Should Liberal TV Hosts Open Their Shows To Conservative Speakers?

Should Liberal TV Hosts Open Their Shows To Conservative Speakers?

When Trevor Noah had Tomi Lahren on his show, what did we gain from it?
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I rode in my mom’s car to and from school every day through junior high and high school, and we always listened to the radio. On the way to school in the morning, we would listen to the liberal news from Chicago. On the way home, we would listen to the conservative talk show hosts.

One time I asked my mom why she listened to people she didn’t agree with. She replied, “It’s important to know what the other side is thinking.”

While watching Trevor Noah, liberal host of “The Daily Show”, interview Tomi Lahren, conservative host of TheBlaze’s “Tomi,” my first instinct was to apply my mom’s lesson. The Washington Post called the interview an attempt “to do something about the liberal media echo chamber”. By “echo chamber”, they mean how people tend to only listen to media that agrees with the views that they already have—how it would be if my mom and I had listened to the same news sources before and after school, instead of switching things up. Lots of people only watch shows from one side of the political spectrum; for instance, they watch Fox News or CNN, and not both. Someone who only watches “The Daily Show” is getting one side of the political spectrum, one way of looking at the world. But in this episode, Trevor Noah brought in Tomi Lahren, someone whose worldview is diametrically opposed to Noah’s and his audience’s.

During the show, Noah challenged several of the arguments that Lahren has made on her show – that Black Lives Matter is a movement of “rioters,” that “mainstream media” cannot be trusted, and that Colin Kaepernick’s protest of the national anthem is “inappropriate.” Noah had counterarguments for each of her points, at one point calling her out for outright racism (Lahren: “I don’t see color.” Noah: “If you don’t see color, what do you do at stoplights? There's nothing wrong with seeing color. It's how you treat color that's more important.”). Neither Noah nor Lahren backed down or changed their mind about anything, but overall it felt like a civil conversation. It was certainly a change of pace from the usual scene of Noah making jokes at conservative news clips, unable to talk back to him.

But afterwards I saw some people on Facebook saying that all that Noah had done was give Lahren a wider platform for her hateful rhetoric.

A couple years ago, an artist erected a statue of a KKK member in the center of campus, without any warning or university permission. Black students responded with reasonable fear, and the university told the artist to remove the statue. The artist protested that his first amendment rights were being suppressed, claiming that he wanted to start a conversation about racism. But while conversations about social issues are important, there is a difference between starting a conversation and simply perpetuating hateful imagery or rhetoric.

Was having Lahren on “The Daily Show” perpetuating hateful rhetoric or having a conversation? Would it have been better for Noah to simply have shown clips from Lahren’s show, made some jokes about the ways she was wrong – which he has done – and left it at that?

If Noah had brought Lahren on his show and simply let her talk, then I would agree that he had only expanded her platform. But instead, Noah used conversation to challenge the hateful rhetoric of a human being. In doing so, he let us know what "the other side" is thinking without supporting it.

Having Lahren there in person meant getting more than a soundbite edited to its craziest part. It meant getting a real human being, someone who could talk back, like the people we have to interact with every day. The questions I heard most after the election was, “How do I talk about political issues with conservative family members?” If we never see the liberal people we look up to interacting with non-liberal real human beings, how can we know how to talk to them?

Here’s another benefit to having non-liberal real human beings on liberal shows: sometimes people who disagree with us actually have a point on something. During the interview, Lahren said something that I’d never heard or thought of before. She said that Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, is the first woman to run a successful presidential campaign. No matter what we think of the man she helped put into office, this specific thing is a milestone for women. With that point, Lahren made me realize that I had let my views on one issue (Conway’s support of Trump and his deplorable policies) get in the way of my views on another issue (women’s political power).

It is possible to both dislike what Conway has done and use her as proof that women can do anything. I wouldn’t have realized that if Trevor Noah hadn’t reached across the aisle and made me listen, for just under half an hour, to someone from "the other side" and learn what she was thinking.

Cover Image Credit: Mic.com

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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American Or Christian?

Can you really be both?

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This is a thought that has lingered in my mind for a very long time.

Personally, I hate news and politics. It's depressing and it seems like both parties (and people in general) just don't get it. Political conversation gets on my ever-loving nerves and literally gets me down in the dumps for the day.

I just simply don't watch it anymore. There is too much negativity.

That doesn't mean that I am uniformed. I am not advocating for ignorance or anything like that. I prefer to read and figure out my information from sites "in the middle."

As I was eating dinner with my wife the other day we started talking about the new Abortion laws in Alabama and Georgia. As a Christ-follower and a staunch defender of Biblical inerrant, I detest abortion.

Before you read any farther, you must understand something: This article is not about my defense of my beliefs regarding hot topics like abortion or homosexuality. I do not have the time to write about said topics now. I am just asking you to accept what I believe for the sake of the article.

But, anyway, these abortion bills. I can make a pretty good case that they are Constitutional because they are protecting the Life (one of the Rights given to American Citizens) from others. Yes, I know the arguments against said point but continue with me please.

This led our conversation to talk about Homosexual marriage, something that I am against as well. And not just because of Leviticus but because of the New Testament as well.

But, shaking my head, I said something that my wife seemed to agree with:

"As a Christian, I know it's wrong and I cannot agree with it. As an American, I see no reason why it should be illegal. Unless your choices infringe someone's Rights, you should be free to do what you wish (technically speaking)."

This is my dilemma. Well, actually it's not a dilemma. I know that I am a Christian before I am an American. I love this country greatly, and I know how blessed I am to be born here. For all the hate this country gets (and some of it is deserved) and all the problems we have (and we have a lot), we are shoulders above other countries in many ways. I am so thankful for all the men and women who have served to protect me and keep me safe. I'm thankful for a lot of things. And I am proud to be an American.

But my identity in Christ comes first. This is why I do not get into politics much. I don't really care at the end of the day. Because while America has been blessed, we still have work to do here. And this is not my forever home. This is not where I will spend eternity.

I try and respect everyone's opinions, and I earnestly try to love everyone, even when they trash and disrespect my beliefs and convictions. But I must put my call to Christ about anything that has to do with this nation. I will pray for ALL our leaders because I was told to do so (I prayed for President Obama when he was in office). And I will be here to support this nation. But I cannot put it above Christ's commands.

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