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Ed Driscoll

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If you were a red-blooded American teenager in the 1980s, chances are at some point, you not only wanted your MTV, you wanted to work there, either behind, or ideally in front of the cameras. Lisa Kennedy Montgomery, better known simply as “Kennedy,” was someone who lived the dream, becoming part of the second wave of VJs to arrive at the television network, when it was still (usually) showing rock videos.

However, Kennedy had an at times bruising run there, when it was discovered that she was – gasp! – a conservative. As she mentions in her new and thoroughly enjoyable book, The Kennedy Chronicles: The Golden Age of MTV Through Rose-Colored Glasses. Things got particularly grim at the 1994 MTV Video Awards:

[Roseanne’s] joke that Kennedy was backstage performing oral sex on Rush Limbaugh sparked Kennedy’s mock fellatio performance on a microphone while standing next to New York City Rudy Giuliani. Later, when fellow VJ Bill Bellamy asked her if she wanted to say anything to Roseanne, she responded: “Roseanne, ease up on the Prozac, and by the way, Rush Limbaugh says you give [much better oral sex].” Roseanne later wrote Kennedy a letter saying she was one of the few people that had ever stood up to her “and she had a lot of respect for me,” Kennedy said in an interview. “It was such a nice letter, one of those kind moments that taught me a lot about class and supporting a lot of women.” Although the incident almost got her fired, Kennedy points out that MTV had approved Roseanne’s joke because it appeared on the teleprompter.

Fortunately, though, she survived Roseanne’s disgusting sucker punch (and Roseanne would only go downhill from there), and left the network in 1997 on her own terms. She’s now a DJ at L.A.’s ALT 98.7, creates videos for Reason TV, and contributes to John Stossel’s show on the Fox Business Channel. And she’s still on great terms with her fellow VJs from the period, as well as MTV News host Kurt Loder, who also contributes to Reason.

During our interview, we’ll discuss:

● How Roger Ailes gave a surprising assist to her early MTV days.

● How she was able to smuggle her conservatism into the perilously liberal world of MTV.

● How Kurt Loder helped her make the transition from conservative to libertarian.

● The confining worldview of many left-wing rock artists.

● Why “Zappa Family Values” aren’t an oxymoron.

● Why so many musicians suffer from what Keith Richards calls LVS – “Lead Vocalist Syndrome.”

● Young people and libertarianism in 2013.

●How the media world today differs from the MTV era.

And much more. Click here to listen:

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Transcript of our interview begins on the following page; for our many previous podcasts, start here and keep scrolling.

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Top Rated Comments   
I don't, like, you know, if that picture of her on horseback is recent, you know, but, like, you know, she's totally hot, like, you know.

Sheesh! I could almost forgive her for torturing the Queen's english for that single photo. Almost.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (9)
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Someone invent the "like-you-know" filter, please!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Shepard N7 is right. Martha Quinn...mmmmm...

By the 90's, the novelty of MTV was pretty much over. Those of us that would tune in the 80's had careers, wives, and kids by the time she showed up.

It was all downhill from there. From talented bands video footage all the way down to miley cyrus.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You know, She said "You know" like 89 times in 17 minutes.

Was that, like, in Roger Ailes book that she read?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
"If you were a red-blooded American teenager in the 1980s..."

Kennedy worked in the 90s. Those of us who were teenagers in the 80s salivated over Martha Quinn.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
..then it was either flavor of Julie Brown
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't, like, you know, if that picture of her on horseback is recent, you know, but, like, you know, she's totally hot, like, you know.

Sheesh! I could almost forgive her for torturing the Queen's english for that single photo. Almost.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Now that I've gotten a second, okay third, okay maybe more, look at the photo , it appears to me that she is not astride a horse, but rather a donkey and that that is not a riding crop in her hand, but a whip of some substance.

Whipping an ass bare-assed. That photo will need an assterisk.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Nice job, Ed.

Kennedy, like, could, you know, use the phrase "you know" a little bit less? Otherwise keep on keepin' on at Reason and with Stossel. You know.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
You know,like, that made the transcript all but unreadable.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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