Fox News’ Lisa Kennedy Montgomery — long known merely by the mononym Kennedy — has made a respectable career out of being the “cool Republican.”
This isn’t to cast aspersions on her, mind you. She began her career as an openly Republican MTV VJ — something that, even during her 1990s tenure on the network, was akin to a rare white Bengal tiger. (Nowadays, it’s more like a Buddhist female Catholic bishop.) She had a tattoo of an elephant to signify her allegiance to the GOP.
The liberal media loved treating her as a facile tool; “Murphy Brown,” the pre-“West Wing” totem of televised liberaldom, parodied her as a young, dumb conservative commentator named McGovern.
The joke seemed to be on them; Kennedy transitioned from the host of an alternative music show to a political pundit and self-identified libertarian with her own show on Fox Business. She’s still playing the “cool Republican” role, even if that sometimes means having a hot take to prove you’re not really one of the rest of us conservative rabblement.
To that end, I give you her Tuesday interview with Rudy Giuliani, the former New York mayor who’s currently President Donald Trump’s lawyer and a middleman for the most explosive laptop data dump in recent memory.
During the show, Kennedy compared Giuliani to one of the most infamous electoral agents provocateurs in recent memory.
The interview was a confrontational one, with Kennedy going so far as to bring up the footage of Giuliani reaching into his pants in the “Borat” sequel. She wasn’t quite buying his explanation for that — and she didn’t quite buy his explanation for how he managed to get the data from Hunter Biden’s laptop.
“Some can say that you’re acting like Christopher Steele, that you were abstracting information,” Kennedy said.
Steele was, of course, the former MI5 agent and intelligence operative who, during the 2016 campaign, assembled the “Trump dossier” — a document that contained a whole raft of unsubstantiated claims against Donald Trump. Most memorably, Steele’s report claimed the Russians may have kompromat on Trump due to an alleged certain hotel room excursion.
Giuliani was unimpressed by the comparison, to say the least.
“You got to be kidding me. I was acting like Christopher Steele?” Giuliani said, interrupting Kennedy.
Rudy Giuliani blows up a Fox Business interview after Lisa Kennedy says people could say he’s acting like Trump dossier author Christopher Steele with the Hunter Biden laptop materials: “You better apologize for that … I think our interview is now over” pic.twitter.com/OsIGZ42y1r
— Daniel Chaitin (@danielchaitin7) October 28, 2020
“You better apologize for that. I mean I’ve been a United States attorney, associate attorney general, mayor of New York City and a member of the bar for 50 years. I’ve never been accused of anything, and you’re accusing me of being Christopher Steele.”
“I’m accusing you of acting in a capacity similar to Christopher Steele and that you were going back and forth between Ukraine and the United States,” Kennedy responded, referencing reports of Giuliani’s ties to Ukrainian figures.
“What you’re saying is an outrageous defamation of me, of my reputation,” Giuliani responded, inviting Kennedy to take a look at the data in his office — an offer Kennedy accepted.
Giuliani added, “this may be the last time we’ll be on camera because I don’t let people call me Christopher Steele.”
“I came on your show in good faith to give you evidence that is being withheld from the American people, and I get defamed,” he told Kennedy.
The full video can be seen here.
Now, just in case you’ve forgotten, all of this involves data from a laptop Hunter Biden allegedly dropped off at a Delaware repair shop and forgot about. It contains several emails that call into question how much Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden knew about his son’s business dealings in Ukraine and China.
The most explosive email had to deal with whether Hunter Biden had arranged a meeting between his father and Vadym Pozharskyi — one of the top executives in Burisma, the Ukrainian energy firm on whose board Hunter Biden sat.
The New York Post first reported on the trove of emails; the paper was subsequently locked out of its Twitter account, and Twitter tried to block anyone from sharing the Post’s reporting. So what were we talking about on Fox Business on Tuesday?
Comparisons to Christopher Steele and talk of the scene in the “Borat” movie where an actress playing a reporter, later described as 15 years old, interviews Giuliani.
Kennedy seemed to buy the dubious claim that when Giuliani says he was tucking in his shirt after adjusting his mic, he was actually doing something untoward. She asked him if he regretted it.
“Now that’s a stupid question, isn’t it?” Giuliani shot back.
“No, it’s not stupid at all. I have a 15-year-old daughter. I watched that and I was kind of grossed out by it,” Kennedy said.
There is a subtext to all of this, of course: Giuliani is, right now, not a “cool Republican.” Between his Ukrainian contacts, reports he might be a target for Russian influence and a heavily edited scene in the new “Borat” film that the left has used to make him look like a creepy old guy, he’s a fun punching bag for people who either think Trump is going to lose Tuesday as well as those who don’t want to go anywhere near the Hunter Biden hard drive story.
The problem is that nobody’s really denied that data is Hunter Biden’s — and that presents serious issues we should be talking about, including what Joe Biden knew about his son’s dealings and why one of America’s largest newspapers is locked out of its Twitter account because the social media giant doesn’t want people talking about it.
There was plenty of dissatisfaction from conservative Twitterers regarding the tenor of the Kennedy interview.
— Paul Gallo (@paulgalloshow) October 28, 2020
Never watching Kennedy on Fox news again. Sounded like she was working for CNN while interviewing Rudy Giuliani. She was down right rude and should be fired.
— Patti Carroll (@PattiCa48751598) October 28, 2020
Kennedy just killed her career on Fox. Maybe she can head over to CNBC with Shep? https://t.co/pZfOXCCcIa
— Kevin McCashion 🇺🇸 (@Kevin_McCashion) October 28, 2020
Watching Kennedy on Fox tonight. Could not believe her conversation with Rudy Giuliani. She showed us her true colors. Won’t watch her ever again on any of the shows. Putting her in the same box as Chris Wallace. Time for you guys to GO!
— Mary Sue Osborne (@MarySueOsborne2) October 28, 2020
While one might not necessarily agree with Kennedy, she’s usually substantive. This time, no.
Her evidence that Giuliani was like Christopher Steele? None, but it made a great sound bite. Unlike Steele’s second- and third-hand sources, Giuliani has hard data that the Biden campaign has not disowned. I’m still curious where she sees the parallels.
Bringing up the “Borat” movie again? At this point, you’ll see what you want to see from that clip — and trust me, if there was anything incriminating that was left out, we would have seen it. Wider context might not make it look so hot for Sacha Baron Cohen and Co. — and the same could be said for the rest of the movie, quite frankly.
Kennedy ended the interview by telling Giuliani he “can’t tell me you haven’t loved this conversation.”
“I have not loved this conversation,” Giuliani said. “I find this conversation totally insulting.”
“You don’t accuse someone of being a criminal without any evidence, on speculation,” he added.
All of this is CNN-worthy and had little to do with the substance of the emails. Even if you want to view them as the fruit of a poison tree, there’s little denying — at this point — that there is indeed fruit.
The Bidens have thus far avoided any serious discussion about Hunter Biden’s activities in Ukraine and China. With interviews like this — on Fox Business, of all places — they’ll be able to avoid it indefinitely.
As for Kennedy, maybe “Murphy Brown” was more right than we thought.
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