The Independents

Good News and Bad News, for Fans of The Independents

Five days a week instead of four, but minus the Pips

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First the good: As of Jan. 26, the Kennedy-hosted show will be on five nights a week instead of four, and moving to the slightly more boozy slot of 10 p.m. weeknights ET. Whereas of November 2013 there was only one hour of explicitly libertarian-hosted programming on Fox Business Network, there will now be six instead of today's five, and Kennedy will continue taking her counter-programming to Fox News' popular Outnumbered show several times a week, if recent history is any guide. (As part of the lineup shuffle, Stossel, featuring your favorite weekly FBN columnist at Reason.com, will move from Thursdays at 9 p.m. ET to Fridays.)

The bad news: Kmele Foster and I will no longer be involved.

The new show, called Kennedy, will be terrific; worthy of attention from anyone who has enjoyed the project until now. I'd like to sincerely thank FBN for allowing us the latitude to demonstrate that a libertarian news program could be artistically successful (if a bit on the weird side), while reportedly producing the network's best ratings among daily shows for months at a time in the audience demographic advertisers covet most. 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.

I'm proudest of all that despite many man-made setbacks, we (especially those off-camera, who will remain on Kennedy) fought like honey badgers to put on the best possible programming, without excuse. Here for posterity are two clips from the last show we ever taped, on the day Charlie Hebdo was massacred:

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  1. Maybe you guys should write a book about the whole experience.

  2. I assume this development is the result of a millennial poll.

  3. Matt,
    Congrats; you got a mostly libertarian viewpoint in front of tons of people who had no idea what that might be.
    Sorry it didn’t go longer, but it was at least a start and might breed more exposure.

  4. “I’d like to sincerely thank FBN for allowing us the latitude to demonstrate that a libertarian news program could be artistically successful (if a bit on the weird side), while reportedly producing the network’s best ratings among daily shows for months at a time in the audience demographic advertisers covet most.”

    Yeah, I suppose that’s the demo Fox was shooting for, but I guess maybe the show was a little too independent?

    1. I think the problem is that Megyn Kelly is doing exceptionally well in that time slot on regular fox news, including people in that coveted demo.

      By putting Kennedy on an hour later, they will attract people people from that demo who won’t be watching Hannity. (My father won’t even watch Hannity, Hannity is so awful)

  5. I’m just glad you have a decent suit-tie combo now.

    1. No, really = well done with what time you had, Matt. I enjoyed the show, and think that at the very least something *like it* should exist. I think you and Foster’s occasional rants* were the actual highlights of the programs.

      (tho the names ‘keepin’ it kmele’ and ‘where its matt’? should be killed with fire they were so painfully dumb. I’m sure there is a producer somewhere to blame for that.)

    2. I took a village!

      1. “It,” “I,” whatever.

      2. “It,” “I,” whatever.

        1. Edit button, Welch. Make it happen, now that you have the free time.

          1. Christ Fist, are you EVER not online?

            1. Christ Fist could be a jeebus metal band name.

              Or you could go Fisting Christ. I like that one better.

      3. Matt is going to take up conquest, now that he has free time?

        A village is a decent start.

        1. Nor does he have to worry about how he’s going to pay for his health care! He can take some art classes ‘n stuff.

  6. I do love Kennedy… but I don’t think I’ll be watching without Matt and Kmele. Guess I’m in the minority though.

    Basically what I’m saying is they better have enough regulars for GILMORE to critique.

    1. Kennedy the Reason commentator; awesome. Kennedy the royal American political family; not so much.

      1. You should look at her stand up sets on YouTube at Students for Liberty and other events. She does good comedy.

    2. I’m in the minority too. I’m a libertarian, I’m used to it.

      I think they’re going to find that Kennedy works better with someone to bounce off of, though.

  7. So Al Sharpton is pissed about the Oscars…

    1. Emergency Grievance Meeting!!

      1. #blackactingcareersmatter

  8. Matt, thanks. I really liked the show and appreciated the effort you all obviously put into it.

    And I will always treasure the photo of you and me taken by the Reason staffer at Freedom Fest last summer, with you scowling as he fumbled with the camera.

    I look forward to your next project!

    1. I hope you don’t sleep with the photo.

  9. A few shows I really miss include The Drinky Crow Show, Your Pretty Face Is Going To Hell and Gilligan’s Island. What the hell is up with the elimination of quality programming? It’s like some sort of conspiracy to eliminate everything worth watching.

  10. By the way, Matt, I did really enjoy the Independents the few times I was able to watch it. Unfortunately, it was difficult for me to have a chance to watch due to the fact I got rid of TV back in 1997.

    1. By ‘TV’ do you mean the four major networks, or you actually don’t watch any moving images which are accompanied with audio on any platform, anywhere?

  11. Ugh. Can’t they keep Matt and Kmele and get rid of Kennedy? What am I saying this is Fox, they always cancel the good stuff and keep the dreck running forever.

  12. The story you’re not getting: Matt failed a drug test.

      1. Viagra, or not enough meth since Kennedy scarfed it all.

    1. Failing The Independents ‘drug test’ means you didn’t take enough drugs

      Matt and Kmele couldn’t keep up with ‘8-ball an hour’ Kennedy

  13. The show was pretty good and miles better than the usual rah-rah go team stuff,.

    Them’s the breaks, but at least you have a fallback career. HH will be glad to see more of you!

  14. It really was a terrific show, Mr. Welch. It sucks Fox won’t keep you and Kmele. The Independents really was good news programming.

  15. I hate to say I told you so (mainly because I didn’t) but had < i The Independents made some minor changes I dare say it would still be on the air. More actresses talking about vaccines, more elevator bitch slap footage, more avocado-based food preparation… all these things add up to ratings gold.

    I fear for Kennedy. All alone, she may end up thrown in Fox Biz’s padded room as she spirals down into a fit of endlessly interrupting herself.

    I warn everyone to watch Stossel closely. Welch may very well have kept that Halloween costume and try to impersonate the man and take his show.

    SPOILER ALERT: The series finale is going to reveal Kmele Foster was secretly black all along.

    1. Throw away comment, but, your last sentence caused to have a bout of uproarious laughter.

  16. Kmele Foster rules.

    1. There were too many Kmele Foster rules, I agree. It was stifling.

      1. If only he were permitted to finish just one sentence. Spooning with Matt Welch segment no countsies.

  17. Count on TV to do the opposite of what would make a show interesting. And I am horrified that Kennedy will now be the TV face of libertarian viewpoints. Assume her show will be a solid half hour (or is it an hour?) of half-completed sentences and no completed thoughts.

    (shakes head sadly and walks away)

  18. Apparently vous n’etes pas Charlie.

    I kid.
    The show was great. Matt and Kmele were the most intelligent and articulate voices on TV, and Kennedy kept stepping on them. My wife thanks Fox for giving me back to her from 9-10 M, T, W & F.

    I will try the Kennedy show a few times. Will there be an open thread to provide the enhanced experience? Will the 2 mins hate expand to 40 mins?

  19. End of the line. More importantly, what the heck is gonna happen to the TI thread?

    It’s a shame they gave you guys the pink slip. You were buffers to Kennedy’s tendency towards ranting…and those interruptions…/shivers.

    I guess the changes came at the right time given I can’t stream the show at the moment. I’ll still give Kennedy a chance but without Matt and Token it won’t be the same.

    Why does everything I love die?

    1. We’ll do the same thing we did before there was a nightly TI thread.

      1. Go on…

  20. While I would love to booze it up with Kennedy, her on-air shtick quickly grated on my nerves and made the show unwatchable for me. Libertarian principles have a intellectual foundation that can be used to recruit honest and opened minded people to the cause. I guess that role is being filled by Stossel, but on the show Kennedy is just using it as a platform to inject her ‘wacky’ personality in an effort to stay relevant in a world where the music business has passed her by.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t like you, Kennedy. Let’s drink sometime. But I doubt I will be watching your new show.

    1. I think you nailed with a few us think.

      A ‘professionalization’ is in order if she really wants to take the libertarian moment to another level.

      She has tools. Can she make them work?

      1. what a few us…

      2. I think that she views her role as that of an entertainer, not an educator.

        Or maybe she views her role as a recruiter of the millennials and I don’t find her show appealing since I’m already on board and have aged out of her target audience. Is she being effective in this role? I don’t know. Do millennials tune in for her shtick or for the ideas that are presented on the show?

        Your next mission, Emily Ekins, should you choose to accept it….

        1. How precisely is a F-list celebrity who is solidly in the Gen X demographic who became famous doing a job that ceased to exist before the first millenials were out of diapers going to appeal to said millenials?

          I mean to them Kennedy is a BEST that MILF their mom used to watch on TV

        2. Did Kennedy’s schtick on TI work with millennials? I have no frickin’ idea, but I really really doubt it.

          It certainly didn’t work with my high-school aged daughter, who thought Kennedy was gibbering incoherently for much of the time, and for whom Kennedy’s reputation in the muzak biz doesn’t mean squat.

          Entertaining? Sure, once in a while – but if Kennedy’s going to become the vanguard of a New Libertarian Future, and purveyor of thought-provoking pro freedom journalism? We’re totally fucked.

          One could argue (and I am) that making the millennials the ‘target demog’ is a losing strategy if the next cohort are a bunch of statist drones.

          Those millennials who are gonna be paying for my declining years show little evidence *as a group* of revolting against people my age stealing their futures and their freedom. I see no evidence to support the Great Libertarian Uprising amongst them.

          /rant off

          Personally, I’d like to see something like Crossfire with 2 or 3 rotating hosts (I’m looking at you here, Kmele and Stossel). THAT would make me tune in most weeks.

    2. Yeah, really well put. I’d love to hang out with Kennedy, and I’d even like to talk politics and so forth with her, but her on-air persona makes it difficult to take her seriously. Matt and Kmele were the intellectual heavyweights on that show.

    3. What he said.

    4. I like Kennedy but agree that a little modification would go a long way.

      On the other hand, I wonder if a show with Kennedy and a few other libertarian women (and unicorns and the Loch Ness Monster while we’re at it) might actually have an impact as sort of antimatter to The View and Outnumbered to begin to combat mainstream perceptions of libertarianism.

      Say Kennedy, ENB, Libertarian Girl, something like that. I’d watch – but maybe we shouldn’t go into detailed reasons about that.

      1. Say Kennedy, ENB, Libertarian Girl, something like that. I’d watch

        I’d watch too.

        If they were naked.

        1. I solemnly pledge to watch anything that contains a naked libertarian girl

    5. Yes, I think Roger the Shrubber nailed it. Kennedy is more entertaining and quirky, but a little Kennedy goes a long way. By far the best parts of the show are now being dropped. Kmele is the best. He’s reasoned, articulate, and pure. Matt is a detailed journalist, and very solid. Kennedy is wacky, off the chain, always interrupting and going full-honey-badger. If she could dial that back a bit, and get more serious, it’d be perfect. As is, this is by far my favorite show. Without Kmele and Matt–with Kennedy only, it will likely be, well, too goofy. I hope I’m wrong.

  21. Sigh. It’s great to have Kennedy on my side. At her best, she’s an awesome superhero who wields The Power Of The Snark. Yet if the producers of The Independents had asked me what they could do to improve the show, “Let Kennedy do more of the talking,” would not have been part of my answer.

    You and Kmele did a terrific job, no matter what those jerks at Fox think. (What do they know about television? They canceled Firefly.) The episodes you hosted were some of the best. Well played, Matt.

    1. I think “The Independents” was the Gen-X, “fun-loving libertarian hijinks” companion to Stossel’s more serious show, but I’m not convinced that’s a void that needs to be filled.

      Also, canceling Firefly was pure, distilled idiocy.

    2. Who here doesn’t love snark? Engaging in it on the H&R boards is probably what has most of us posting here. But that doesn’t mean it make for enjoyable or watchable TV. Especially when it’s interfering with make the point of the intellectual principle on which I would like them to focus.

  22. Matt has the face and voice for print journalism.

    1. He’s better looking in person.

  23. Kudos Matt for getting this show together and having a good run. Who would’ve thought, even just a few years ago, that you could get a libertarian viewpoint show on the air?

  24. The new show, called Kennedy, will be terrific; worthy of attention from anyone who has enjoyed the project until now.

    Eh…

    1. The new show, called Kennedy…

      And thus we go from a principle (Independence) to a Principal (Kennedy)…the devolution to entertainment is complete.

      1. It’s television, not telethinking or telespeaking or telehearing. Television requires no thought – not in the sense that it doesn’t require you to think but in the sense that it requires you not to think. Thinking about the message distracts you from the sounds and images designed to make you feel the message.

        You’re not going to be lovin’ McDonalds or enjoy a Coke and a smile or experience the outrageous cheezinesss of Cheeto’s if you’re actually thinking about it, you will if it triggers the warm fuzzies or the comfort of belonging to the ‘in’ group or the ego boost of knowing you’re living life on the edge.

        Thought-provoking television might as well be a book. Matt and Kmele could have done a regular segment where they tried to guess “How Much C-4 Will It Take To Launch This Object Over That Obstacle?” and they would have been golden. Nobody’s going to be thinking about whether or not this object actually needs to be launched over that obstacle with a surprisingly large amount of high explosives.

        Just the same, if it’s something you enjoyed doing then I’m sorry it has ended.

        1. Matt and Kmele could have done a regular segment where they tried to guess “How Much C-4 Will It Take To Launch This Object Over That Obstacle?”

          It would be like ‘Mythbusters’, but smarter.

  25. Damn. I will miss you guys.

  26. Isn’t Stossel on FBN? If he is, I believe he is a libertarian host.

    1. Of course, as referenced and linked in my post.

      1. Matt, you really need to learn when to bring the snark. I understand that it is a highly desirable quality for those seeking leading roles on newsy TV entertainment programming.

        1. And on Fox, grow out your hair and dye it blonde.

    2. Thanks for the tip, Micheal. Has anyone else heard of this Stossel guy?

      1. Didn’t he run for president against Eisenhower about 4 or 5 times?

        1. You’re thinking of Stassen, Stossel is a crumbly pastry topping made of butter, sugar and flour.

  27. Congrats Matt, for getting this far. It’s a step and I am sure there will be more.

  28. I look forward to an episode called Khrushchev & Kennedy.

  29. Renaming your show after the popular character means you’re on the way out. Not that it matters, nobody gets FBN anyhow.

  30. my co-worker’s half-sister makes $69 /hr on the internet . She has been fired from work for ten months but last month her payment was $17800 just working on the internet for a few hours. try here……
    ????? http://www.netcash50.com

  31. The new show, called Kennedy, will be terrific; worthy of attention from anyone who has enjoyed the project until now.

    Yeah, thanks but I’ll take a pass. You and Kmele were the real entertainment on that show, and the few times that Kennedy took leave were some of the best moments. Real, honest discussion without guests being overrun by screeching. Fun while it lasted I suppose.

  32. That’s sad to hear. Matt and Kmele were both great. I don’t think this is the right direction for the show, but it’s good that it’ll survive in some form or another.

  33. … andon the same freakin day …

    http://www.foxbusiness.com/tec…..agreement/

  34. It was one of the few must-watch shows on my daily calendar. I’ll definitely continue to watch Kennedy, because she’s wise, wicked, funny and cute.

  35. Kennedy is good but her attempt at clever intros wears thin. I actually liked it better when she was off for a few days.

  36. Who’s the genius who decided that show needs less Kmele and Matt and more Kennedy?

    1. Some subgenius. I agree with you. I’d like more Kmele and more Matt. Less Kennedy.

  37. I’ll miss the show, it was one of the few politically-oriented shows I could stand to watch regularly. I’ll stand in Kennedy’s corner, a bit. Not knowing what she might say next was part of the entertainment factor, and her over-the-top personality did add something to the show, that would have been sorely lacking, without her.

    But for me, Matt was the glue that held it all together. Having a rational viewpoint, and being able to express it clearly are invaluable qualities, and whatever Kennedy’s new show is, it will be worse-off for your absence, Matt. Best wishes for everyone’s next adventure.

  38. Too bad about Kmele – he deserves to be there.
    But I still wonder what Matt Welch contributed other than bumping around in his chair periodically, but not in rhythm with the music.

  39. Thanks Matt and Kmele, for doing a great job. This is my favorite show. Kennedy is OK, but Matt and Kmele are the stars IMO.

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