Jesse Kelly, host of I’m Right on The First TV, went one-on-one with OutKick.
We discussed the state of the country, his career path, why he will get booted off social media, the period in history that previewed 2021, and much more.
Bobby Burack: Jesse, I’ve interviewed and covered a lot of media people. No one that I’ve found has a similar background to yours. You were selling RVs just a few years ago?
Jesse Kelly: Exactly. My background is even wilder than that. I came from a construction family. I’m just a white trash kid from Ohio. We moved to Montana when I was 10 years old and started doing construction out there. I grew up like a mobile kid in Montana, we were just fishing and camping. I never got into politics. I was always super into history though. Never into politics.
Moving along, I then joined the Marine Corps from there and ended up going to Iraq and fighting Operation Iraqi Freedom, got out of that, and started a construction company. Back to my roots. I was doing it in Arizona now and thought I was going to do that for the rest of my life. I was fine with it, it’s all I really knew. Then Obama started running for office, and I started getting more and more into political reading and political radio. I got pretty mad about the stuff Obama was saying and trying to do. I decided, “Screw it, I’m going to run for Congress.” And I did. I almost won. I came within 4,000 votes the first time.
After that, I moved to Washington, D.C. to go work for a political group. I absolutely hated living in D.C. I despised it. It wasn’t easy. By this point, I had a wife and two kids. I quit my job in D.C. with no place to live and no job. I just drove across the country with my family, looking for a place to live. I didn’t want to live in D.C. I wanted to live in America, preferably somewhere in the South.
Here’s where it gets interesting, Bobby. I couldn’t find a job, and I ended up looking on Craigslist for work and there was an RV dealership advertising. I’ve never sold anything in my life, but maybe I could make a living out of it. I didn’t have other options. I showed up in a suit and tie and everyone else showed up with raggedy clothes — they hired me on the spot. I ended up being really good at it, so after a year, they made me the sales manager. They eventually promoted me to the sales manager of a gigantic store in Houston. That’s my pre-media story. Not flashy. No big college or newspaper.
Burack: Then how did you end up on The First, a network that is new but doesn’t lack names. You are in a lineup with Bill O’Reilly, Buck Sexton, and Dana Loesch.
Kelly: I fell backward into it. I won’t lie. I was selling RVs and got more active on social media. I put out some long tweet thread — I can’t even remember what about — and it caught the attention of Michael Berry, a nationally syndicated guy based in the Houston area. He saw one of my tweets and messaged me to come on his show. He had no idea I had done a ton of TV and radio before when I was running for Congress. He thought I was just some guy. (Well, I kind of am.)
After the show, my phone rang, it was him. He said, “I don’t know if you have any interest in a media career, but I think if it interests you at all, you could be really special at it.”
From there, I started putting out these stupid little two-minute-long Jesse Kelly briefs — I think they are still on YouTube — and eventually got a late-night, one-hour show on the local KPRC radio station here in Houston. I started that, and it just kind of took off. They eventually moved me to drive-time.
As for The First, they were putting out a search, they were looking for talents, people who could carry a TV show for one hour a day. They decided to go the radio route — as you say Buck and Dana — and started listening to a ton of radio shows to find the right talent. And, I guess, by the grace of God, they called and picked me. I don’t know how or why.
It’s a great company to work for, Bobby. You know this, you’ve been on. It’s the best thing I have done.
Burack: You have a few community college credits. What are your thoughts on the college system?
Kelly: My thought is that the entire college system in the United States of America should be razed to the ground, every employee should be fired, and every building should be burned down.
Why? Just to remind everyone how absolutely poisonous it is when you send your kids off to Communist training camps, where they learn to hate the country that has blessed them so much. That’s my thought.
My kids, no. They’ve known for a long time my stance: you’re not going to college unless you have a specific thing you want to do for which you have to have a degree. Otherwise, they are not going. My kids will do something else. I don’t care what it is. They will make that decision. They are not going to college on my dime. They can join the military. They can go to trade schools.
Here’s what bugs me, Bobby: people look down on guys who are in construction, on electricians, on plumbers, on elevator mechanics. These guys are making six figures by the time they’re 24 or 25 years old. And they have no college debt. Nobody wants to go into these fields because we look down on them. There are so many opportunities. There is so much money to be made there.
The university system in the United States of America is broken and beyond repair. It’s flat-out anti-America.
Burack: The goal in America, on a personal level, was once to get married and have kids. What has happened? Why is that no longer included in the plan we are told to aspire for?
Kelly: The rates for birth and marriage are down so much because we don’t incentivize either anymore. The country gets more of what it incentivizes. That’s why we have 10 million victims for every person who is a success. We incentivize victimhood in this country.
People act like we’re some oppressive society because there’s nothing more valuable than doing that. It builds your brand, your social media, and your bank account. All you have to do is find a way to be a victim and say you’ve been oppressed. There’s nothing more valuable than that. That’s what the country encourages, not marriage, not having children.
We tell young adults, “Oh, just wait, just find yourself. Don’t get married yet.” That’s what has happened and we now have a birth rate of 1.67, which means the death of the nation. I’m serious.
You have to have a birth rate above 2.0 to have your nation continue. Otherwise, you are going to run out of people. That’s what these nutjobs have done. They’ve incentivized a bunch of mindless, pointless crap. Now, we could see the death of a nation if this doesn’t change.
Burack: What do these people want? The left, the media, Big Tech leaders? What are they actually doing? How does this end well in 30 years?
Kelly: It doesn’t. Their goal is destruction. What we’re seeing now is simply communism rebranded. That’s all we’re seeing now. Our problems are cultural Marxism.
What that means is, they couldn’t sell traditional communism to Americans, so they rebranded it as what we have now.
Whether it’s through race, gender, social class — they are destroying society. You see it in sports even.
Burack: Speaking of sports, is there a more destructive force to race relations in America than LeBron James? He has 50 million followers, he lies, and he does not have a clue about the topics he speaks on.
Kelly: No, there’s not. He’s the worst.
Here’s the problem. People on the Right say all the time, “No one cares what these athletes and actors say, just ignore them.” That’s ridiculous. These people are hugely influential. LeBron is a hugely powerful dude. Millions of people listen when James speaks.
LeBron lacks patriotism. Here you have a guy who is the success story of success stories. He grew up in a single-parent home, didn’t grow up rich, and now he’s going to be worth a billion dollars. He should be using that platform to say how great this country is. Instead, this clown is spreading a racist, disgusting, divisive voice that carries all across the country. He is influencing a lot of people with hate. It’s absolutely terrible for the country.
Forget just sports, it’s terrible for the country to have a major figure spreading these lies. Sadly, he’s not alone. Most of our major figures now speak like this. It’s detestable. It’s tearing this country apart.
To fix this, it starts at home. Parents have to teach their children what America is truly about. It starts at home.
Burack: I have a prediction: you will be booted off social media eventually. Your voice, your beliefs, your style, your humor — all of which I enjoy — have no chance on these platforms.
Kelly: Oh, Bobby, there’s no question about it. I will be booted off.
I’ve already been suspended multiple times on all these dirt platforms because I am constantly challenging the system. They’ll finally get an excuse one of these days, and they’ll give me the boot. That is going to happen. They want me off, there’s no question. It’s simply a matter of when.
Now, I care about that more for other people than I care about that for me. I am very blessed now to have a nationally syndicated radio show and a television show. Most people never get one of those two things, I have both. I have plenty of platforms to speak out on. What I worry more about is the people who don’t have that. I think that’s absolutely terrible. These people just make me sick.
Burack: Jesse, you are like me in that you study history in your free time. What is the one period in time that you would encourage today’s Americans to go research and learn about because it best previews where we are today?
Kelly: There’s a period in Ancient Rome, right before and including the time when Julius Caesar took over as emperor, that is exactly what we’re experiencing right now in the United States of America.
These wealthy, powerful people, who ran the society, just decided to engorge themselves. They ran out the middle class, pushed them to the floor.
They imported mass amounts of slaves into the country, so people didn’t have jobs anymore. You used to have a job as a farmer, not anymore.
As the class divided, anger was building in the country. Eventually, the people started going with this radical populace. They chose what you would probably just call a fascist, Julius Caesar.
It’s not that they wanted fascism, but they wanted something to change the system, which wasn’t working for them anymore. That is exactly what we’re going through now.