DC Exclusives - Original Reporting

Playboy Strips Tomi Lahren Down To Her Core

Tomi Lahren The Blaze

When The Blaze nixed Tomi Lahren‘s online TV show in March, she sued and won in a settlement that allowed her to be released from her contract and retain control of her Facebook page. During the course of the proceeding, her lawyer tried to use a Daily Caller story to prove that Blaze employees were maligning her, which the judge forbade both sides to do.

So far, no luck on that one.

Now she’s talking to Playboy.

Not to pose. But to talk.

The first two questions in the lengthy interview are real doozies and involve her looks. The nudie mag known for its stories (as the joke goes) asked her if being a “blonde bombshell” was what enticed her first employer to hire her to host her own show on the One America News Network.

“Those who have a knowledge of One America would know that there were several models and actresses working there just as anchors. And they didn’t get their own political talk shows. If I was just some dumb-dumb who looked pretty, they would have made me an anchor and had me read news from a teleprompter. Robert Herring had enough trust in me to think I could carry my own show. He wanted to experiment. I built that show from nothing. At 21, right out of college, I had two producers, about my age, who had never produced a show before, and they wanted me to write and produce an hour-long show before I turned 22. Which is a whole lot of work for someone who’s just an ‘airhead.'” 

The Playboy interviewer, Art Tavana, then asked if comments like “airhead” and “blonde bimbo” offend her.

“I do find it offensive, but I don’t let it bother me anymore. 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. But I’m not going anywhere. People tell me all the time that my 15 minutes are up. Well, my 15 minutes have been a couple years now, and every month I seem to have a viral moment. They also don’t take the time to understand me. I’m not a foreign policy expert, but I surround myself with former Navy SEALs and folks like [retired Army Lieutenant Colonel and former congressman] Allen West, absorbing from them. I’ve also been a 4.0 student my entire life. I graduated with honors from every level of education.” 

In essence, she says, don’t hate her because she’s beautiful.

“I’m not trying to play the feminist card,” she said. “Feminists are actually some of the meanest to me. They look at me and say, ‘You can’t be intelligent because you look this way,’ so they immediately discredit me. They attribute all my success to my looks—that I fit this image in the ‘Fox News mold,’ which is very frustrating.” 

Despite criticizing the “Fox News mold,” as she referred to it, Lahren calls the network “Mecca” and says of course she’d consider working there or MSNBC.

“Of course I would. I mean, that’s the Mecca. But I don’t care what the outlet is. I would work for MSNBC if I could be me and be authentic and genuine, and do what I do. That’s the thing about me: I can learn and I can grow, but you’re not getting some empty vessel that you can make with it what you want. I think I’ve proven time and time again that I’m not easily tamed. I would consider going anywhere. But I just want to be able to pursue what’s next. I want the freedom to find that out.” 

Betsy Rothstein
the authorBetsy Rothstein
Born and raised in Akron, Ohio, Betsy has been covering and torturing Washington media for the past three years. Early on she studied journalism in England, interviewing punk rockers in Piccadilly Square who stole her notebook and ripped it up. After graduating from Union College with a B.A. in Spanish, she began her journalism career in Cambridge, Mass., working for a Cuban newspaper where she conducted man-on-the-street interviews. She asked Latinos about their love lives. “Do Latinos make better lovers or what?” She soon moved out west to Denver, where she worked for two rival Hispanic weeklies for one year each. Next stop: J-school at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, where she earned a master’s degree. In the years following grad school she worked at the Boca Raton News as a business reporter followed by a brief stint as a press secretary for former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.). She spent the next decade on Capitol Hill covering hard news, features and gossip for The Hill Newspaper. In 2009 she quit and moved to Portland, Ore. and wrote about the many long-haired men there who distinctly resemble Jesus. They weren’t all kind (one was fat and confrontational) but she got her story. Prior to joining TheDC, Betsy was the editor of FishbowlDC, a Washington media gossip blog.

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