Don’t blame me for Tomi Lahren’s abortion flip-flop, Glenn Beck told his talk-radio audience on Monday morning, she’s just struggling with “intellectual honesty.”
Lahren, the 24-year-old firebrand star of Beck's TheBlaze TV, became the subject of conservative anger over the weekend after she revealed her pro-choice beliefs to The View on Friday.
“I am a constitutional, y’know, someone that loves the Constitution. I’m someone that’s for limited government. So I can’t sit here and be a hypocrite and say I’m for limited government but I think the government should decide what women do with their bodies,” she explained. “I can sit here and say that, as a Republican and I can say, you know what, I’m for limited government, so stay out of my guns, and you can stay out of my body as well.”
If her passing suggestion that anti-abortion conservatives are hypocrites was the spark, then revelations that she called abortion "murder" just three months ago was the kerosene poured liberally on the flame.
"The pro-choicers are supposed to be about rare and safe abortions. That's how they avoid sounding like straight-up baby killers," she fumed to her viewers back then. "Then we have Lena freakin' Dunham out there wishing she could have murdered a fetus."
Over the weekend, conservative blogs wrote—based on sources—that Lahren, as America's most famous "anti-snowflake" snowflake, has been nothing but a nightmare for TheBlaze staff; and that she's on the way out anyway, possibly destined for an inevitable Fox News gig.
"If you're pro-choice, you can have a job at TheBlaze," Beck said on his radio show. "I don’t hire people who are sycophants or have my opinion.” He cited as an example former Real News host Amy Holmes, an openly pro-choice employee of TheBlaze.
He expressed disbelief at Lahren’s abortion change-of-heart, quoting her “baby killers” clip from December, in addition to a video—written by Beck sidekick Stu Burguiere—that she participated in with fellow Blaze employees mocking pro-choice activism. “This seems to be a relatively recent change,” Beck said.
He ever-so-subtly dissed Lahren, too, by championing his belief that “intellectual rigor” must be applied in all arguments—even ones with which he disagrees. “I want people to make a real argument, so we can learn from each other and we can grow.”
Beck then spent five minutes arguing with Lahren’s “hypocrite” claim, before delivering this peculiar line: “It takes intellectual honesty and a willingness to actually think these things through, and to do more than just read Twitter and Facebook to get your news and opinions.”
“Bomb-throwing in today’s world is dangerous,” he added, again without directly mentioning professional bomb-thrower Lahren. “It can destroy people if your aim is clicks, views, and ratings.” Ouch.
“The Blaze cannot about me, me, me, me,” he said. “It’s no secret that Tomi and I don’t agree on quite a lot, but that is about personalities. The ideas are what are important.”
He then directly addressed viewers who called for Lahren’s firing, telling them, “That’s not for you to call, that’s not appropriate to be discussed on the radio. That’s in the privacy of the office of TheBlaze.” Beck then pivoted to an in-depth discussion of the pro-life movement within conservatism, refusing to comment any further on the Lahren ordeal.
Beck’s reticence was a stark change from the weekend, when the right-wing media mogul tweeted several times at Lahren.
“Rule another label out. I am NOT a ‘constitutional,’” he wrote Friday, mocking Lahren’s use of that malaprop on The View. “I believe in LIFE, liberty and property. Just an old fashioned ‘Constitutionalist.’”
Beck also replied to Lahren’s defensive tweet about holding “moderate, conservative, and libertarian views.” He wrote, dripping with astonishment, “Wait, libertarian views?... Trump is anything but libertarian,” snippily punctuated by a hashtag: “#intellectualhonesty.”
TheBlaze’s top dog wasn’t alone in publicly sparring with his colleague. Assistant editor Kate Scanlon tweeted, “There is no ‘my truth.’ There is only the truth,” in response to Lahren writing that she speaks “my truth [and] if you don’t like it, tough.”
And political reporter Kaitlyn Schallhorn wrote: “Even Hillary Clinton didn't call pro-life conservatives hypocrites.”
The ultimate insult as far as TheBlaze is concerned.
UPDATE: Multiple reports emerged Monday evening that TheBlaze had “suspended” the production of Lahren’s nightly show for one week.