Getting government out of the way

Eric Heyl

Saturday, Jan. 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 13:  Actress Lisa Kennedy Montgomery arrives at the premiere of Paramount Pictures and MTV Films' 'Jackass 3D' at the Mann's Chinese Theater on October 13, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Lisa Kennedy Montgomery
LOS ANGELES, CA - OCTOBER 13: Actress Lisa Kennedy Montgomery arrives at the premiere of Paramount Pictures and MTV Films' 'Jackass 3D' at the Mann's Chinese Theater on October 13, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Lisa Kennedy Montgomery
Photo by Getty Images

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 eheyl@tribweb.com).

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