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FishbowlDC Interview With Michael Calderone

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Say hello to Politico’s villainous media scribe Michael Calderone. We’re only kidding. He may be a competitor and he did once land on MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann’s “Worst Person in the World” list, but it’s all friendly. Enjoy.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray.

How often do you Google yourself? I have Google alerts for “news” and “blogs” once a day-a healthy amount of self-obsession, but not too over the top.

Who is your favorite working journalist? Tom Wolfe.

Did you see “Twilight” and “New Moon?” If so, who is more your type, Edward or Jacob? I’ve seen both, and actually have an answer: Team Edward. Maybe it’s my inner goth, too much listening to the Cure as a teenager, but I’ll always side with the gaunt, nattily-dressed Victorian-looking vampire over the more jock-like wolf pack.

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author and former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin? Being vegetarian, I’d be nervous about having to hunt for my dinner. So to be safe, I’ll go with Michelle.

When did you last cry and why? Watching the last game of the Mets 2007 season.

What word do you routinely misspell? Occasionally.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? Ringer_Bonjour.

What swear word do you use most often? Zounds!

What word or phrase do you overuse? “Spar,” “slam,” and “bash.” But they’re just so useful in POLITICO headlines!

What TV show do you have to watch? Lost. Sadly, not for much longer.

Where do you shop most often for your clothes? If Odin were transplanted in D.C., then I’d probably shop there most. Otherwise, it varies. http://www.odinnewyork.com/

Who do you prefer for daytime talk, Dr. Phil, Oprah, Tyra or the women of The View? My daytime talk diet consists mostly of watching old Jerry Springer pranks on YouTube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uqdw8wXqpA4

Who was your mentor? My high school journalism teacher and much of the New York Observer staff-can’t think of better training for a reporter in Manhattan.

What’s the best advice you ever received in the course of your career? This pretty much explains it. http://www.observer.com/2008/media/never-hold-your-best-stuff

Read more about Calderone after the jump…


What and where was your first job in journalism? My first paying job was as a fact-checker for Artforum/ Bookforum, but I count high school days editing the South Plainfield Tiger Times and nights working on zines as my first gigs.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? Being on Olbermann’s “world’s worst” list, which was simultaneously embarrassing and awesome. And I’ve since learned it’s sort of a rite of passage for anyone covering cable news. (Read the story here.)

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy most? Getting to interview John Burns just after he finished a five-year stint in Iraq was pretty memorable, perhaps tied with talking to Dexter Filkins as he tried adjusting to post-Baghdad life in Cambridge, Mass. (Read the Burns story here. Read the Filkins story here.)

What’s the biggest scoop you’ve ever had? There have been countless items of editors/ reporters/ TV personalities changing jobs, or publications going under. While I’m not quite sure what my biggest scoop is, perhaps my most absurd scoop was while on the real estate beat, where I broke the news that Jon Stewart bought $5.8 million condo using a corporate entity named after his cat and dog. (Read the story here.)

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