people like you who are in it. You just described some of the
ordeals and obstacles, but what do you think its life span is? Is
social media like other media, TV, radio, print — that now that it’s
established, it’s forever?
LAHREN: I think so. Every year we see a new app come out. Snap-chat is the big one right now, or Instagram. But I think this new
way of expressing ourselves is going to be around for quite some
time, even when something new comes along. We still have radio
and TV, even though we have social media. It’s a double-edged
sword, though. Whereas it allowed me to have fame that I would
not have had, or a voice that I would not have had otherwise, it’s
also damaging because social media is consuming. It’s time-consuming, it’s all-consuming. Every
aspect of your life is out there, and it’s
archived for the world to see, so you
have to be careful with it. But I think
it’s a good tool for us to use.
RUSH: Where do you want this to take
you? Are fame and success what you
thought they were going to be?
LAHREN: See, I still don’t see myself as
famous. When people recognize me, it
still catches me off guard. I like the fact
that people approach me and say, “My
family loves you,” or “My dad’s a police
officer and we really appreciate it,” or
“My mom is in the military and she really appreciates it,” or “I’m a Millennial
conservative and I feel like there’s not a
lot like me around and it’s nice to have
a voice.” So more than anything, I appreciate being known, but I wouldn’t
say famous. I live in Dallas, Texas, I
don’t live in L.A. or New York City, so
it’s kind of a different thing. It’s internet fame, but my day-to-day life is not fame-consumed, I guess
RUSH: Well, you’re still in the early stages of it. You’re 24 and you’ve
got so much yet to happen to you. What if somebody came to you
in the next year or two and offered you a nightly cable television
gig, would you leave social media to do TV, try to combine both? Do
you have any specific things you would like to come your way or to
go after and achieve?
LAHREN: I was at One America News, and I have a nightly show
on Glenn Beck’s The Blaze. But people know me from social media because those are independent networks. They don’t have the
reach that Facebook has. That’s why I turned to social media,
where I gained my notoriety. But for me, the biggest goal is to be
able to retain my voice and have that freedom. Wherever that
lands me, whatever medium it is — I’m not sure yet — but I want
to be somewhere where I can say the things that need to be said,
and not somewhere where they’re going to tell me, “Oh, that’s a
little too controversial,” or, “You might offend this person,” or,
“We don’t want you to say that, we’d like you to say it this way.”
That’s what I want to avoid.
LAHREN: No, not yet. Glenn Beck and I disagree on almost everything these days, but he does allow me a lot of freedom. Of course,
it is a more traditional conservative outlet, and there are words they
would like me not to say, like “damn,” for example. Other than
that, they allow me full creative freedom and I appreciate it. I want
that, but then also to expand my platform in the future.
RUSH: Good, that matters. Having independence or working for
people who grant you the freedom to actually do it the way you
want to do it is crucial. Now, you mentioned this, so let’s talk
about Millennials. I have been told by friends of mine that their
24- and 25-year-old daughters are literally scared of me on the
radio. I’m serious. They think I’m too passionate, that I yell at
them, that I make them feel defensive and
small. Yet you are that demographic — 24,
female. Do you get similar reactions from
other Millennials who don’t like confrontation and are made nervous by it, and think
you ought to dial it down?
LAHREN: Well, the liberals — or, as I call
them, “snowflakes” — are always going to
have that reaction to any conservative voice.
It wouldn’t matter if I whispered my “Final
Thoughts” to them, they would still be triggered. But no, I actually have a very different
reaction from a lot of Millennials, especially
young women, conservatives, because they’re
looking for someone who does what I do.
They don’t feel like they have that. I think the closest thing they
have is a Megyn Kelly and we all know that Megyn Kelly’s voice has
changed in the last six months as well, so they appreciate someone
who speaks to them.
I think in a very different way, and the great thing about this new
conservative media is that we have new voices that are emerging, in
addition to voices like yours, and Sean Hannity, and Glenn. We’ve
got other voices coming into the mix. That’s what’s getting me excited, especially about 2017, the Trump Administration and what
we’ve got coming up in the next four or eight years. It’s going to be
good things for conservatives, I think.
RUSH: I’m somewhat of a student of generations. I’m a Baby
Boomer. I don’t know how the Millennial generation is, if it’s perceived as monolithic, if there’s a camaraderie or fraternal aspect
about it, but the Baby Boomers were made up of a bunch of different types. I was embarrassed at one time to be a Baby Boomer. My
generation had it so easy compared to our parents and grandparents, who had to live through World War I, the Depression, World
War II, and the Soviet threat. They had to grow up. Tomi, by the
time they were 18 they’d learned that there were things much larger
than themselves. For their children and grandchildren, we had to
“I’m just one of those people, like yourself, who is fearless. I don’t
care what they call me. I stand in my truth.” — TOMI LAHREN