Taylor Lorenz on THAT Viral Interview with LibsofTiktok

taylor lorenz and chaya rachaik next to libsoftiktok logo
Taylor Lorenz/YouTube ART PAL/Shutterstock DDimaXX/Shutterstock

On a sunny Wednesday afternoon at the Aroma cafe in Studio City, Los Angeles, two internet forces sat down for an hour-long discussion.

On one side was Chaya Raichik, a former real estate agent behind the 2.9 million follower X account LibsofTikTok, which regularly posts anti-LGBTQ+ content. The account has described schools as “government-run indoctrination camps” for the LGBTQ+ community. It also falsely claimed that the Uvalde school shooter was transgender and shared a doctored video of a drag performer exposing themselves to children. 

On the other side was Taylor Lorenz, a Washington Post reporter and matriarch of the digital culture beat. Lorenz has consistently covered Raichik since April 2022, when she exposed her as the person behind the LibsofTikTok account.

Raichik claimed that she had been “doxxed” in the story, which led to Lorenz getting briefly suspended on X. Over the ensuing years, Raichik would call Lorenz a “crybully” and “hypocrite.” She also leaked their X messages. 

In the interview, which garnered over 138,000 views on YouTube, Raichik spews vile rhetoric, saying that “not all cultures are equal,” transgender identity is “based on lies and nonsense,” and that immigrants are “destroying our cities.”

While Lorenz tries to ask questions like how the X user feels about seeing comments under her tweets supporting the “Great Replacement Theory,” Raichik responds with attempts at gotcha questions, like “What are your thoughts on comments under your posts telling me to kill myself?”

While Lorenz clearly denounces these death threats, Raichik does not denounce the racist theory that non-whites are trying to wipe out white people through migration.   

The LibsofTikTok interview took place because Taylor Lorenz was working on a new Washington Post story that discusses Raichik’s recent appointment to Oklahoma’s state agency advisory committee. After multiple attempts to get a comment over DMs, Lorenz told Passionfruit that Raichik agreed to speak. But only in person for just five minutes.

Raichik arrived wearing a t-shirt with an image of Lorenz crying in an MSNBC interview. She also brought a box of masks to mock that the reporter wears them in public.

Another man came with Raichik to film the interview. Afterward, Lorenz asked for the footage, which she said the man airdropped to her phone. 

“I thought I was going to try and get her for as long as I can since I have a bunch of questions,” Lorenz said. 

Depending on which side of the internet you’re on, you’ll get an entirely different view of the interview. Reporters and left-leaning accounts openly mocked Raichik, who they thought came off looking like the “dumbest person at a party.” Or, like someone who “has ruined people’s lives for reasons she literally cannot articulate.

But on the right, Taylor Lorenz is painted as someone who fell right into Raichik’s trap. Far-right influencer Ian Miles Cheong wrote on X, “She tries to scold Chaya for the actions of her audience. It doesn’t work out.” Other influencers in the same space chose to focus on Raichik’s shirt, with Jack Posobiec tweeting that Lorenz got “MOGGED.”

Raichik herself wrote on X that Lorenz is a “lizard person.” In a now-deleted tweet and on her LibsofTikTok account, she shared a two-minute long edit, including an edited moment where she appears to be talking to an empty chair. None of these accounts posted the full interview video. 

According to Lorenz, the goal of right-leaning accounts is to get “content.” This usually means “starting a fight” by “bringing up your past controversies” to get a reaction out of you.

Conservative pundits like Steven Crowder and Ben Shapiro, for example, got their start by debating college students. In return, they’d get a viral clip that could be shared around on Facebook and YouTube.  

Lorenz never acknowledged the shirt and brushed aside the masks, which she said “neutered” Raichik.

“With any content creator, especially on the right, their goal is to pull you and to get you to run away for that clip,” Lorenz said. “You cannot give them that clip.”

When dealing with creators looking for animosity for engagement, you could ignore them. Or, you could approach the situation with more tact and respect.

The more wild or uninformed you seem, the more likely they are to catch you off guard for a viral moment. 

“I think that the best way to neutralize that is to act polite,” Lorenz said. “Show up. Don’t back down from them. Engage with them.”

Correction: An earlier version of this article misstated the name of the cafe where the interview took place. It was the Aroma cafe.

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