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FishbowlDC Interview with Josh Rogin

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Rogin headshot 1.jpg Say hello to Josh Rogin, staff writer for Foreign Policy magazine, who writes the daily online column The Cable, a look inside the foreign policy machine of the Obama administration. Before that he reported for Congressional Quarterly, Federal Computer Week magazine, and The Asahi Shimbun, Japan’s leading daily newspaper. Hailing from Philadelphia, he’s a GWU grad and lived in Tokyo, Japan. Much to FishbowlDC’s delight (after reminding and threatening him), Rogin got it together and met our deadline.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Yuengling beer – good taste, not bitter, and from eastern Pennsylvania.

How often do you Google yourself? Never. I’m not interested in reading about the “other” Josh Rogin, former Wexler aide. He somehow got awarded all my U.S. airways miles and I’m still bitter. (true story)

Who is your favorite working journalist? E.J. Dionne Jr. of The Washington Post, who gave me my first DC internship years ago. He writes with a clarity that cuts through and convinces. A true gentleman and scholar.

Did you see “Twilight” and “New Moon?” If so, who is more your type, Edward or Jacob? Never saw either. I like True Blood on HBO, but from what I gather I’m more like Edward. He sparkles in the sunlight, drives a Volvo, and can read peopleÂ’s minds.

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author Sarah Palin? Michelle Obama – Maybe I could get her to give me some tips on how to tone up my biceps.

When did you last cry and why? When I was run down on the street by a D.C. taxi cab and then issued a ticket for “reckless walking.” Adding insult to injury, Jim Bunning refused to sign my cast!

What swear word do you use most often? Asscrackistan.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, which public official would you want to be trapped with and why? Senator Scott Brown – I figure he has the hunting, trapping, and fishing skills to keep us alive until the rescue team arrives.


Who was your mentor? Frank Morring, Jr., at Aviation Week, who gave me a huge break just because he could. Chris Dorobek, CQ’s Jon Broder, and Susan Glasser have also helped me out a lot.

What’s the best advice you ever received in the course of your career? Nobu Sakajiri, the clown prince of Japanese journalism, taught me two key trade skills: how to play possum and how to stalk down an official. But his greatest advice was on source development. “First, make a friend.”

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? While reporting on a story about military personnel for CQ, I put in an interview request card for Joanne Davis, who was listed as the Chairwoman. Unfortunately she had died a couple weeks prior. Suffice to say, I didn’t get the interview. Some gossip columnist for The Hill covered it…

What’s the biggest scoop you’ve ever had? During the height of the 2008 campaign, I learned that someone had been funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars into the online prediction market called Intrade to make it appear that John McCain had a better chance of winning than he really did! When that story broke, the CEO called me from Dublin and threatened to sue. ThatÂ’s when I knew I was on to something.

To read’s Rogin’s work at The Cable, visit http://thecable.foreignpolicy.com/. WaPo has just started running The Cable in its print version.

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