Earlier this week The Badger Herald published a column I wrote titled “Be Smarter than Tomi Lahren.”
In the column, I called out Lahren, a political commentator who hosts her own show on “The Blaze,” for maintaining her own awful brand of politics that ultimately boils down to her spewing out bigoted, delusional and often plain ignorant rants. I was sick and tired of Lahren claiming there is something wrong with being offended by her openly racist and hateful commentary. This is why I wrote about it.
I thought the column would get some likes and shares from friends and maybe some other Badgers who were sick of watching her tirades on Facebook. Turns out I was wrong.
Apparently, more people were sick of Lahren than I realized. Actually, enough people read my column that it somehow drew the attention of her staffers.
Only a day after the article was published online, I received an invite from Tomi Lahren’s editorial producer and guest-booker asking me to do an interview on Tomi’s show — cleverly titled “Tomi” — sometime next week.
At face value, that sounds like an awesome opportunity. I would be on a popular political program that seems to constantly go viral. I had this awesome scenario playing out in my mind where I would get to make Lahren look like the political dolt she is.
But after talking to my friends and family about what to do, the overwhelming consensus was that someone like Lahren is not worth my time to talk to, and her show still isn’t worth your time to watch.
I think this is evidenced clearly in the fact that her staffer decided to invite me, a writer for a college newspaper, onto the show.
See, as excited as I was to be recognized, it just seemed a little weird to me. I am certainly not the first person to go after her. I won’t be the last, either. I am probably one of the least prominent people to ever challenge her through a published column, but somehow I get an invite?
They almost certainly hoped that by interviewing a college student, Tomi would be able to run me over. Honestly, it would have been easy for her. From what I could gather, the interview would have been prerecorded leaving them free to edit it as they please.
But my reason for not accepting the interview comes down to one thing. Going on Tomi’s show would give credence to her distorted, bigoted version of America and to the negativity she delivers to her viewers.
My interest in politics is to create and push as much positive and constructive change as my rather unimportant role allows me to.
Even if nobody reads what I write, at least I try to fight for things like equality, accountability and justice. My criticisms of others are meant to show Wisconsinites and Americans we deserve better. That should be the goal of every political commentator.
But it isn’t even close to Tomi Lahren’s goal.
Her interest in politics is to say and do whatever it takes to make her famous. She is the definition of a self-promoter and regardless of how much hate and intensity she puts behind her words, she cannot disguise the fact that she is hosting a commentary circus for her own selfish gain.
We have politicians and Americans on both sides fighting for solutions to our many problems, but our Facebook feeds instead have Lahren. She is doing nothing but working to prevent any progress we try to make as a society with her ignorant rhetoric. The most insulting thing is that she got famous by doing that.
I really have no interest in being a part of her circus. If I would have gone on her show, I would’ve made it seem like she has a credible, realistic view of this country and the problems it faces. Since she has neither, I will not give her the satisfaction.
I wish Tomi Lahren all the best in the future and that she sees the heights of fame, if only so more Americans can see what bigotry and ignorance sounds like.
Connor Touhey ([email protected]) is a senior majoring in political science, journalism and history.