Wednesday night, Daily Show host Trevor Noah had Tomi Lahren as his guest, the outspoken and often controversial host of Tomi on TheBlaze TV. What ensued was a 26-minute interview in which Noah challenged Lahren’s previous comments on issues including Black Lives Matter, Colin Kaepernick, and Donald Trump’s misogyny. Throughout the interview, Lahren stuck to her guns and delivered some familiar rhetoric.
There were a few moments that stood out, like when Lahren said, “True diversity is diversity of thought, not diversity of color. I don’t see color,” to which the audience reacted and Noah replied, “You don’t see color? What do you do at a traffic light?” But overall the comments made by both hosts consisted of thoughts and material their fans have probably heard before.
A little background: the 24-year-old Lahren got her start in political commentary after she was invited to host her own show on the One America News Network in 2014. Her show was called On Point, and it earned her some recognition among the conservative community. So much so that less than two years later, Lahren accepted a slot to host her current show for TheBlaze. YouTube clips from her show now garner millions of views and pop up in people’s Facebook feeds. Lahren has courted controversy throughout 2016, commenting regularly on moments or flash points in the election, earning a loyal following.
Worth appreciating is the fact that Noah initiated their discussion in the first place. There’s a lot of ways he could have done the interview with Lahren. He could have focused on her personal life, asking her about how she was handling her newfound fame (or notoriety, depending on who you ask). He could have kept it light and talked about her career path, which by any account is pretty remarkable. Instead, Noah took Lahren to task for her comments she’s made, pointing out elements of her support for Trump that have been hypocritical, and repeatedly asking about her criticism of Colin Kaepernick’s protest, “What is the right way for a black person to get attention in America?” Throughout the interview, she failed to answer the question.
Noah’s interview disrupts a media trend that many on the left worry is contributing to a normalization of extremist, far right views in America. Jimmy Fallon recently found himself on the receiving end of public ire for doing just that in an interview with Trump. It’s true that deciding how to run an interview with someone like Lahren is a tough line to walk. But Noah, much in the spirit of previous host Jon Stewart’s campaign against bullshit, appears ready, willing, and able to take on these views, rather than brush them under the rug.