Denounced by the left as “White Power Barbie,” Tomi Lahren is the 24-year-old star of conservative media. With a current social media following of more than 6 million, she started fresh out of college with her own show on ultra-conservative One America News Network and then TheBlaze. She regularly fire-bombed the liberal political landscape… until she stepped out of line and voiced her pro-choice stance on ABC’s The View one morning. She was subsequently fired from TheBlaze, and now we’re waiting breathlessly to see what she’ll do next. For now, let’s take a look at real Tomi Lahren, the one you don’t quite see when she’s on-camera…
She wasn’t planning to be an on-air commentator. She wanted to be an intern.
After graduating from the University of Nevada with a degree in political science in 2014, Tomi wanted to get started with an internship. She Googled “conservative news outlets,” went on an interview at One America News Network and ended up impressing the CEO so much that he built a show around her. She was 21 years old.
She’s fully aware she’s in the entertainment business.
Tomi readily admits that she’s not a journalist. She has said that she is a commentator, not a journalist, and has said that her shows are not about presenting news neutrally, but about commentary and “mak[ing] the news.”
She learned early on she didn’t want to be a politician. She just wanted to talk about them.
Tomi’s internship with Congresswoman Kristi Noem’s Rapid City office (in Tomi’s hometown) taught her how government worked. And that’s when she decided she wanted to commentate on politics, not participate in the actual process.
She admits her subject matter is complex and she sometimes needs help with the tough issues.
While mediating a debate between a Palestinian and Israeli advocate on her show, things became so intense Tomi’s producers “actually had to come out and help mediate the argument during the commercial break,” Tomi revealed in an interview.
She’s doesn’t believe in organized religion.
Tomi says she’s not spiritual and regularly blasts organized religion for being “about hierarchy, power, control and greed.” That said, she admits to praying, especially on her daily runs, to “be a better person.”
She is aware she’s playing “a role.”
Tomi thinks her fans like her because she’s “real” but admitted to Trevor Noah in her Daily Show appearance that, as entertainers, they both know “we have to play these parts.”
She was an adviser to the Trump campaign.
Tomi reported to the New York Times that she was an “informal adviser” for the campaign’s social media use beginning in August. Sadly, it looks like she couldn’t get a leash on that Twitter use…
“I find that when people are actually around me,” Tomi reported to the New York Times, “it’s impossible not to like me.”
She’s not “alt-right.”
Although she’s often accused of being racist – and goes on some pretty racist rants – Tomi speaks out against radical conservative groups and their ideologies, even going so far as to call the alt-right movement “disgusting” and “nasty.”
She thinks it’s important that we all talk to one another.
Tomi’s a consistent advocate for having frank, honest conversations with those who do not share your views. She’s even gone on Charlamagne Tha God’s radio show (spoiler alert: he’s African American) where they agreed that they need to try to understand each other’s views.
She loves rap music.
After some of her tweets from her college days went viral, Tomi admitted to loving rap music. “When I was in college,” she wrote, she would go out with her friends and they “liked to listen to rap music and one of the songs … they enjoyed was a song called “Pop That Pussy.” She didn’t like to say the word, she says, so she said “Pop That P” and that became her thing. But that’s not all she did in college…
She was a little wild in college… and a little lazy.
The tweets also revealed Tomi’s drunken escapades in college, and showed that she was just a normal, lazy college student. “Bad news: had to get a job,” one tweet said. “Good news: It’s at my mom’s store and chill as F. #livinthedream”. So much for people having to work their way through life the hard way.
She may be more liberal than she lets on.
In addition to Tomi’s recent revelation that she is pro-choice – not a popular stance among her fans – on a political show she hosted for her college tv station, she said that believes that climate change is real (exact words: it’s an “agreed upon scientific consensus”) and that we should institute gun control.
She says she’s not a diva but …
During all the suits and countersuits that resulted from being fired from TheBlaze for her pro-choice stance, they revealed that Tomi complained about on-set conditions, refused to work with certain staffers and engaged in what they called “inappropriate office behavior.”
She says she always wanted to be in Playboy magazine.
But she was just kidding. Maybe. But Tomi did give Playboy a tell-all (not a bare all) interview after the fallout from her firing from TheBlaze. Besides, she can’t get too much more naked than she does on her Instagram.
She loves Lady Gaga.
A strange pairing, to be sure, but Tomi thought that Lady Gaga’s halftime show at the Super Bowl was really balanced. Not sure everyone agrees with that but she told Playboy, “I was so impressed that Lady Gaga was able to avoid that by leaving the political bullshit out of it.”
She believes that conservatives are trying to silence “strong women.”
“The left is watching how the right treats women,” Tomi told Playboy, “and we are doing their (the left’s) work for them. We can’t silence, diminish, and shame a strong female voice because she takes an opinion that maybe we don’t like.”
She has a bigger audience than Fox News.
With almost 6 million followers on social media, Tomi reaches more people than Fox News. In fact, a homemade video she posted on Facebook telling her viewers that she’ll soon be back after the whole TheBlaze thing goes away got 8 million views – 5 million more viewers than Fox News gets in primetime.
She feels vilified by both the left and the right.
Speaking about people calling her a “blonde bimbo” and “airhead,” Tomi told Playboy that “just as many conservatives do it to me as feminists and folks on the left. Those who feel threatened by you or your success will seek to tear you down.”
She’s not a gun-toting member of the NRA.
While she grew up in a rural area where people owned guns, Tomi is not a member of the NRA, doesn’t have a conceal-carry permit and claims, “I’m not a recreational shooter. I don’t enjoy shooting as a hobby.”
She believes that the Black Lives Matter movement is well-intentioned.
While she’s critical of the BLM movement, Tomi says she believes they felt that “there was a rift between police and the community” and that “they wanted to draw attention to it and create a national conversation.”
She has tattoos that inspire her.
Tomi has her state flower tattooed on the back of her neck and a XI; tattooed on her wrist. She explained the XI; on Twitter by saying “11 is my lucky number and the ; is symbolic. It’s a reminder to keep going when you want to stop.”