Tomi Lahren, a political commentator at the Blaze, was getting hammered from all sides for some comments she made on "The View" in regards to abortion. Then it got worse.
The Washington Post is reporting that she has been suspended, which Lahren seemed to confirm with this tweet:
In case you missed it, here’s what Lahren told the luminaries at "The View":
“I’m pro choice, and here’s why. I am a constitutional, y’know, someone that loves the Constitution….I’m someone that’s for limited government. So I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies.”
The response was, well, weak.
Good and reasonable people can disagree on this very contentious issue, but a ninth-grade debate student could come up with a more nuanced answer, one that does not tag as hypocrites people who support limited government but oppose abortion (which would be about 90 percent of Lahren's viewers, I suspect).
But Lahren was speaking on television, a poor medium for communicating particulars and one in which a simple slip of the tongue invites unwarranted ridicule.
Lahren’s comments were a little cringe-worthy, and I opined that conservatives should beware trotting out shiny objects and turning them into political rock stars for this reason: You end up with talking heads who can read a script off a teleprompter but might lack the intellectual heft to articulate ideas on a deeper level. (I haven't watched Lahren enough to know if this comment applies to her. She could be a Mensa member for all I know.)
But no matter how you slice it, suspending Lahren for sharing her views on this matter is, frankly, absurd. (If that is indeed why she was suspended. The Blaze has yet to issue an official statement.)
I have noticed conservatives patting themselves on the back in recent years for their support of free speech, mocking young “snowflakes” on campuses who need safe spaces from ideas that offend their sensibilities.
Yet it seems conservative groups often fail when they actually are tested on this front. (Case in point.)
Are other forces at work? Rumors are swirling that Glenn Beck, radio personality and founder of The Blaze, is horribly jealous of Lahren’s success and has been angling to release her (a theory that sounds all-too-plausible from my impression of Beck).
Whatever the case, suspending Lahren following political comments she made on a different network will go down as another embarrassment for Beck’s flailing media empire, and more evidence that many conservatives have not evolved on the issue of civil and open discourse as much as they’d like to believe.
Jonathan Miltimore is the Managing Editor of FEE.org. His writing/reporting has appeared in TIME magazine, The Wall Street Journal, CNN, Forbes, Fox News, and the Washington Times.