Colin Kaepernick, and Jay Z, news stories a lot of conservative media
don’t touch because it’s pop culture and it’s largely cast aside unless it
gets really big. I attack those things head-on because I know Millennials are paying attention to them. But at the same time I have a lot
of older folks who are law enforcement, military, conservatives who
want to see this country returned to those values, but also watch me.
RUSH: People like you give them hope for the future.
LAHREN: I’ve heard that a lot.
RUSH: No question about it, people you’re talking about think
we’ve lost the younger generation because of the portrayal of the
Millennial generation the media shows us in prime-time television,
movies, books, and to hear somebody like you come along has got
to be refreshing and inspiring. Have you had any problems with
discrimination because you’re a woman?
LAHREN: The funny thing, as much as you’d think it would be the
feminists and the liberals who would give me a lot of grief, I find
that there’s a lot of other conservative women I have to battle. By
“battle” I mean on a daily basis I have to validate to them what I do,
although I don’t play that game.
RUSH: Believe me, I totally understand this.
LAHREN: They don’t like that I’m doing what they’re doing better
than them. It’s not even so much I’m a woman, it’s that I’m young.
I don’t even like to use the term “discrimination” because I don’t
believe in that BS. I don’t look at myself as a victim, I don’t get up
every day and think, “Oh, woe is me.” I don’t care about those
things. But if I would say there’s something I have to overcome and
to be taken seriously, it’s my age more than anything. Because people think, “I’ve been in the industry far longer than you and I paid
my dues, so who do you think you are?” So it’s like, “I’m sorry that
I’m better than you at a younger age.” [Laughs]
LAHREN: But that doesn’t hinder what I’ve been able to do.
RUSH: That’s not going to change. Just to share with you my perspective, I started in 1988 and I thought I would be welcomed to
the movement. I thought the established conservative intelligentsia
of the day would be happy, “My gosh, here is somebody coming
into the movement who can help spread the word.” There was some
of that, admittedly, but there was also a lot of nervousness about it.
When William F. Buckley passed away, there began within the
conservative movement a battle for who was the leader. Rather
than there being this unified movement, it fractured and became
highly competitive and exclusionary. So I’m not surprised at what
you’re encountering, that your primary friction comes from fellow
conservatives. I really hope you’re able to maintain the attitude
you have about it, and not let it change the way you operate, be-
cause it’s nothing more than human nature. At some point you’re
going to be dealing with somebody younger than you — way, way
down the road.
LAHREN: My mentality is, “Stay in your lane.” I stay in my lane, I
do what I do, my success doesn’t take away from anyone else’s, nor
does anyone else’s success take away from mine.
RUSH: You mentioned pop culture, and you have waded into it successfully, taking on Beyoncé, Jay Z, Jesse Williams, Kaepernick.
Was this a strategy that you devised that you wanted to have a presence and be effective in the pop culture arena, or is it just something
that evolved that your instincts took you to?
LAHREN: I pay attention to pop culture because I love it. I love reality
television, I love other people that are in the entertainment business.
I’m fascinated by it and I watch it. So when someone like a Beyoncé
or a Colin Kaepernick or a Jay Z does something like Beyoncé did at
the Super Bowl, and they try to make political statements that are so
misguided, and they think they’re going to get away with it — they
think they’re cultural icons so they’re going to be political icons, but
they have no idea what they’re talking about and the consequences of
what they’re saying to other young people — I jump on it. Because I
know other young people are watching and absorbing it, just taking
it as gospel because it’s Katy Perry — they’ve got name recognition so
people just eat it up — I’m going to be the one that interjects myself
and says, I’m also that age, I
consume this, I watch this,
and I’m going to call BS on it
— because someone has to do
it. I think my voice is more relatable than a lot of others in
conservative media because I
am young, and I’m a woman,
and I’m blonde, and I care
about those things. I think
it’s got some credibility coming from me, or at least it gets
RUSH: That’s good, you’ve
got the tools, and you’re us-
ing them. I saw that even
rappers are putting you in
their lyrics as a “diss.” That’s
got to be a godsend.
LAHREN: Yeah, they think it
bothers me. I’ve been in two
rap songs in less than a year.
In the first, called “Drug
Dealers Anonymous,” they
actually illegally sampled
part of my “Final Thoughts,” a ten-second bite, and put it in the
song, so my actual voice is in that song before Jay Z starts rapping
about it. Then just last week I was in a song by a rapper called Wale.
He did an entire song dissing Donald Trump, and he decided to
acknowledge me in there as well. I think I’m getting to them.
RUSH: I want to ask you about your “Final Thoughts.” These
are monologues, they’re a strength for you, you write your own
stuff and these things go viral on YouTube. But you say you want
“For every person who hates on me and calls me ‘racist,’ ‘repulsive,’ and
‘Alt-Right Queen,’ there are 30 others — law enforcement officers, or in
the military, or just hardworking Americans — who appreciate what I’m
saying. That’s why it doesn’t faze me in the least.” — TOMI LAHREN