The Issue Is: Tomi Lahren and Brian Tyler Cohen, Round 2

After going head-to-head on The Issue Is this past October, Brian Tyler Cohen and Tomi Lahren are back for Round 2.

On the left, Cohen is the progressive host behind the No Lie with Brian Tyler Cohen podcast. With more than a million subscribers on YouTube, Cohen’s videos have also been viewed some 600,000,000 times.

On the right, Lahren is the conservative host of First Thoughts and Final Thoughts on FOX Nation, the FOX News streaming service. Lahren, with more than 1.7 million Twitter followers, is also the author of  Never Play Dead: How the Truth Makes You Unstoppable.

The two join Elex Michaelson on this week’s The Issue Is to debate California’s coronavirus lockdowns, the effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, claims of voter fraud in the 2020 Presidential election, the Georgia Senate runoffs, Hunter Biden, the best Christmas movies, and more.



BACKGROUND: With more than 1.8 million confirmed cases, 22,000 deaths, dwindling ICU capacity, and fear of worse to come, most of California is currently under a new stay-at-home order, which has led to the re-closure of salons, bars, and outdoor dining, among others. Given the divisive reaction to the state's new orders, and the state’s concurrent COVID surge, Michaelson asked Lahren and Cohen if they thought the restrictions were too strict, or not strict enough.

TOMI LAHREN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I’m all about freedom, I’m all about trusting people with their own health and safety decisions. California was the first to lock down… If your leadership was so excellent and so effective, and the lockdowns were so effective, you wouldn’t have to do it again, you wouldn’t have the highest case numbers in the country, you wouldn’t have the issues that you’re seeing now. Clearly, what you’re doing is not working, and by destroying your economy, destroying people’s businesses, their livelihoods, and restricting their free movement and their ability to operate or go to a job, that’s not solving a problem for anyone, and it’s not solving your case numbers. I don’t think treating people like caged animals is the way to go."

BRIAN TYLER COHEN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Cases are exploding, now is not the time to give up, unless your goal is letting people die. Despite what people like Tomi claim, this isn’t about shutting down the economy, it’s about shutting down the virus. The only reason that we’re here in the first place, is because Trump refused to acknowledge the severity of the virus, and the rest of the GOP, all of whom are too afraid to confront him, towed the party line. So what we’re left with, is 300,000 dead Americans, the fourth biggest mass casualty event in American history, we’re losing a 9/11’s worth of people every single day, so when you ask if the restrictions are too much, no, because we should be willing to accept a disruption to our lifestyles to keep people alive."


BACKGROUND: Despite five previous attempts that never took off, a renewed effort to recall Governor Gavin Newsom has started to gain some traction in California. As dissatisfaction with the state’s lockdowns has grown, organizers have collected more than half of the needed 1.5 million signatures needed by March 2021 to place a recall vote on the ballot.

TOMI LAHREN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I am so proud of Californians for finally waking up and realizing the tyranny that has been in their backyard for years, but now the coronavirus edicts and mandates and restrictions and lockdowns have just made it abundantly clear… When you’re a hypocrite like that, when you go to the French Laundry and you spend thousands and thousands of dollars while your state is suffering and your constituents are suffering, you’re going to get recalled, and I believe it’s going to happen."

BRIAN TYLER COHEN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "Tomi has about as much say in recalling the California Governor as I do in recalling the Queen of England. Emergency powers were given to the Governor for an emergency situation, and if the fourth largest mass casualty event in US history isn’t an emergency, I don’t know what is… Instead of focusing your energy on a doomed recall effort, that you, and I, and Elex, and everyone watching, knows is going absolutely nowhere, maybe focus your energy on taking the simple steps that could actually help contain this virus, instead of complaining that your freedoms are being trampled by the people whose only goal is to help people survive."


BACKGROUND: This past Monday, the Electoral College convened, affirming the election of Joe Biden. Following that official vote, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) acknowledged Biden as the President-Elect for the first time. Still though, as his team continues to pursue lawsuits and claims of voter fraud, President Trump has yet to concede the race.

TOMI LAHREN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I don’t think it’s time for President Trump to concede until we get an actual investigation into election integrity and voter fraud… It’s funny, because the Democrats, I seem to remember four years ago, spent four years investigating this President fruitlessly, and wasting our tax-payer dollars on their investigations, but now, all of a sudden, they don’t believe in investigating, and they scoff at bringing up election integrity or maintaining the integrity of our elections…

BRIAN TYLER COHEN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "I get that Trump wants to continue crying fraud so that he can keep grifting his supporters into donating and paying down his campaign debt, it’s because he also wants to, because he’s groomed his supporters into believing there’s nothing worse than a loser, and that’s exactly what he’s become… if there’s any legitimate evidence of fraud, they’d have presented it in court, that is quite literally where the fraud issues are adjudicated, and yet, not in any of the 59 cases that Trump and his allies have brought forward, has a single evidence of fraud been proven."


BACKGROUND: On January 5, two Senate runoffs in Georgia, one between Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R) and Raphael Warnock, the other between Sen. David Perdue (R) and Jon Ossoff (D), will determine which party controls the Senate. With a Democrat in the White House, the outcome of those two races could have a resounding impact on the agenda of the next four years.

TOMI LAHREN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "If Republicans stay in control, then we are able to keep socialism from knocking on our door, I mean it’s still going to be a fight, but at least if we maintain control of the Senate, we can keep socialism pushed back for a while… it’s a very clear decision, are we going to be a socialist nation, or are we going to be a free nation, that’s your choice in Georgia."

BRIAN TYLER COHEN’S CENTRAL TAKE: "If Democrats control the Senate, guarantee you, the first order of business is going to be relief to the American people, stimulus checks, $15 minimum wage, federally decriminalized marijuana, expanded access to healthcare, which is especially important now with this pandemic, and codifying protections for women’s reproductive rights…"


The Issue Is: with Elex Michaelson is California's only statewide political show. For showtimes and more information, go to