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(4,923 posts)
Wed Apr 25, 2018, 05:35 PM Apr 2018

How I Almost Became Tomi Lahren

The post about the Conservative woman Kanye likes reminded me about this.

Makes me wonder how many of these conservative pundits actually believe the crap that comes out of their mouths

How I Almost Became Tomi Lahren
If my conscience hadn’t stopped me, I could’ve become another bitchy blonde right-wing pundit.

The first time I realized I was a brand was in 1998. It was after I filmed the MTV reality show, Road Rules (or as I like to call it, The Wheel World). MTV had partnered with a company and they wanted to use me as the voice of the product. I was asked to read a first person script that said I was from a “small town in Pennsylvania.” Problem was, I’m not from a small town in Pennsylvania. I’m from Pittsburgh, and while it sometimes feels like a small town, it certainly doesn’t match the image they were trying to convey. When I mentioned the inaccuracy, they said, “It doesn’t matter as long as people think you’re from a small town. It makes you more relatable. We just need you to say the line.” So I did

Because I was on a reality show before the genre’s boom, I bought into the notion that the shows were about real, if highly edited, people. They aren’t. They’re about brands. People are complicated, but brands are simple. Follow the proverbial script, and you can make money. And I did for a while as I continued to appear on the shows as a means of bankrolling my education.

After I finished my doctorate, I wanted to combine my love of television with my academic experience, and met with several agents who were willing to take me on as a client. There was only one catch: I needed to be politically conservative. We hear a lot of rhetoric about how the mainstream media is liberal, but when it comes to blonde, reality stars (with or without PhDs in religion), well, the demand falls among the conservative outlets.

I was told it would be easy for me to get work as a talking head, reporter, or host as long as I was willing to promote the conservative agenda. I didn’t have to believe it. I just had to say I believed it. Could I proclaim a supposed “war on Christmas” or conduct sympathetic interviews with bakers refusing to make cakes for gay couples? If so, there could potentially be a huge payday.


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