Two big scandals involving popular conservative figures recently rocked the political world. The first incident happened a few weeks ago involving The Blaze’s rising media star Tomi Lahren and more recently, long-time Fox News veteran Bill O’Reilly.
Lahren flip-flopped on abortion, an issue she was passionately against and O’Reilly faces numerous sexual harassment accusations. Conservatives are supposed to be the people who stand up for what is morally right, if they don’t…are they really conservatives to begin with?
For those who don’t know who Tomi Lahren is, she is a political commentator who garnered popularity through her now former segment on The Blaze, Final Thoughts. She’s been accused of being inconsistent with her beliefs on various issues, but this latest flip-flop on abortion struck a chord with numerous conservatives and got her indefinitely suspended from The Blaze.
One of Tomi’s social stances was adamantly being pro-life. She recently doubled-down on her pro-life stance in favor of supporting the pro-choice movement instead. Tomi made this shocking revelation on March 17th, 2017 while being a guest on The View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOT3EiKCL-w.
The reason conservatives were upset with her is because she betrayed the movement and let them down in front of the whole world. She had the perfect opportunity to defend her values and the lives of the unborn on a liberal platform, but instead caved into her need to be liked and accepted by everyone, evidently selling herself out.
Just a few months prior to her appearance on The View, she was spitting out pro-life rhetoric as shown here in this video initially posted on December 22nd, 2016: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as6SBGa96Io.
It’s one thing to come from a liberal background and have taken certain stances on matters at an earlier point in time. However if you claim to be a right-winger today and make conservative statements, then suddenly change your mind to support the complete opposite stance when it’s convenient for you, then quite frankly, you do not stand for anything at all.
Tomi proved to be a person who only says whatever she believes will bring her the most attention at any given time. She’s not doing what she does because she has strong values, she’s doing it for the wealth and fame that comes along with being a popular public figure like herself. She’s scamming her audience and people need to call her out on it.
The words and principles she’s been expressing all this time turned out to be lies spoken for the sake of gaining herself notoriety in the political world. She’s another example of someone capitalizing off the ideas of conservatism without practicing what she preaches. Her inconsistencies are too obvious for anyone to take her seriously as a conservative from this point on.
The latest scandal in the news world involves one of conservatism’s most popular figures, The O’Reilly Factor host, Bill O’Reilly. He has been facing sexual harassment claims from Fox News employees and former guests for over a decade at this point and it has culminated into his termination from the network.
The company had repeatedly defended Bill throughout the years and settled many lawsuits concerning the sexual harassment allegations filed against him, but their efforts to defend him inevitably turned out to be fruitless.
One of his accusers, Wendy Walsh never settled and never sued allowing her to publicly speak against Bill O’Reilly and Fox News as she pleased.
With the coverage of O’Reilly’s sexual misconduct scandals out in the open, the allegations became too big to ignore. This caused sponsors to stop funding Bill’s segment and forced Fox News to abruptly fire O’Reilly (https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/bill-oreilly-is-officially-out-at-fox-news/2017/04/19/74ebdc94-2476-11e7-a1b3-faff0034e2de_story.html?utm_term=.0f7640472574).
Listen, I disagree with witch-hunting people for the sake of it and seeing their careers as public figures fail. However, we can’t excuse people of bad behavior just because they are popular figures who we happen to agree with based on the values they claim to represent.
It should be noted that people do slander others and accuse them of ridiculous allegations all the time, that doesn’t necessarily make any of them true. People love to ruin other people’s careers through blatant lies. Others do it simply to gain attention for themselves or to acquire easy money through unjust lawsuits.
In O’Reilly’s case however, if there was only one incident of a sexual harassment allegation against him, perhaps it would be excusable, but with the numerous allegations and settlements that Fox News had to make, there’s clearly something going on behind closed doors. Based on those facts, I believe his exit from Fox was justified and about time.
It’s one thing to publicly talk about values in front of the public eye, but another to ongoingly practice them in private when no one’s looking. Let’s examine what the public knows about Bill’s personal life.
Bill previously stated that the domestic abuse problem in America is a “terrible plague”. Yet his daughter Madeline had accused him of assaulting her mother (his now ex-wife) Maureen by dragging her down the stairs by the neck, when she secretly witnessed the incident at 9 years old (http://www.nydailynews.com/entertainment/gossip/bill-o-reilly-assaulted-wife-front-child-report-article-1.2226846).
Maureen also accused him of poor parenting, because he hired a therapist to provide his parental duties for him, which prompted her to challenge the joint custody terms that were put into place.
It should be noted that Bil lost custody of his children and full custody was granted to his ex-wife in 2011 (http://www.nycourts.gov/reporter/3dseries/2016/2016_01275.htm).
How can anyone claim to be a conservative if they turn out to be a bad spouse, parent and person? You can’t go about lecturing everyone else on social policies while taking advantage of women in your workplace and failing to provide your duties as a father and a husband. That’s not being a conservative in the slightest.
Whether the accusations against O’Reilly are true or not, the large amount of allegations over the years and the problems he faces within his immediate family imply that there may be some truth to all the sexual harassment claims after all.
People like Bill and Tomi can shove all the conservative principles down as many people’s throats as they’d like, but if they don’t practice what they preach, then what they stand for is meaningless and they lose all credibility to speak on behalf of conservatives.
No one’s untouchable and exempt from criticism. We must always question those who have a voice and influence. It seems that power and popularity corrupts far too many, which leads them to compromise their values for personal gain. The thing about dishonesty and corruption is that the truth inevitably comes out and people pay the consequences for it.
If anyone refuses to question their own, that’s on them. Whether we previously supported them and their ideas or not is irrelevant. Right is right and wrong is wrong. I’d like to believe that conservatism is about standing up for what’s just and calling out anyone who deserves to be called out when they are in the wrong. If you can’t defend your principles, then what exactly do you stand for?