Tomi Lahren needs to recognize that her social media fame classifies her as a mainstream influencer

by Jillian Selzer

In a recent interview with Trevor Noah for The Daily Show, conservative pundit and host of The Blaze’s “Final Thoughts” Tomi Lahren claimed that her talk show, which boasts millions of views per segment, is not part of the mainstream media.

During the extended interview, Noah brought up the fact that because Lahren’s show has so many views and has gained widespread popularity among conservative consumers, she has now transcended into the mainstream media per Trump’s election, to which she immediately disagreed.

“It’s mainstream in the sense it’s being watched,” Lahren said. “But it’s not mainstream in classification.”

Noah then responded that millennials don’t consume TV in the same way anymore and interact via social media, so by definition, this means that she is the mainstream media of Facebook. To which Lahren responded, “Of Facebook, sure. Of social media, of going outside of what traditional media has been, yes. I am becoming more mainstream, but there’s still plenty of legacy media that is still attached. I was able to go beyond that on to social media and…go to directly to those folks.”

While her sentiment is correct in saying she has skirted around legacy media like CNN or Fox News in terms of her platform of choice, social media rather than television, what’s missing is her acknowledgment that social media is not part of the mainstream media. Lahren fails to realize that a large amount of news is now consumed via Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. She believes that because she gained her popularity via Facebook, she can’t be classified as mainstream just because she isn’t on TV. This shows that Lahren doesn’t fully understand her influence. She doesn’t understand that the reach of social media is virtually endless. She doesn’t understand that Facebook isn’t the same small community it used to be in 2007. Anyone can watch her videos, anytime, anywhere. Once she beings to realize just how far her reach is, which may never happen, she might consider weighing her words a little more heavily and expressing her thought process in a more careful manner. As a millennial, it’s pretty shocking that she doesn’t understand just how influential social media is.

VIDEO: View Lahren’s “Final Thoughts” on the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Once she begins to realize just how far her reach is, which may never happen, she might consider weighing her words a little more heavily and expressing her thoughts in a more careful manner. It’s pretty shocking that she doesn’t understand just how influential social media is, especially since she’s classifies herself as a millennial. For her audience’s sake as well as her own, one can only hope she’ll come to grips with her impact soon.

Photo courtesy of Gage Skidmore via Flickr

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Class members of the social media class in the Mayborn School of Journalism