Today from the department of well-meaning but deeply misguided gestures: Morning Joe co-host Mika Brzezinski, who is a sexual assault survivor, addressed White House adviser Kellyanne Conway, who revealed this week that she has also been assaulted, and dared her to name her own attacker to get a glimpse of the way Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has been treated.
Brzezinski said in a lengthy monologue this morning that she was “really struck” by Conway’s remarks that Ford has been treated “like a Fabergé egg” even after Donald Trump openly mocked her Senate testimony at a rally this week.
“I find that fascinating actually, because Kellyanne Conway went on a Sunday show, and in the middle of making her point she announced she’s a victim of sexual assault,” she said. “Really? Oh my gosh, OK. Women should be heard, and apparently they get treated like Fabergé eggs.”
She continued, addressing Conway directly (emphasis mine):
So tell us your story. Who is your attacker? Who broke the law? Who hurt you? You seemed really uncomfortable when you let that slip out. Your voice got small, your voice cracked, you had to clear your throat. You were really uncomfortable just saying “I am a victim of sexual assault.” And you know what? I say that as a victim of sexual assault myself.
So I want to ask, why can’t you be the egg, Kellyanne, the Fabergé egg, and tell your story? Because you say women should be heard. You talk out of both sides of your mouth. You say that women should be heard, their stories are believable or credible and understanding and compelling. Well let’s hear yours. That’s very convenient to drop that, but I want to know your story. I want to know what happened. You should have justice, shouldn’t you?
When co-host Joe Scarborough tried to interrupt, Brzezinski cut him off, saying she wasn’t done yet and, unfortunately, going straight for the book plug.
“No, hold on, I’m not done,” she said. “Know Your Value...If women are being treated like Fabergé eggs when they announce their stories, then you go ahead and tell yours and see how easy it is.”
Know Your Value is Brzezinski’s book about female empowerment, which was first released in 2011 and is currently being re-released. She’s given talks around the country on this topic and is currently promoting a Dec. 1 event in San Francisco dubbed the “The Know Your Value National Event,” during which attendees who pay the $350 will get to hear from Brzezinski and Sen. Kamala Harris, and attend a networking lunch.
Brzezinski saw pretty immediate pushback, and started getting into it on Twitter with CNN’s Chris Cuomo:
The hosts defended Brzezinski’s comments later in the show, with Brzezinski saying she was trying to point out Conway’s hypocrisy and Scarborough saying that outlets covering the story were “paid by the lie.”
But though it may have been Brzezinski’s aim to highlight the dissonance of a sexual assault survivor working for and actively defending an alleged predator president—fertile ground indeed—she ended up coming off as bullying another woman about sharing her story of being assaulted. Even Conway deserves better.