants".
In January 2016, Lahren endorsed Marco Rubio for president in the Republican Party presidential primary. On November 30, Lahren appeared on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah for a 26-minute interview. Many critics compared her appearance to former host Jon Stewart's friendly rivalry with Bill O'Reilly.
On March 17, 2017, Lahren made a guest appearance on The View in which she said that women should have access to abortion and that she would be a hypocrite if she supported both "limited government and also government restrictions on abortion". TheBlaze's owner, Glenn Beck, who is anti-abortion, criticized Lahren for her comments and suspended her with pay, leading Lahren to file a wrongful termination suit. The suit was settled under an agreement in which Lahren kept her Facebook page but removed videos she had made with TheBlaze.
In May 2017, Lahren began working in communications at Great America Alliance, an offshoot of Great America PAC, a large pro-Donald Trump super PAC 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. In August 2017, Lahren joined Fox News as a contributor.
Lahren describes herself as a "constitutional conservative". She has said that she is a commentator, not a journalist, and that her shows are not about presenting news neutrally, but about commentary and "mak[ing] the news". The Daily Beast described her as a "right-wing provocateur".
Lahren has been described as an "anti-feminist who admires strong women." Lahren has said that while she does not consider herself a feminist, she believes in women's empowerment and looks up to various women from both the political left and the political right. In March 2017, Lahren said she was pro-abortion rights, sparking criticism from a number of anti-abortion writers. TheBlaze owner Glenn Beck, among others, noted that Lahren had previously publicly said she was anti-abortion, in addition to numerous other inconsistencies on other issues. Soon thereafter, Lahren told Playboy that she had always supported abortion rights as a matter of national law but was personally against abortion.
Lahren is in favor of same-sex marriage. In June 2020 she supported Supreme Court justice Neil Gorsuch's vote and majority opinion in the combined cases of Bostock v. Clayton County, Altitude Express Inc. v. Zarda, and R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, ruling that businesses cannot fire LGBTQ people for their sexuality or gender identity. Lahren stated, "You can be Christian, conservative, and a proud Trump supporter and believe people should not be fired for who they love. Conservative doesn't come in one flavor, one race, one religion, one gender or one sexuality ... and I won't sit by quietly and allow certain self-righteous and self-appointed and anointed conservative thought policemen make that decree."
Lahren's commentaries have been described by critics as racist or race-baiting, which she disputes. In July 2016, Lahren posted a tweet comparing the Black Lives Matter movement to the Ku Klux Klan. Tens of thousands of people signed a Change.org petition in response asking for her to be fired from TheBlaze. The petition was unsuccessful. In August 2016, she released a video criticizing NFL quarterback Colin Kaepernick, who had been protesting police brutality by kneeling during the playing of the national anthem before football games.
In August 2018, at a political rally for Kelli Ward, Lahren warned against voters electing 'RINOs' (Republicans in name only) into Congress; the term was applied to Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake. Lahren was criticized as cruel and disrespectful as McCain was in very poor health; that day he discontinued medical treatment for brain cancer, and he died the next day. Many people have criticized Lahren for her behavior including former Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren.
In November 2018, Lahren said that the "highlight" of her Thanksgiving had been watching United States Border Patrol fire teargas at migrants trying to illegally cross over the Mexico–United States border. In December 2018, she ran a Fox Nation segment focusing on how members of a Central American migrant caravan that had been stopped in Mexico that year were carrying diseases; she listed several unconfirmed cases of HIV/AIDS and Chickenpox to support the claim. That same month, she urged President Trump to shut down the government to force Congress to fund the construction of a wall on the Mexico–United States border.
- Rapid City Area School District 51-4 Board of Education Meeting (PDF) (Meeting minutes). Rapid City, South Dakota: Rapid City Area Schools. June 3, 2010. p. 11. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
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