Part of what made the election feel so odd was the lack of Jon Stewart behind the desk at The Daily Show. While Stewart has made his thoughts about the election results clear, as have many of the late-night hosts who used to work for him, The Daily Show itself feels as though it may have lost some of the culture import it once had. Many have blamed Trevor Noah, the show’s new-ish host, for this change, in part because he failed to replicate the outrage that was palpable from Stewart, and can now be found in hosts like Samantha Bee and John Oliver.
Last night, Noah invited Tomi Lahren onto The Daily Show and engaged her in an interview that revealed a side of Noah that is usually concealed. Lahren, a conservative spitfire who hosts a show on The Blaze and is famous for her “Final Thoughts” segments, which take on topics ranging from Colin Kaepernick to Black Lives Matter, engaged with Noah on a range of topics over the course of the interview.
Although only six minutes of the interview aired during The Daily Show, Noah and his team quickly made the complete, 26-minute interview available online, and it’s a doozy. During their conversation, Noah and Lahren duel on everything from ObamaCare to the now infamous Trump Access Hollywood tape.
Early on, Lahren wonders why conversations between liberals and conservatives have to be so adversarial. “I wish that we could disagree with each other without thinking we are bad people,” Lahren says. “So because I criticize a black person or the Black Lives Matter movement, that doesn’t mean that I’m anti-black or that I’m racist. I’m criticizing a movement.”
In fact, the most powerful moments of the interview came during an exchange over Black Lives Matter, when Noah seemed genuinely baffled by Lahren’s accusation that the movement was the new KKK. “Do you really believe you’re not being mal-intentioned when you say things like Black Lives Matter is the new KKK?” Noah asked. “Because you realize Black Lives Matter can’t be the new KKK when the KKK is still around. They have not vacated their premises, and most importantly to say Black Lives Matter is the new KKK is to really minimize what the KKK did and what they stand for.”
The entire interview is worth watching, in part because it’s clear that Noah has trouble even getting Lahren on the same page he is (the one based on logic). Still, credit is owed to her for even showing up, and they both deserve credit for an attempt to engage with one another in spite of their differences. Liberals and conservatives will likely retreat to their respective corners and argue that their side won, but the fact that the conversation happened at all may be more remarkable. Noah has been living in Stewart’s shadow for the past year, but last night’s interview allowed him to make a big impression for the very first time.
You can watch the full interview here.