Discover more from The Fifth Column (A Podcast)
Workin’ for the Weekend #46: Valentine for Kennedalia
America’s libertarian girlfriend, whose show was cancelled this week, is a key reason why this very podcast exists.
As mentioned on Episode #409, Fox Business Network this week cancelled Kennedy, the eponymous news/anarchy show that arose in January 2015 out of the ashes of The Independents, which had been co-hosted the previous 13 months by the quick-witted former MTV personality, plus me & Kmele. You can watch her whole final (hilarious) episode over at Busty Wimsatt’s Vimeo; here’s a tickle:
I first met Kennedy in July 2011, when she and her old friend/mentor Kurt Loder did a segment with me on John Stossel’s eponymous FBN show about the liberating force of rock & roll. After the taping the whole spectacle piled across the street to Langan’s, and we yakked like we’d known each other for 20 years. Which is odd, because she’d been a famous TV person that whole time (with some zig-zags here and there) and I was some journalo schlub.
Anyhoo! By 2012 Kennedy was making videos for Reason, had a contributor gig on Stossel (though he hilariously had very little idea of what she was talking about), and she and I & Stossel’s executive producer were busy brainstorming how to maybe get a new show going on the network. It was a long and frustrating process, fits and starts, promised meetings and last-minute bailouts. Eventually, it was Kennedy herself meeting with Roger Ailes, and insisting on not just on a Mod Squad-style cable show of news and jokes from the perspective of not belonging to a political team (imagine that!) while being broadly libertarian, but also on staying true to those principles even if they made Ailes wince. He said yes, on came Kmele, and, well, a very weird program was born.
Kennedy, debuted on Jan. 26, 2015, a day I remember well because it was literally the day after our daughter Coco was born (during which the new-show-creator was very helpful to my family at the hospital!). A few weeks later we had an introduce-the-baby deal at our apartment, and Kennedy’s then-husband Dave Lee was there, and he encouraged me & an also-present Kmele to “continue the momentum” by starting some kind of podcast, maybe get a third smart/funny/quick person, perhaps Moynihan? To which I predictably replied What is podcast?, and also Matt needs nap.
Still, my Independents-death, Kennedy-birth announcement had at least some prescience: “It's not every day that editors of opinion magazines are allowed to help create cable television programs from scratch, and the experience shall bear some interesting fruit.” Long story short, girlfriend’s fingerprints are all over this joint, you can listen to her on #37, and the door’s always open for her triumphant return. She has done amazing hosting work for nearly a decade over there, always sharper than any comedian or politician, never losing her head or integrity in an industry that routinely mangles both. We love you, K.
* I know he linked to it, but Moynihan’s Orwell piece in the Washington Examiner was real good. Here’s a paragraph:
It is doubtless true that he would have had an easy time finding publishers for books on the evils of fascism, a theme always lurking, but rarely explicit, in Orwell’s writing. But he understood “that there would be great difficulty in getting [Animal Farm] published.” And indeed, there was. Orwell’s publisher Jonathan Cape was visited by an official of the Ministry of Information, who advised against publishing Animal Farm lest it offend Britain’s allies-of-convenience in Moscow. Shamefully, Cape complied. And it wasn’t until 1991, with the collapse of the Soviet Union, that the ministry official, Peter Smollett, would be publicly unmasked as a Soviet agent.
* Comment of the week, from Kenny, contains a lot of useful links, so let’s get to it!
There are so many things to comment on in this episode.
As to Matt wondering what to steal from Home Depot, it's obviously the power tools if they aren't locked up. I don't think it would be hard to fence a Milwaukee impact driver.
Jamie Foxx's wit is brutal and legendary. I still cringe from second hand humiliation whenever I watch his performance at the Emmit Smith roast. "I'm not Jamie Foxx. I'm your conscience."
Moynihan's reference to Rick James made me remember that Rick's lover and collaborator, Teena Marie, had a song titled 'Cassanova Brown'. Is that the origin of Kmele's nom de guerre?
I remember going to a Spanish Meetup event several years ago and one of the organizers was Peruvian. We would sometimes talk about Peru and he held Fujimori in high regard. He even accused me of being an apologist for Sendero Luminoso because I said that Fujimori and the armed forces contributed to the brutality in the indigenous highlands. That being said Sendero Luminoso was a vile, vicous group. There was a community activist, Maria Elena Moyano, who was brave enough to publicly criticize the Senderistas. What was her punishment? She was killed in front of her family and her corpse was dynamited.
Anyone interested in the history of that group should read The Shining Path by Orin Starn.
* In fact, we’re going to need two Comments of the Week, because Bob Knudsen dropped this gem:
So i was the commissioner of the Denver Kickball Coalition for 10 years, also captaining a team for most of that time. We had a rule to ensure fair play that required at least 3 females on the field for defense at all times. Back in about 2012 or 2013, I went to the weekly local burlesque show and recruited transwomen for my team for the obvious competitive advantage and received a little bit of pushback, but immediately played the Card -- not for any particular moral or ethical reason, but for pure self interest. Anyway, it worked and I had a trans woman shortstop who was like 6'3 with giant gorilla arms and a wingspan of more than 75" who could throw like a monster and run like a cheetah.
Anyway, the other captain who gave me grief about it later had his wife leave him, and she is now a They.
Outro music … is appropriate: