Tomi Lahren, a conservative TV commentator and rising star at The Blaze, has been suspended by the network for a week, according to various reports. In addition, the managing editor of The Blaze confirmed late Monday that her program would not be in production this week.
The reported suspension stems from comments Lahren -- a native of South Dakota and host of the nightly show, “Tomi” -- made during an appearance on “The View” Friday, when she asked by co-host Sunny Hostin, “you call yourself a constitutional conservative, but you also consider yourself pro-choice.”
Lahren, 24, responded, “Here’s why. I’m someone who loves the Constitution, I’m someone that’s for limited government so I can’t sit here and say I’m for limited government but I think the government should decide what women should do with their bodies. I can sit here and say that as a Republican and say, I’m for limited government so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well.”
The comments were later criticized by Blaze founder Glenn Beck, who said on his radio program Monday that the Constitution guarantees “ the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity (and) who are our posterity, if not our unborn children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren?” adding, that “the ideas are what are important. And if you cannot defend the idea, no matter which side you’re on, if you can’t defend the idea, that leads to the second part of the discussion -- people calling for Tomi to be fired.” He said it was inappropriate to address Lahren’s future at The Blaze on his radio program.
Late Monday, Leon Wolf, managing editor of The Blaze, confirmed to CNNMoney that “Tomi’s show will not be in production this week.”
Recalling “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson’s brief suspension by A&E in 2013 for comments about gays made to GQ, it’s unclear what impact a weeklong suspension will have on Lahren’s views -- or whether she’d be required to modify them upon returning or leave the network altogether.
Her Friday comments has created a firestorm in the usual place -- the internet -- although Lahren has indicated her support for abortion rights before, and also her support for same sex marriage. In an interview with the Harvard Political Review last September, she said, “The last thing I will ever do is be a puppet for something that I don’t believe in. That’s why you don’t hear me talk about pro-life, abortion. I don’t talk about it because I am socially moderate. So I’m not going to sit here and bang the pro-life drum—that’s not really my fight. Or same-sex marriage -- I am OK with same-sex marriage. I am very tolerant of same-sex marriage. That’s why I don’t talk about it much, because it’s not one of my core issues. And that’s why you won’t see me get artificially angry about these things.”
With an enormous social media footprint -- over 4 million followers across various platforms -- and host of the most visible program on “The Blaze,” Lahren has assumed instant stature among conservative TV commentators. Her rapid-fire delivery and incendiary style has not only made her a popular fixture on The Blaze, but also a controversial one. During a “Final Thoughts” segment on her show last August, she criticized 49ers backup quarterback Colin Kaepernick’s refusal to stand during the national anthem saying, “this country protects your right to be a whiny, indulgent, attention-seeking crybaby, and also protects my freedom to shred you.” Which she proceeded to do, then wrapped the segment with this: “Where does the buck stop? When will those in black communities take a step back and take some responsi-DAMN-bilities for the problems of black communities? It seems to be blaming white people for all your problems might make you racist.”
The commentary has been viewed 67 million times on YouTube, to date, and also turned Lahren tinto a lightning rod. Just before an appearance on “The Daily Show” last year, host Trevor Noah asked the audience to be nice to her: “Imagine you’re at Thanksgiving again, and your racist uncle walked in.”
In the Harvard Political Review interview, she said: “I lashed out at the Black Lives Matter movement because I didn’t agree with what that movement had become. I also believe that that movement has endangered the lives of our police officers -- black, white, purple, brown, whatever. That’s why I am so passionate when I speak out against it. I’m also fiercely patriotic. I’m supportive of our military, as well as my country. That’s why the Colin Kaepernick Final Thoughts were so raw and emotional, because I love this country so much.”
During the interview, Lahren also discussed her relationship with Beck: “I disagree with Glenn on many, many things, especially during this political season. He’s a never-Trumper; I’m a Trump supporter. I have, on numerous occasions, called never-Trumpers crybabies -- that’s my boss. I look up to him because he created an empire. He created a network in which a voice like mine would be free and supported.”
Neither The Blaze nor Lahren could be reached immediately for comment.
In a series of cryptic Tweets late Monday and early Tuesday, Lahren said “so I’ve got some ‘me’ time tonight. Anything good on TV?” In another she wrote, “This life can be lonely. Thank you to those on all sides of the political spectrum for the support.”
In one posted Tuesday morning, she wrote: “Ladies, you were made to do difficult things. Believe in yourself.”