The Blaze’s suspension of Tomi Lahren stirs controversy

The Blaze’s suspension of Tomi Lahren stirs controversy
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Conservative news site The Blaze is facing questions about its suspension of host Tomi Lahren after founder Glenn Beck harshly criticized her over abortion.
 
Lahren last week appeared on ABC’s “The View” for an interview where she revealed she supports abortion rights, causing consternation in conservative circles.
 
“You know what? I’m for limited government, so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well,” Lahren said.
 
On Monday, Lahren tweeted that she has “moderate, conservative, and libertarian views.”
 
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Beck, a former Fox News host, shot back at Lahren publicly in Twitter: “Wait, libertarian views? Help me out on Trumpcare, stimulus, and executive orders. Trump is anything but libertarian,” wrote Beck, adding the hashtag #intellectualhonesty.
 
"I don't hire people who are sycophants or who have my opinion," Beck added on his Blaze TV program Monday. "I try to hire people who have a different opinion because I believe in being intellectually rigorous. I don't want straw men. I want people to make a real argument on the other side so we can learn from each other and we can grow."
 
Beck later added that "The Blaze cannot be about me, me, me, me. Media should not be about me, me, me, me."
 
The Blaze on Monday announced Lahren would be suspended for one week from her Blaze TV show “Tomi.” The Daily Caller was the first to report the suspension. 
 
The Blaze has not responded to requests for comment. 
 
Lahren told The Hill she can't discuss the situation at this time. But a tweet of hers Tuesday afternoon seems to indicate she will be speaking out soon: 
 
 
Media observers like DePauw University professor of communication Jeff McCall think both Lahren and Beck haven't presented themselves well in the past few days.
 
"Going on the liberal bastion 'The View' to talk about abortion ... undercuts traditional conservative stances and surely came off as treasonous to most devotees of The Blaze," McCall said. 
 
"I can see where Beck felt the need to reel Lahren back in, but that was a mistake, too,” he added. "Beck's public criticism made a one-day firestorm into something bigger. Lahren could have gone back to her show, gotten back on message, and things would have blown over."
 
"Now Beck comes off as forcing people who give opinions to all have the same opinion. That's not healthy, even for media outlets that have particular angle on politics." 
 
Brian Flood, a media reporter for the Seattle-based TheWrap.com, said Beck needs to be more transparent about Lahren's status with the network. 
 
"If Glenn Beck wants to punish her for expressing pro-choice views, then maybe he should admit she’s actually suspended," explains Flood. "But The Blaze hasn’t officially commented, and it’s probably because suspending someone for expressing pro-choice views would be absolutely ridiculous." 
 
Flood said Beck may simply be jealous of Lahren's growing popularity, particularly among relatively younger audiences that advertisers covet most. 
 
"Perhaps Beck is trying to turn his fan base on Lahren because she is clearly becoming too big for his network," observes Flood. "When I read reports of tension within The Blaze, the only thing that comes to mind is jealousy. In my time covering media for TheWrap, the only person from Beck’s network that I’ve paid any attention to is Lahren."
 
The UNLV graduate has more than 4.2 million followers on her Facebook page and more than 675,000 followers on Twitter, with a 10,000-follower jump since the report of her suspension Monday.