This week marks the debut of Fox Business’ new political roundtable show called ‘The Independents.’ It is hosted by Lisa ‘Kennedy’ Montgomery, and co-hosted by Matt Welch, and Kmele Foster.
Kennedy, best known for her tenure as an MTV VJ turned conservative political pundit, acts as the show’s anchor/moderator, steering the 5-person panel through multiple topics and brief news segments.
Her co-hosts, both with notable conservative bona fides, include Reason magazine’s editor-in-chief Matt Welch and Kmele Foster, who sits on the board of directors for America’s Future Foundation. So what does this independent voter think about the show following its opening week?
Before getting into the show’s substance, the name warrants some scrutiny. If a show is going to have a panel with three libertarians on it, it would make sense to just call the show ‘The Libertarians.’ Yes, it is true, many libertarians are not affiliated with either major party, in essence qualifying for the ‘independent’ label, but the concern here is the purveyance of the common misnomer that an independent voter is automatically a Libertarian. Or for that matter, he or she would identify as conservative/liberal or any of the traditional labels used to neatly categorize political preferences without thinking too hard.
The best example of how this fundamental yet repeatedly ignored fact appeared in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. When Kennedy laid out the direction for the show she said, “We want to have liberals and conservatives, Democrats and Republicans all on the show to talk about the issues that they’re invested in.”
Yet all could be forgiven if, substantively, ‘The Independents’ managed to foster a robust and intellectually challenging discussion with 60 minutes of air-time.
Unfortunately that’s not the case. The format itself seems utterly incapable of meeting that goal. The three co-hosts are less ideologically diverse than a groupthink convention. In addition the two guests come on essentially as representatives of their respective parties, one Republican and one Democrat. As a result, the show pretty much devolves into four conservatives all agreeing that the one Democrat is wrong on everything.
To be clear, the problem here isn’t that this is a conservative show, with conservative guests, that promotes a conservative world-view. The problem is that the label, ‘Independent.’ is being fundamentally, and perhaps disingenuously misappropriated. Independent does not mean conservative, or liberal, or libertarian, or socialist ect. It means, to me at least, holding an open mind. One that’s receptive to a diverse series of opinions. Then evaluating ideas based on their own merits. So this show begs the question, how can you make an informed decision while being exposed to what amounts to one world-view, counteracted by a single, minority, voice?
Regardless of ones feelings about the word ‘independent,’ Fox’s programming, or that the show’s host technically only has one name, the fact that this show even exists at all and wrapped in the marketing veneer Fox is promoting it with, holds a very clear message. The message is both parties no longer appeal to the majority of Americans.
Whether or not ‘The Independents’ will become the bastion for diverse discussion on the pressing issues that face voters today remains to be seen. Out of the gate, however, it looks like cynical lip service geared towards an ideologically homogenous constituency.
Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.
The show is getting desperate for viewers and, apparently, comments:
I am a fiscal conservative and find Kennedy on FBN is extremely annoying to me. Her facial expressions and voice remind me of a kid who thinks and acts like he/she is the smartest kid on the block.
The Fox Formula at work again. Another snotty comments gang teaching millions of Americans how to argue and play fast and loose with the few facts they ever bring up on their show. This not about journalism -- it's propagandizing. By using "The independents" as their title, they basically provide cover for those they want to vote Republican. Basically, a "conservative" is a Republican voter who doesn't want to take responsibility for the invasion and occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan, the beginning of the drone wars, the deficits, the loss of our privacy and the Patriot act. The show's host is basically a Gutfeld wannabe.
This show is unwatchable. It's about as informative as listening to windbags at the local dive bar drone on about their particular worldview without any underlying reasoning or facts. Don't they have to pass some sort of test to see if they can string a thought and memorize facts. Seems to me they have a paticular worldview and spew spurious facts to fit their worldview. A discussion about the ISIS in Iraq devolves into blame Bush and doesn't discuss what is CURRENTLY happening. And one of them said the Arabs dna prevents them from participating in democracy and would rather murder than vote (paraphrasing - I tried to forget this show), which is the laziest of thinking, and quite dangerous, actually. These guys are dumber than Bill Maher. Whoever gave these guys a show should seriously be fired.
This is the worst show on Cable, Fire them and send them back to MSNCB News!
They don't listen, just attack the people that work for Fox news. If I was Dr. Keith Ablow I would not ever work with these wet behind ears know it all's! My daughters HS news cast would not hire any of them! Fox your letting your viewers down with this show! Who ever gave them this show should be Fired with them!
get off the air, no sence woman, so what If I spell badly, your a nut case how dare you talk to the DR like that!
I don't like your show, I don't know how you even was was givin to you, you need to get off the air you nasty person!
Independents More like Amateurs. John Bolton, a very experienced individual and you tried to beat him into submission. Please.
Independents (in terms of voter registration) are typically the ill-informed, who haven't taken the time to educate themselves on issues that affect their daily lives. If they take a policy position, they then may have to defend that position to someone much smarter than them, which is a frightening proposition.
This show sucks and all of the hosts too. Freaking boring and stupid. I'm of the MTV generation- but Kennedy is just a statement of crap here on the network. She's awful. I hope Fox Business replaces this show or this network isn't for me.
This show is clearly geared towards Libertarians. Full disclosure, I am a libertarian for the most part and an independent so I love the content. The name "The Independents" is a misnomer.
WHAT KIND OF PERSON WATCHES "THE INDEPENDENTS"?
Funny you should ask. Here's a handy link. These people gather every weekday evening in a Reason.com chat room in eager anticipation of the start of the show, at which time they make hilarious comments. I am not making this up.
The "independent" hyenas at Matt Welch's Reason.com launch a silly and adolescent personal attack against ideological enemy Ezra Klein. Note the envy and indignation over the fact that Klein, a professional journalist, is more wealthy and famous than they, the libertarian chatting class. It just isn't fair! Libertarianism is the Truth, yet Klein -- whom every libertarian knows is a liar -- has a huge audience! Where is the justice? Why isn't our mocking having any effect? Why are non-libertarian Americans so stupid?
I am not making this up. Behold jealousy, the green-eyed monster of libertarianism:
"Klein is so staggeringly stupid...He's the perfect example of who deserves him."
"The fact that he has had success speaks volumes about the utter stupidity of his readers."
"Klein thinks his sh*t doesn't stink. He is a nearly perfect example of undeserved success."
"I have a BA in poli sci from UC Irvine, which means I have the exact same credentials as Klein."
"I would say I am at least twice as qualified to write about the subject than Klein is."
"Klein actually believes he knows anything. He deserves none of the success he has had."
THIS IS WHAT LIBERTARIANS ACTUALLY BELIEVE.
Anyway, if you want to know what Matt Welch's libertarians REALLY think, visit his blog at Reason.com and read the comments. This is what libertarians actually believe.
Here's an article that explains how -- SURPRISE! -- America is just as bad as Syria when it comes to torture and murder. I am not making this up.
"[T]he show pretty much devolves into four conservatives all agreeing that the one Democrat is wrong on everything."
Imagine that. "The Independents" is clearly modeled after its hugely successful cousin on Fox News, "The Five," wherein four very unfunny and shrill Republican operatives gang up on the token "liberal" as they gossip about pop-culture personalities and pluck easy yucks from their target demographic, the nation's 50-85-year-olds. This waterboarding-like entertainment is tagged as "Fair and Balanced." Predictably, "The Independents," too, is self-promoted as being neutral and objective and free of team politics. But libertarians, who pride themselves on their superior political prowess, are as unself-aware as their cultural nemesis and go-to whipping boy, the "progressives."
Libertarians engage in the same dreary team politics as their ideological enemies, all the while insisting that they themselves are not a team. They're half-right, insofar as a team plays by rules, whereas libertarians -- being closet anarchists -- eschew rules, laws, philosophical consistency and civilized behavior in favor of the "freedom" to "do their own thing." In this regard, libertarians are trapped on the same rung of the evolutionary ladder as their despised parents and grandparents (and cultural soul-mates), the hippies.
I agree, they should call it "The Libertarians" and be done with it.
I have tried to watch this show and can't get through more than 30 minutes. All I see and hear are some really young kids, who talk like young kids, who have some great ideas, but have yet to be tempered with reality and experience. The obligatory Ron Paul sound bites add even more to the "meh" effect.
I'm left asking if any of them actually have real world experience, or if they are just the libertarian version of the typical liberal who never ran anything and merely spouts theoretical pap all day..
Also, libertarian is not conservative. Painting with admittedly a broad brush here, but....... Conservatives agree with libertarians on just about everything when it comes to domestic/ social policy, but we think the "Paul Doctrine" of foreign policy is foolish and dangerous. There-in lies the big difference and the rift.
I'm not advocating invading all our enemies, but neo-isolationism/ non-interventionism only invites others to fill the vacuum. See: the Middle East with Obama's incompetence on display while Putin fills the void.
Conservatives understand history, and have learned the lessons of Carthage and others who thought they could just "mind their own business" and be left alone. Libertarians often have either never been instructed about history, or are too young to understand its harsh lessons. Be the windshield or be the bug, geopolitical reality gives you no other alternative. Project influence and power, or have it projected on to you.
Robert Heinlein summed it up the best.
Means you can think for yourself and decide how to vote. I'd say that most independents run toward the conservative side. They, at least, have the ability to not we swayed by sweet talkers. Most of the time! Lol
@ThinkFirstThenVote The libertarians at Reason.com -- home base of Welch and Kennedy -- spend a lot of time insisting that they are not, NOT, Republicans. And as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, they are indeed prohibited from engaging in political elections and activities. So their strategy is to locate and support "libertarian-leaning" politicians who, coincidentally, just happen to be Republicans (Ron and Rand Paul, Justin Amash) while attacking "statists" and "progressives" who, just by chance, have a "D" after their names (all the usual targets: Obama, Pelosi, Reid, etc.)
But remember, libertarians are NOT Republicans! Nor are they consistent in their political philosophy. At Reason.com, writers and devoted commentariat alike unite in their virulent hatred of cops and law enforcement, intellectual property rights, labor unions, public schools and teachers, the Supreme Court, every politician who has not uttered at least a few libertarian platitudes, every journalist who has not sworn fealty to the libertarian cause, whole cities and all the people in them (New York, Detroit, Boston, San Francisco), whole states (New York, Massachusetts, Michigan, California), people who drink the "wrong" beer, people who eat the "wrong" pizza...in fact, it's a much shorter list to simply note the things libertarians DON'T hate: drug use, prostitution, pornography, science fiction, cartoons.
In short, libertarians are anarchists who are ashamed to admit it. So they cherry-pick "libertarian" ideas from disparate sources, glue it all together with memes, sarcasm and nihilism, and call it a "philosophy." And now they have their own partisan TV show, on a network nobody watches, that follows a predictable format with host, panel and squabbling guests, and they call it "independent." Are they fooling anyone? According to the ratings, about 25,000 people on an average night.
@B dawg Libertarians exist in a context-free world of floating abstractions and stolen concepts. No surprises here, given that libertarians (and their anarchist cousins) believe that "liberty" is an axiom, an irreducible primary. This reality show, posing as a serious philosophical debate, is what happens when conservatives take a hippie's approach to adult topics.
@Kaveh Kabir"The name "The Independents" is a misnomer."
If by "misnomer" you mean a lie, then you're right. The libertarians on that talking-heads show are no more "independent" than any other partisan political ideology. (They're on a Fox network, after all.) But they are "independent" in one respect: they are independent of widespread popular support, credibility and efficacy. The "independents" are outsiders who desperately want to be insiders. But who is going to watch a political show called The Outsiders? That's too defeatist-sounding even for libertarians, who are no strangers to defeat. And doesn't every puppet, sheep and milquetoast -- in the privacy of his own mind -- believe himself to be independent?
As noted in the article above, the title of this particular reality show is calculated to annex all the self-identified "independent" voters in the U.S. (who invariably vote R or D when it's crunch time) into the Libertarian Party, with or without their permission. The Independents, ironically and cynically, are presuming to speak for every American who is currently unhappy. The show is a marketing strategy, a gimmick, not a serious forum of ideas.
@Kizone Kaprow What kind of person watches FoxNews/MSNBC/CNN ?
@Kizone Kaprow Hi Mary.
@Kizone Kaprow What are you talking about? You make as much sense and an insane asylum patient..
@Kizone Kaprow " wherein four very unfunny and shrill Republican operatives gang up on the token "liberal" That sounds like all the shows on MSNBS...
"whereas libertarians -- being closet anarchists" Sorry, you shouldn't speak on a topic you know nothing about. You can't compare people who want NO Government to people that want limited Government. Better comparison would be democrats and republicans.
@Kizone Kaprow Spot on. I am so frustrated that the libertarian ideas are spreading so quickly and being overwhelmingly adopted by young people. People like Ron Paul make me sick. Let's hope this Libertarian fire gets put out soon.
@ThinkFirstThenVote Had enough? But wait! There's more!
How about some libertarian cop-hate sarcasm?
Not that libertarians are really anarchists in Republican clothing.
@ThinkFirstThenVote Think I'm kidding about libertarians' hatred of New Yorkers, Democrats, public school teachers and teachers' unions? Libertarian hate, in their own words:
@ThinkFirstThenVote Do I exaggerate? Believe it or not, four nights a week at 9 PM Eastern, the commentariat at Reason.com gather around their smart phones, tablets, notebooks and PCs and "live-blog" each original airing of The Independents. I am not making this up. Click the link for a window into the soul of The Independents' fan base.
Wow Kizone, you are truly a tireless, impassioned champion of hatred of all things libertarian, aincha?
Looking through this blog, I see your name pop up like 50% of the time, with just a tirade of empty things to say about libertarians.
Your post are filled with ad hominems, epithets, snide comments and just all around nastiness.
What happened, did a libertarian kick your dog or something?
What I notice missing from your posts is anything more than name calling, that's all you do - critical thought seems to have passed you by when they handed out the goodies.
Just a stupid playground mentality.
Before, I considered you annoying, but now I see you just don't have anything to say, other than nya nya nya with your thumbs in your ears.
"What kind of person watches FoxNews/MSNBC/CNN?"
The same kind that watches The Independents: political partisans who are convinced of their own righteousness and who prefer programming that reinforces their own flawed philosophies. The comical thing about libertarians is their belief they they -- and they only -- are objective political analysts. Reason-brand™ libertarians in particular swallow that site's propaganda hook, line and sinker and are utterly oblivious to the fact that they are being manipulated. They are gullible puppets, dancing and jerking to their masters' commands, as the comments reveal. These human Pavlov's dogs are not unique, of course. Every news site, every blog of every political stripe has them.
I posted the link above as a public service to anyone who may be interested in what Reason-brand™ libertarians -- fans of The Independents -- actually believe. These people are that show's core audience. All 18 of them.
@Francisco d Anconia
Considering your delusional paranoia, "Francisco," wouldn't a more fitting Atlas Shrugged character for your pseudonym be James Taggart?
"You shouldn't speak on a topic you know nothing about."
Thanks for the warning, and I appreciate your concern, but I know more about political philosophy than you'll ever learn. The overwhelming majority of westerners who call themselves "libertarians" are far closer to anarchists than limited-government capitalists. Most "libertarians" cannot even agree on the essentials (see, for instance, the continuing libertarian debates over abortion and intellectual property rights).
There are more "libertarian" sects than Baskin-Robbins has flavors. Why? Because libertarianism has no consistent, integrated philosophical base. Libertarian amateurs try to do politics while eschewing the fundamental branches of philosophy on which politics is dependent: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics. The result is a hodgepodge of contradictory and warring factions, each huddled under the same leaky tent of "libertarianism." Observe the anarchists, the minarchists, the mutualists, agorists and voluntaryists; the geolibertarians, the left-Rothbardians, the green libertarians, dialectical anarchists and radical minarchists...
The list goes on and on. The only qualification for membership: hatred of government and all things associated with government. "Libertarians," at their core, dream of a world without governments, where undefined "rights" and "property" are protected by vigilante gangs instead of police, where disputes among men are settled with guns, not courts, and where "the law" is whatever the biggest gang says it is. That a few libertarian pragmatists are willing to concede the utilitarian value of government does not in any way diminish their core belief in the possibility of a utopian, anarchic world.
That's right, you had touched a nerve when I actually took your vitriol for a significant opinion.
Until I realized your only opinion is ad hominem criticism.
And as usual, you attempt to impute me by calling names and invoking inapplicable rules that have nothing to do with my post.
You are simply a silly person. And silly people are by definition inoffensive.
(and if you want to call that a personal attack, then so be it)
No need to go out on a limb, I already said who I was, an official in the NY Libertarian Party.
@garyonthenet Wow, Gary, looks like I touched a nerve.
"You are truly a tireless, impassioned champion of hatred..."
"Your post are filled with...all around nastiness."
"Just a stupid playground mentality."
Did you overlook the IVN Etiquette guidelines in regards to personal and partisan attacks, Gary? I'll go out on a limb and assume that you're a partisan libertarian who is offended by the opinions of others. My advice to you: if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.
Libertarians are not anarchists, in fact the two are mutually exclusive.
You truly do not know what libertarianism is, and do not understand the political expression of it.
I am a libertarian political theorist, and the Treasurer of the NY Libertarian Party, and I do know what I am talking about on the topic.
Like I said, don't speak of a subject you know nothing about. And stop pretending you know all libertarians.
Stick to whatever you believe and leave the rest of us alone... but I have a feeling that isn't gonna jive with your mindset...
@Kizone Kaprow @livingthemusic @Mich Connor I agree, Libertarians are frauds, and they are incapable of thinking. I just makes me so mad to see all these young people flocking to Libertarianism and seeing this Ron Paul guy's ideas changing the republican party. Trust me, I'm just as bitter about it as you are. Why are there so many young libertarians? Because any simpleton can be one. Disgusting.
@livingthemusic@Mich Connor Mich was being sarcastic, sarcasm being the favorite rhetorical device of libertarians. And why not? Both sarcasm and libertarianism are fraudulent: sarcasm is the tool of the mocker, not the thinker, and libertarianism is not a belief but a disbelief. Why do we see so much sarcasm on the internet? Because any simpleton can do it.
@Mich Connor @B dawg This "steam gaining" is so much hot air among the shallow and angry young anarchists who populate social media and who don't know the difference between a syllogism and syphilis. The frustration is all theirs, as evidenced by their obscene, adolescent, and utterly pointless daily rants. See also reason.com/blog.
Well, the way I look at it is they exist to provide contrast. They make system, albeit a far from perfect system, look good. There's a nostalgia amongst conservatives, I myself am one, that pervades itself when conservatives think of Libertarians. But when scrutinized, their argument falls apart easily.
Ask yourself this: could the Libertarians have built the interstate highway system? (Which is probably the simplest task the gov't can accomplish). Their belief is private enterprise can build the roads. But if it had the ability, it would have built them prior to Eisenhower making it a priority. It simply doesn't work.
Is Mich Connor a Southpark reference?
@B dawg "Is Mich Connor a Southpark reference?"
Wouldn't doubt it. Libertarians get their philosophy from cartoons and sci-fi novels. I can't tell you how many times I've seen libertarians, in all seriousness, quote Robert Heinlein, Eric Cartman and Bender, the Futurama robot. Libertarians seem to think that liberty springs ready-made from pop-culture references. In the libertarian microculture, wisdom is measured by how many Firefly episodes they have memorized, and solidarity is cemented by a common hatred of Wesley Crusher.