Katherine Timpf is a 2010 Hillsdale College alumna. She reports for National Review Online and is a Fox News Contributor. She makes regular appearances on Fox News’ “The Greg Gutfeld Show.” Timpf came to campus Friday, Oct. 23 to perform stand-up comedy acts at two Homecoming events for alumnni.
How did Hillsdale shape your worldview and political beliefs?
I’m definitely a libertarian, so I’m not as conservative on some things as Hillsdale is. But I love the idea that the government does not get to decide what this private institution gets to teach. There is so much indoctrination right now. I spent years reporting college news for Campus Reform, and the indoctrination at these schools is absolutely real. If the government controls the purse strings, then they can control the education. Also, the bravery of Hillsdale to do this is amazing. It has shown that a private solution for education is possible and works so well.
You said that you are not as conservative as most of Hillsdale. Does Hillsdale only tolerate one strain of views?
There’s a lot more diversity of thought here than you would think. There are Republicans and conservatives but also libertarians.
What is libertarianism to you?
I define it as free markets and no “judgies.” It means limited government in all aspects. So get it out of economic policy, have a sensible foreign policy, and allow social decisions to be made by the individual.
How did you get involved with Greg Gutfeld and the Fox News Channel?
I made a video at a feminist conference that became popular. He saw me on a show doing an interview about it, so he asked me to be on “Red Eye”. My background in stand-up comedy helped me on “Red Eye.” We had a good banter going back and forth, so then when he got his new show he asked me to be on it.
In light of Fox News being viewed as conservative, what is it like working for a station with which you disagree on many policies?
You just have to know what you believe and why you believe it. Being a libertarian, there is something about me for everyone to hate, but there is also something about me for everyone to agree on. I think I’m in a very good position to have conversations with people because I can agree with them on some things if not others.
What prepared you to be on television?
Stand-up comedy and writing helped me a lot. I had to work hard, take risks, believe in myself, not give up, and there was a little bit of luck involved. And talent, I guess I must have a little bit of talent.
What was your stand-up tour like?
It was great. I mostly opened for people but I also headlined a few times. I got to meet people and figure out what makes people laugh from Columbia, Missouri to New York City to Los Angeles. I can’t imagine having been on television without doing stand-up first. Stand-up is much scarier than television because on television, no one can tell you that you suck while you’re talking.
How did your career begin?
Right out of college I pursued my career. I moved seven times. I worked at The Washington Times and Campus Reform, and then I was a traffic reporter before I began to work at National Review and started to make appearances on Fox News.
Which article is your favorite or most popular?
It might have been the feminist video that got me on “Red Eye.” I was trying to make a video at a feminist conference, but they found out that I worked for a conservative publication, and so the women wouldn’t talk to me. But there have been so many articles I thought were going to do well that didn’t do so well.