’I Love Everybody’ :: Dallas Morning Show Co-Host Explains Walk Out to Fox News
The drama surrounding a live broadcast of a local Dallas area all-women morning talk show modeled on "The View," continued this week when one of the co-hosts, who walked off the set in the middle of a heated debate about the now-famous Michael Sam on air same-sex kiss during the NFL draft, returned to the airwaves on Fox News' "The Kelly Report" to explain her actions to host Megyn Kelly.
Amy Kushnir, co-host of the local Dallas area morning talk show "The Broadcast," made national headlines in a viral video of her walking off the set during a debate where she criticized ESPN's airing of Michael Sam kissing his boyfriend after learning Sunday that he would be the first openly gay player in the NFL.
"When parents do not have a choice about whether or not they want their children to see this, it is wrong," Kushinir said prior to her now famous on-air walkout. "I don't call it a moment of celebration...It's being pushed in faces. I don't want to see that. I don't want to see cake in your face, kissing each other." "Get a room," she said at one point.
Kushinir accused ESPN of using the kiss to "make news," protesting that the kiss was being "pushed in faces."
Kushnir's tantrum unsurprisingly caught the eye of Fox News, where she appeared as a guest Thursday evening on an edition of "The Kelly Report," on which she shifted the focus of the debate from the actual kiss to ESPN's choice to air it.
"You worry about so much of what you watch in sports. We watch a lot of ESPN in our house. There are Victoria's Secret ads every five seconds. Go Daddy is very provocative during sporting events. There are beer commercials with people falling out of their clothes," Kelly asked. "Are you concerned about the bigger conversation of sexuality being thrust on kids in these sporting events or were you specifically concerned because maybe this was something you didn't want your kids exposed to?"
"I really feel that it wasn't appropriate," Kushnir said. "That it was over-the-top and that ESPN used it as an opportunity to put out shocking video when ESPN is a sports network that families watch. We've got children who play sports, they watch ESPN all the time. So it bothered me that they used it as an opportunity to promote their left wing agenda ... in my opinion."
Sounding a now familiar watch cry the anti-gay right uses to decry what she sees as intolerance over her intolerant public opinions, Kushnir lamented "If you are trying to maintain traditional values in your home and you share them, you're going to get lambasted, because it goes against what's politically correct."
A day prior to Kushnir's appearance on Fox, she explained her actions to her Dallas audience during a live broadcast of "The Broadcast."
"I feel personally that I was not able to express my opinion appropriately without being interrupted. I felt I was painted to be something that I personally was not." Kushnir said.
"Everybody that knows me know that I love everybody .. so with that being said, I felt like I had no choice but to get up, push myself out of the situation because we were going nowhere (as you probably saw) and said 'I'm going to Midland," which is a term (co-host) Suzie (Humphries) came up with that means "We're going to excuse ourselves from the conversation, politely"
Since the incident, Kushnir has received a backlash on social media that she addressed to Kelly.
"I'm shocked at the outlandish ... if I told you .. I couldn't even put it on air. - death threats rape threats petition to be fired - it's insane - and all it is, is it's a voice - for me for having traditional views," she said.
During Thursday's edition of "The Broadcast," in which Kushnir was absent from the set due to her appearance on Fox, fellow co-hosts Courtney Kerr and Lisa Pinero, who disagreed with her visceral feelings against the Sam kiss, and did what all well-bred Southern ladies do when criticizing someone on their manners - they went in the backdoor with a smile.
"I think it just goes to show that you can't fight hate with hate." Courtney Kerr said.
Without directly calling into question Kushnir's professionalism for walking off the set, co-host Lisa Pinero made a very polite jab.
"I want to talk about professionalism on this show because we have a crew - three of our crew members are gay," Pinero said. "And the professionalism that it takes to listen to any of our views and not feel good about them but still stand behind that camera or in the control room, keep a headset on and keep the show going is the epitome of professionalism. And I could not be more proud."
The now-famous heated debate has been seen over 600,000 times on YouTube since its airing on Tuesday.