NBC Treats Woman Like a Hero for Flipping Off Trump

On Thursday, NBC anchor Megyn Kelly welcomed Julie Briskman on her morning show, who gained 15 minutes of fame by giving President Trump’s motorcade the middle finger while out for a bike ride in northern Virginia. The studio audience cheered and applauded as Briskman told Kelly “it felt great” to make the obscene gesture to the commander-in-chief.

“Her picture splashed across Twitter, Facebook, national and international newspapers and websites. Why? Because Julie Briskman decided, on a whim, to give the bird to President Trump’s passing motorcade,” Kelly proclaimed as she introduced her guest. The crowd erupted into cheers upon hearing the account. It was an interesting story for the host to cover considering she initially told viewers that she was “done with politics” when show premiered in September.

 

 

Kelly began the softball exchange by asking Briskman: “And there goes President Trump’s motorcade. And what inspired you in the moment to communicate with him in that manner?” Briskman seized the chance to rant against the President: “Well, all my frustration about this administration just welled up inside of me, and I started thinking about all the things that I think are going wrong right now in our country. And that was the only way I had to give him the message that I wanted to give him.” The audience laughed in response.

Moments later, Kelly wondered: “And how did it feel?” Briskman happily replied: “It felt great.” Amid more cheers from the audience, she added: “Actually, I don’t think anyone’s asked me that question before, but it actually felt great. It was like I got to tell him – hopefully got to tell him how I really feel.” Kelly remarked: “I’m sure he’s heard about it now.”

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Openly supporting Briskman’s decision to flip off the President of the United States, Kelly argued:

I mean, to me, it speaks uniquely to what America is all about. You can do that. Like, that’s the beauty of a free society. Whether you love President Trump or hate him, you are allowed to tell the president how you feel about him. Whether it’s President Obama or President Trump. That’s one of our core ideals.

The host then fretted: “However, you got fired, were forced to resign because of it. Why?” Briskman, who Kelly introduced as the former “head of social media for Akima LLC,” explained: “They cited the social media policy of the company, saying that my action was obscene and basically my content on my social media was obscene.” She admitted how eager she was to promote the picture: “I posted it on my Facebook cover photo and I posted it on my Twitter profile picture and my cover photo on Twitter.”

Kelly prompted applause from the audience when she chimed in: “She was proud of it, ‘That was me.’”

Lamenting Briskman’s firing, Kelly portrayed it as un-American: “...legally they may have had the right to fire you, assuming they treat all their employees the same. But do you think it is the right thing, the right thing in America?”

Predictably, Briskman declared: “Right, legal and right aren’t always the same thing, are they?... No, I don’t think it was right.”

Asked if she had any “regret” over her actions, Briskman announced: “I don’t regret doing it, no. No, I think we have a big problem in this country.” The audience cheered for her once more.

At no point did Kelly offer any criticism of Briskman showing disrespect to the Office of the President.

If one accepts Kelly’s assertion that a citizen’s freedom to give the middle finger to the President “speaks uniquely to what America is all about,” then you must ask why NBC never had that standard for critics of Barack Obama.

When a rodeo clown at the Missouri State Fair donned an Obama mask in 2013, NBC and the other broadcast networks lost their minds. The Today show labeled it “Rodeo Racism” and prominently featured a soundbite of one spectator comparing the event to a “Klan rally.”

In 2014, NBC, ABC, and CBS similarly freaked out when GOP staffer Elizabeth Lauten criticized the behavior of Sasha and Malia Obama at a White House event on her private Facebook page. “Of course, criticizing Presidents’ children has long been considered taboo in American politics and as we’re seeing here in the age of the internet and social media, the backlash can be brutal....with some accusing her of ‘Cyber Bullying.’ The #FireElizabethLauten trending online,” correspondent Kristen Welker hyped on Today.

Both the rodeo worker and Lauten lost their jobs as result of the respective controversies. NBC never brought either of them on air to defend their anti-Obama actions, let alone applaud them. However, the moment someone lost her job for being offensive toward Trump, the network gave her a sympathetic platform and admonished her employer for firing her.

Kelly’s friendly chat with Briskman on Thursday was brought to viewers by Burlington, Febreze, and Kohl’s.

Here are excerpts of the November 9 segment:

9:11 AM ET

MEGYN KELLY: So she went for a bike ride near her Virginia home and wound up becoming a viral sensation. Her picture splashed across Twitter, Facebook, national and international newspapers and websites. Why? Because Julie Briskman decided, on a whim, to give the bird to President Trump’s passing motorcade.

[CHEERS & APPLAUSE]

Briskman – Briskman was head of social media for Akima LLC, but she says she was forced to resign for what she did on her private time. Joining me now to talk about it, Julie Briskman. Julie, thank you for being here.
                    
JULIE BRISKMAN: Thank you so much for having me.

KELLY: So you live in Sterling, Virginia.

BRISKMAN: I do.

KELLY: Which is beautiful country. And there goes President Trump’s motorcade. And what inspired you in the moment to communicate with him in that manner?

BRISKMAN: Well, all my frustration about this administration just welled up inside of me, and I started thinking about all the things that I think are going wrong right now in our country. And that was the only way I had to give him the message that I wanted to give him.

[LAUGHTER]

KELLY: You didn’t, like, make eye contact, right? You know, it wasn’t like a moment?

BRISKMAN: Not with him. No, I didn’t see him. I made eye contact with a Secret Service person and I made eye contact with another gentleman who was looking out the window. The window was rolled down in that car.

KELLY: And how did it feel?

BRISKMAN: It felt great.

[CHEERS & APPLAUSE]

Actually, I don’t think anyone’s asked me that question before, but it actually felt great. It was like I got to tell him – hopefully got to tell him how I really feel.

KELLY: I’m sure he’s heard about it now.

(...)

9:13 AM ET

KELLY: I mean, to me, it speaks uniquely to what America is all about. You can do that. Like, that’s the beauty of a free society. Whether you love President Trump or hate him, you are allowed to tell the president how you feel about him. Whether it’s President Obama or President Trump. That’s one of our core ideals. However, you got fired, were forced to resign because of it.

BRISKMAN: Yes.

KELLY: Why?

BRISKMAN: They cited the social media policy of the company, saying that my action was obscene and basically my content on my social media was obscene.

KELLY: Because you posted the photo on your Twitter and Facebook page?  

BRISKMAN: I posted it on my Facebook cover photo and I posted it on my Twitter profile picture and my cover photo on Twitter.

KELLY: She was proud of it, “That was me.”  

[APPLAUSE]

BRISKMAN: But on Twitter I never said it was me. And I only said it was me on my cover photo on Facebook when somebody asked.

KELLY: So this is what they said –

BRISKMAN: And neither account has Akima.  

KELLY: Let me ask you – so Akima, okay. So Akima, they did not respond to our request for a response to Julie’s story, but they have a statement on the website about a code of conduct there. This is how it reads, “Akima expects its employees, officers and directors to exercise good judgment and maintain high ethical standards in all activities which affect Akima. Every Akima employee is held to these standards.” So were they saying it wasn’t good judgment, it wasn’t ethical?

BRISKMAN: No, I don’t recall that being said.

KELLY: Has anybody else ever done anything obscene –  

BRISKMAN: They said I was disrespectful, and that’s one of the core tenants of the company, is being respectful to everybody.

(...)

9:16 AM ET

KELLY: What do you think about it, Julie? Because it’s like legally they may have had the right to fire you, assuming they treat all their employees the same.

BRISKMAN: Right.

KELLY: But do you think it is the right thing, the right thing in America?

BRISKMAN: Right, legal and right aren’t always the same thing, are they? Right? They really aren’t. And so – I lost what you asked me, I’m so sorry.

KELLY: Do you think it was it right?

BRISKMAN: No, I don’t think it was right. I mean, they clearly treated me differently. It was not equal application of their social media policy.

KELLY: Do you regret doing it?

BRISKMAN: I don’t regret doing it, no. No, I think we have a big problem in this country.

[APPLAUSE]

KELLY: Well, I know you’re the mother of two children.

BRISKMAN: I am.

KELLY: What message do you think you’ve communicated to them here?

BRISKMAN: I think I’ve communicated to them to use their voice when they can and how they can, when they have the opportunity to use their voice.

KELLY: Sometimes the voice has a little salty language associated with it, or the finger does, depends on which one you choose.

(...)


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