Getting government out of the way
Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, best known simply as “Kennedy,” is a former MTV personality and the host of “The Independents,” a new talk show that debuted last month on the Fox Business Network. In an email exchange, she discussed her career and her aspirations for the new program.
Q: You've had an interesting career trajectory. How does one go from being a former MTV VJ to the host of a Fox Business show?
A: When I left MTV in 1997, I moved to Seattle, wrote a book and started doing talk radio. I found it so fulfilling diving into political topics in a longer format, and as a libertarian in a progressive city, it made for an interesting dynamic.
I continued in radio in Los Angeles at KFI and started writing and doing video pieces for Reason and Reason TV. About the same time, I started appearing on “Stossel” and John (Stossel) asked me to be his special correspondent.
Q: What kind of program are you aiming for with “The Independents”?
A: “The Independents” takes aim at both political parties, because they have failed us utterly. Life is about much more than left or right, and there are a lot of people who are disenfranchised and looking for a better way to have a discussion.
My husband owns a snowboard company — his factory is in Huntington Beach — and he is my greatest inspiration personally and politically. I see what a small-business owner goes through firsthand, and it's incredible. It's everything: optimistic, exhausting, exhilarating.
Pursuing the American Dream is not for the faint of heart, and I want to do right by him and all the hardworking entrepreneurs and secret geniuses who want the government out of their way.
Q: How does the show differ from all the usual cable gabfests?
A: We don't subscribe to anyone's party line, we love pointing out the absurd and we'll fight for every conceivable freedom. And I have great earrings.
Q: Will the show have consistent libertarian leanings?
A: We are pretty excited about the prospect of limited government, and it lends itself to a naturally consistent lens. The free market is ripe with solutions, and we have a positive take on human nature and society. Free people can achieve great things!
Q: What do your co-hosts, Matt Welch and Kmele Foster, bring to the table?
A: Matt is the editor-in-chief of Reason magazine, he's from Long Beach, Calif., so he's smart and has a calming, fair presence. My mom says he's soothing.
Kmele is an entrepreneur, a millennial and a purist when it comes to economics and political theory. He's a really well-read, well-dressed pit bull. My dad loves Kmele.
Q: Given your background, will the show have some guests that people normally wouldn't expect to see on a Fox program?
A: Yes! I am always moved by music, and there's a natural intersection between music and politics we want to explore.
Inspiration is everywhere! We'll look past typical punditry on many occasions to bring a different, thoughtful side.
Q: What do you think would surprise people the most about you — that you're a triathlete or that you're an honors degree graduate in philosophy and politics from UCLA?
A: That's funny! I train really hard for my races. I even broke my foot running the NYC Marathon 2 months ago. I have qualified for nationals at the Olympic distance 2 years in a row. So as soon as I get the go-ahead, I'll start training with gusto for my spring races. I raise money for Team in Training every year, so I meet great people and stay in shape.
I am still a big philosophy dork, and anytime I can get people to talk about Ernst Cassirer and Plato, I'm thrilled!
Eric Heyl is a staff writer for Trib Total Media (412-320-7857 or email@example.com).