Tomi Lahren steps on the third rail: 3 things we learned from her suspension from The Blaze

Lahren and her boss Glenn Beck may want to rethink past statements on liberals and free speech

Published March 21, 2017 1:45PM (EDT)

 (Colin Young-wolff/invision/ap)
(Colin Young-wolff/invision/ap)

Tomi Lahren made a controversial statement last week when she told "The View" that she was pro-choice and slapped the hypocrite label on small-government conservatives who "think the government should decide what women do with their bodies." For conservatives and her employer The Blaze, she stepped out of line. 

The conservative firebrand has been suspended, according to The Washington Post. To her credit, Lahren seems to be taking the suspension well, judging by her Twitter feed.

Lahren's suspension — for something she said on a different television show, no less — has raised three important points about conservatives and conservative media.

1. The abortion debate is the third rail of conservative punditry.

While Lahren has said quite a few things that have upset people outside of her core audience, the conservative darling may have broken the unwritten rules of contemporary right-wing politics.

As the Daily Caller noted, Lahren's comments sparked rebukes from her colleagues. In an ordinary world, disagreements over beliefs would be left alone, but this is abortion we're talking about — and an opinion that diverges from conservative orthodoxy, to be specific. As the Daily Caller noted:

Soon after Lahren’s tweet, a reporter at The Blaze, Kate Scanlon, tweeted, “There is no ‘my truth.’ There is only the truth.”

Another reporter at The Blaze, Kaitlyn Schallhorn, tweeted soon after: “Even Hillary Clinton didn’t call pro-life conservatives hypocrites.”

So conservatives can say pretty much anything, except pro-choice statements.

2. Glenn Beck now believes there are consequences for speech

Beck made a name for himself as leader of a movement that was convinced — absolutely convinced — that President Barack Obama was going to lead the United States into some sort of fascist-communist dystopia. But even he has standards.

Here's more from the Daily Caller, which listened to Beck's radio program Monday:

“I would disagree that you’re a hypocrite if you want limited government and yet you want the government to protect life of the unborn. It’s very, very clear. But it takes intellectual honesty, and it takes a willingness to actually think these things through and to do more than just read Twitter or Facebook to get your news and your political opinions. You actually have to study things — these things out in your mind. Especially at a time period like today,” Beck said.

“Bomb throwing is — bomb throwing in today’s world is dangerous. Freedom of speech, it’s not free. Speech isn’t free. It comes with a very high price tag. First, being intellectually honest and intellectually curious. Speech is not free. It comes with another cost and usually to the other people at the other end of your argument. The pen is mightier than the sword, and it can destroy people if your aim is clicks, views, and ratings,” he continued.

 In 2009 Beck claimed that Obama was instituting a "national civilian security force." He has a penchant for comparing people with Adolf Hitler. But Glenn Beck is right about saying that speech "comes with a very high price tag": In 2014, he settled a lawsuit brought by a 20-year-old Saudi exchange student whom Beck said was somehow responsible for the Boston Marathon bombing.

3. Tomi Lahren learns that conservatism isn't as tolerant of "diversity of thought" as she claims.

It's ironic, though, that Lahren had told Bill O'Reilly in December that she knew she was "going to be walking into a crowd of people that was going to boo me and jeer me" when she had appeared on "The Daily Show" last year, saying that she didn't expect "anything from the mainstream media to be fair."

Later in the month Lahren returned to Fox News, where she railed against the "unloving, intolerant left."

“The tolerance is really one-sided,” Lahren added, “because they seem to be pretty accepting when their narrative is pushed, but as soon as Kanye West ventures over to the other side, that’s somehow unacceptable.”

But even though she was more than willing to directly call out liberals while on a conservative-friendly Fox News show, this week she tweeted only in innuendo.

By Jeremy Binckes

MORE FROM Jeremy Binckes

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Glenn Beck The Blaze The View Tomi Lahren