Free Minds & Free Markets

Libertarian Filmmaker, Podcaster Kmele Foster Wants To Change the World: Podcast

So far, the world is kind of listening. Q&A with the co-host of The Fifth Column and co-founder of Freethink Media.

Kmele Foster, FacebookKmele Foster, FacebookIn 2004, Michael Bell's 21-year-old son was killed by police during a routine traffic stop in Kenosha, Wisconsin. Within three days, local law enforcement declared it had fully investigated the matter and announced that police had acted properly throughout. Pushing through his grief, Bell also pushed for change, beginning a decade-long campaign to legally mandate truly independent investigations into deadly use of force by police. He succeeded in Wisconsin and, to date, seven other states to pass such legislation.

Bell's crusade is the subject of a recent video by today's podcast subject, Kmele Foster of Freethink Media, an online video platform founded in 2011 to tell stories about human perseverance, inspiration, and progress. Foster is also the former co-host, with Kennedy and Reason's own Matt Welch, of the Fox Business show The Independents, and a current co-host of the popular podcast The Fifth Column, a free-wheeling, boozy deep-read of news and popular culture.

Foster was born in 1980 and raised in the Washington, D.C. area. I talk with him about how the Michael Bell story exemplifies what Freethink Media is trying to accomplish, what it was like growing up in an immigrant household (his mother is Jamaican), why libertarianism is underrepresented among racial and ethnic minorities, how he came to his anarcho-capitalist beliefs, and what his hopes are for his 1-year-old daughter.

CORRECTION: The original text implied that I was born in 1980. Foster was born that year. I was born in 1963.

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Audio production by Ian Keyser.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    So FreeThink Media actually produces things? I was beginning to wonder how Foster made all his money.

  • BLPoG||

    I think he made his money before Freethink. Freethink is more like collecting shoes for him.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Well, it was a well made documentary. They should do more of that.

  • Hugh Akston||

    #Kmele2020 #KeepinitKmele

  • Chipper Morning Baculum||

    I was wondering where Kmele's been hiding. There hasn't been a Fifth Column in a while.


  • BLPoG||

    There hasn't been a post on the Reason blog roll about the Fifth Column in a while, but there have been recent episodes. Just check out their site.

  • Don't look at me!||

    He wants to " change to world".
    Spoiler alert: Like all others before him, he will not.

  • Tom Bombadil||

    "Born in 1980 and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, I talk... "

    Gillespie lying about his age again.

  • loveconstitution1789||

    I dont know, Gillespie could have been born in 1980 B.C.E.

  • Dillinger||

    thought I saw Kmele on tv say "words are violence"

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    NEVER! Unless he was derisively quoting someone else.

  • Dillinger||

    dunno. all i know is when i woke up on the floor it was from passing out after seeing Kmele on tv say "words are violence" ...

  • Dillinger||

    so not on tv, @HnR (below)

  • Dillinger||

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Unless he was derisively quoting someone else.

    That's how I interpreted it, not sure how anyone else could get anything else out of it.

    Moynihan: [The argument that some people make], and I'm particularly interested in hearing Jacob talk about this if this has happened in the scope of free speech history, is that words are dangerous.

    Foster: Words are violence.

    Moynihan: They're violence, they can injure people….I asked somebody in [a recent Vice] piece, "Do you believe a joke can be harmful?" and then she says, "Yes, it can." What do you guys think about this?...
  • Dillinger||

    alright I listened. text required sarc-tag. looks like agreement w/o

  • Eddy||

    "Born in 1980 and raised in the Washington, D.C. area, I talk with Foster" (etc)

    As I suppose I'm not the first to note, I don't think Nick Gillespie was born in 1980.

    Maybe he bought his jacket then?

  • Eddy||

    He gave a different date for his birthday here:

  • loveconstitution1789||

    Obama's 51st birthday was just a few days back on August 4. I know when his birthday is because Michelle Obama sent me an email asking whether I'd sign Barack's birthday card. That request came just days after she sent me an Oscar Schindleresque email cadging for $3 toward her husband's re-election:

    Haha. Gillespie is registered as a Democrat, hence the Democratic Party request for campaign donations.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Gillespie is registered as a Democrat, hence the Democratic Party request for campaign donations.

    Not necessarily. My wife's a registered Libertarian and got election spam from the Democratic Party this last election cycle. Probably because they just naturally assumed "vagina = Democrat" or something.

    She sent them back a strongly worded email telling them that if they contacted her again she was going to vote straight Republican ticket just to spite them. Not sure if they responded or not.

  • Cynical Asshole||

    Maybe he bought his jacket then?

    He didn't buy his jacket in 1980, that was the year The Jacket chose him as his symbiotic host. Nick just considers that to be his true birthdate because that's when he and The Jacket became one.


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