IMPACT: Tomi Lahren is a conservative American talk show host and political commentator. Lahren has hosted segments on One America News Network, TheBlaze, and Fox Nation. She issues commentary through her Twitter account, where she has over a million followers. Lahren has rejected the term Islamophobia, expressed support for the Muslim and African Ban, pushed the civilization jihad conspiracy theory, and claimed that “we are at war with Islam.” Lahren also frequently attacks the Black Lives Matter movement, which she has equated to the Ku Klux Klan. Lahren has hosted prominent anti-Muslim figures in her news segments, including anti-Muslim activist Pamela Geller and Brigitte Gabriel, founder of ACT For America.
Tomi Lahren is an American talk show host and commentator. According to Politicon, Tomi Lahren is the youngest political talk show host in history. According to the Guardian, she has been repeatedly lampooned as “white-power barbie” due to her segments. The BBC News has called her “bigger than Trump on Facebook,” with more than 4.5 million followers. Lahren began her On Point with Tomi Lahren talk show on the One America News Network in 2014. She left that network in October 2015 to join TheBlaze as the host of Tomi until she was fired in March 2017. In August 2017, Lahren joined Fox News Network as a contributor, where she continues her Final Thoughts segments.
Lahren first went viral in July 2015, when an episode of On Point with Tomi Lahren reached more than 2.5 million views before being deleted. In the episode, Lahren criticized former president Barack Obama in the wake of the Chattanooga attack. Lahren argued that the four victims were not killed by “white racism” but by “radical Islam.” She further argued that “radical Islam is becoming the rule, not the exception … yesterday’s moderate is today’s terrorist.” Lahren concluded that Obama’s foreign policy was “more concerned with Muslim sensitivity than … [US] Marines” and that it was time to “show them what a B-1 Bomber looks like flying overhead … to put the fear of God in their desert.”
In August 2016, Lahren went viral once again when she criticized NFL player Colin Kaepernick for kneeling during the national anthem in protest of racial injustice in America. In the video—which received more than 66 million views—Lahren asks Kaepernick if he kneels because “the black unemployment rate is double what it is for whites? Or the homicide rate, or the dropout rate, or the percentage of minority communities on food stamps?” She then asks when “those in black communities [will] take … some responsi-damn-bility for the problems in black communities.” She concluded that Kaepernick should instead be thankful for his right to “b***h and moan about [his] perceived oppression,” diminishing the reality of racial injustice in America.
Lahren has made the Black Lives Matter movement (BLM) a frequent topic of discussion during her news segments and over Twitter. In a February 2016 segment of Final Thoughts, Lahren criticized singer-songwriter Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s Super Bowl 2016 half-time show performance, which included a song that referenced BLM and drew on the imagery of the Black Panther Party. In the segment, Lahren accused Beyoncé of using the image of the Black Panther Party for attention and preventing the United States from healing: “Keep ripping off the historical band-aid. Why be a cultural leader when you can play the victim, right? Guess what, Beyonce? White people like your music too … but instead of recognizing that you’d rather perpetuate the great battle of the races.”
In July 2016, Lahren equated BLM to the Ku Klux Klan in a now-deleted Tweet stating, “Meet the new KKK, they call themselves ‘Black Lives Matter’ but make no mistake their goals are far from equality.” Shortly after, a Change.org petition received more than 62,000 signatures calling for her removal from TheBlaze. Lahren defended her statement in an interview with CNN Reliable Sources.
In December 2016, Lahren was interviewed by Trevor Noah, host of the Daily Show. During the interview, Noah told her that “for someone who is not racist, you have to spend a lot of time saying, ‘I’m not racist’” and asked what her “biggest issue with Black Lives Matter” is. Lahren responded that it “started with good intentions … The moment they started pushing ‘hands up, don’t shoot’ … the minute that became their slogan, the minute that protesting turned into rioting and looting and burning and militant actions, that’s when I lost respect for Black Lives Matter.” Lahren also stated that she “doesn’t ‘see color’ and thinks ‘true diversity is diversity of thought, not diversity of color,’” to which Noah responded “‘I don’t believe in that at all, when people say that … Because there’s nothing wrong with seeing color. It’s how you treat color that’s more important.’”
In January 2021, Lahren compared the insurrection at the US Capitol to BLM protests that occurred in the summer of 2020: “I am very disappointed in the acts of destruction/lawlessness at the Capitol today but for liberals to act like they are suddenly so appalled & disgusted by chaos & protest is the biggest load of BS. Y’all loved this kind of thing(and worse) all summer. Save your crocodile tears!”
Lahren has also made Muslims a primary focus of her segments, often amplifying Islamophobic rhetoric. In December 2015, in reference to the San Bernardino shooting, Lahren argued that “once again Muslims are on trial … No we can’t prevent all these attacks, but to sit here and pretend we’re not under attack is freaking ridiculous and dangerous.” She continued: “folks if radical Christians start taking over entire countries and radicalizing others on Twitter and YouTube, I will be the first to say something but guess what—that’s not happening.” She concluded with a call to action: “If you see something suspicious, no matter if the person is black, white, brown or purple, say something. If someone calls you Islamophobic, you tell them ‘No, because we are Americans and we are not scared of you.’”
In February 2016, Lahren hosted prominent anti-Muslim provocateur Pamela Geller on Tomi, which she had a number of times—to discuss then-Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump’s proposed Muslim and African Ban. In the segment, Geller argued that “Islamophobia is a propaganda term used to impose the Sharia. … Under Islamic law you cannot criticize or offend Islam, even if it is true. So the term, the myth Islamophobia is a … device to silence criticism of Islam.” She continued that critics of the Muslim and African Ban “have often no other explanations or alternatives to how you would distinguish between a peaceful Muslim and a Jihadi—a very real threat … and increasingly our freedoms are being abridged, so as not to offend savages.”
In March 2017, Lahren attacked Iranian director Asghar Farhadi after he received an award at the Oscars. In his victory speech, given by two surrogates, he highlighted that his absence was “out of respect for the people … whom have been disrespected” by the Muslim and African Ban.
In November 2017, Lahren argued that in the United States “Islamic sensitivity” takes priority over the “reality” of “radical Islamic terrorists … honored to kill us.” She further argued against the diversity visa program, claiming that “radical Islamic terrorist groups exploit this diversity and blissful ignorance and use it to attack and kill Americans.” Lahren concluded by stating that “it’s not Islamophobic to point out the radical problem within Islam” and “‘civilization jihad’ … [is] not just coming, it’s here.”
In December 2017, Lahren expressed support for then-President Trump’s Muslim and African Ban and argued that “properly vetting people is not racist.” She credited the ban with “[keeping] terrorists the hell out of our backyard” and argued that anyone dissatisfied with it was more “interested in feelings and political correctness than the safety and security,” reducing legitimate concerns over racial profiling and racism.
In addition to her news segments, Lahren has a long history of anti-Muslim tweets on Twitter, where she has amassed more than one million followers. In response to the Paris attacks, Lahren tweeted on November 13, 2015: “Yesterday’s moderate is today’s terrorist. #ParisAttack #RadicalIslam,” implying that all Muslims are on a path of radicalization. On October 6, 2016, Lahren tweeted: “Yes we are at war with Islam. We are. #debate.”
In response to the London Bridge attack, Lahren tweeted on June 3, 2017, “Maybe when the Left gets over it’s love affair with Islam, they will understand why President Trump wanted a travel ban,” and on June 5, 2017 that “Terrorists flat out tell us why they are doing this and yet the Left still insists it cannot be Islam, but must be climate change. Really?” Lahren has also rejected use of the term Islamophobia, tweeting in November 2017 that “It’s not Islamaphobia [sic]. It’s a firm understanding of reality. Wake up.”
In November 2016, Lahren hosted Brigitte Gabriel. Lahren started by stating that “refugees are coming over … [and] doing more than just being polite individuals. They’re changing the demographics, and they’re changing the way our country is run in many ways, more than one.” Gabriel agreed, citing that, “for example, diseases that have been eradicated from the United States … are now exploding nationwide. We now have tuberculosis because of the refugees who are coming … unchecked for infectious diseases, and they’re bringing many with them.” She added that “rape cases [are] now rising up in six states across the United States by refugees,” propagating two xenophobic narratives of refugees as rapists and disease-ridden.
In May 2017, Lahren joined the Great America Alliance (GAA) as a senior adviser for communications to help “execute communications and messaging strategies to expand grassroots support of [then-President Trump’s] policies across the country.” The organization was the largest pro-Trump super PAC in 2016 and raised more than $30 million on Trump’s behalf. In June 2016, the Great America PAC produced a pro-Trump ad titled “The Enemy.” In the video, a former Navy seal states that “the Orlando tragedy is a stark reminder that the battlefield and the enemy is moving here, to our shores and our communities.”
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Lahren has been critical of social distance measures and mask wearing. In the midst of national lockdowns in April 2020, Lahren posted in a now-deleted tweet that “Compliance [is] starting to look a whole lot like willful slavery #ReopenAmerica.” She also referred to lockdown measures as “a trial of communism” and questioned why healthy people were being caged. In response to an October 2020 campaign video of Joe Biden that urged mask wearing, Lahren tweeted, “Might as well carry a purse with that mask, Joe.”
Updated March 17, 2021