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Gene Weingarten: The FishbowlDC Interview

bigweingarten.jpgSay hello to the Washington Post’s Gene Weingarten.

What word do you routinely misspell?Yield. Or yeild. Whatever. Yield, right? Yield. Wait. Yeild. Okay, I’m going with yield.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? “Ringtone 5.” It’s a bell. Sunds like a telephone from about 1955.

What time did you get up this morning? 6:15

When did you last cry and why? I’d like to answer this one truthfully, but it would become a gossip item. So instead, I will say that I cried yesterday when I realized, once again, the terrible plight of all the starving children in the world.

How many emails do you receive a day, roughly? It depends on how recently I have publicly expressed the opinion that the president of the United States is the most comically incompetent world leader since Idi Amin. (Now YOU will get the letters.) Under ordinary circumstances, about 200.

What’s your favorite letter? That n with a squiggle over it. It’s Spanish, but sounds adenoidal, like it should be Yiddish.

What single person played the biggest role / had the biggest influence on your journalism career? Most of the big influences in my life have been married, so I don’t have a good answer for this.

When’s the last time you volunteered? Where? I am part of an urban community garden, and everyone has to volunteer for a specific upkeep chore, such as picking up garbage or spreading mulch or whatever . I got my hand up first, so my entire job is to squirt grease into the padlocks every few months. Sweet. I also will waive a speaking fee if the audience is kids. I guess that’s volunteering.

Read the rest when you click below…(and see previous FishbowlDC interviews: Julie Mason, David Shuster, Joe Curl, Alex Pareene, Peter Beinart, Jonah Goldberg, Megyn Kendall, Ana Marie Cox, Jim Brady, Howard Mortman, Amy Argetsinger, Jose Antonio Vargas, Chuck Todd, Tom Gottlieb, Kelly Ann Collins, David von Drehle, David Lat, Mark Leibovich, Zain Verjee, David Plotz, Paul Kane, Karen Travers, Mark Halperin, Hugo Gurdon, Greg Kelly,Ken Rudin, John Dickerson, Anne Schroeder, Spencer Ackerman, Bret Baier, Bob Sellers, Greta van Susteren, Danielle Jones, Jonathan Salant, John McCalla, Pam Hess, Ryan Grim, Marc Ambinder, Marty Kady, Jack Shafer, Annie Lou Bayly, Jerry Zremski, Charlie Cook, Dave Hughes, Howard Fineman, Katie Tarbox, Mark Segraves, Chris Cillizza, Tom Sietsema, Bill Triplett, Robin Givhan, David Brody, Norah O’Donnell, Carl Cannon, Jordan Lieberman, David Folkenflik, Molly Henneberg, Ernesto Londono, Brody Mullins, Aaron Blake, Martha Raddatz, Andrew Sullivan, Christina Bellantoni, Shane Harris, Nora McAlvanah, Adam Nagourney, Erin McPike, Mike Memoli, Ju-Don Marshall Roberts, Arthur Delaney, Chris Mincher, Rachel Sklar, Laura Sullivan, Jeff Kosseff, Matthew Cooper, Scott McCrary, Dan Reilly, Jennifer Griffin, Ari Shapiro, Jonathan Kaplan, Rick Klein, Mike Allen, Olivier Knox, Erik Wemple, Nathan Burchfiel, Andrea Mitchell, Mike DeBonis, Anne Kornblut, April Ryan, Amy Morris, Keith Koffler, <strongMark Silva, Ann Compton, Mark Knoller, Betsy Fischer, Katherine O’Hearn, Pamela Brown, Beverly Kirk, Wendell Goler, Glenn Kessler, Susan Page, Michael Crowley, Claudia Milne, Kelly Dinardo, Bruce Becker, Michael Rogers, Paul Schur, Diana West, Eric Nuzum, Bill Adair, Jonathan Ward, Jennifer Sergent, Jeffrey Goldberg, Ken Silverstein, Dana Milbank, Mark Murray, Katherine Lewis, Joe Mathieu, Chrystia Freeland, Sam Youngman, Christopher Dorobek, Greg Mitchell, Candy Crowley, Steve Chaggaris, James Pindell, Linda Kramer, Reid Wilson, Jay Newton-Small, Dan Steinberg Susan Ferrechio, Matt Labash)

Also, drop us a line to let us know who else you’d like FishbowlDC to interview. They must work in the Washington area and you must include their email address.


Who is your favorite active journalist? There are no active journalists. Everything’s a phoner these days

What did you have for breakfast? I never eat breakfast, and seldom eat lunch. I have one meal a day, like a dog, and wolf it the same way, as though someone might take it away from me if I don’t hork it down fast.

What one toiletry item could you not live without? I have no idea what a toiletry item is. I do not even own a comb or a brush. Is toothpaste a toiletry item? If it is, my answer is toothpaste. Hey, here is a toiletry-related fact: I realized fairly recently that I never wash my face. I shampoo my face once a day, as a consequence of washing my hair, but I never actually wash my face.

If you could have one superpower, which one would it be? The United States.

Red or white wine? White, but this fact embarrasses me. To limit the embarrassment, I always specify “really dry,” as though this somehow dignifies my choice. It doesn’t.

PG-13 or R? R.

Lincoln, Jefferson or Washington Memorial? Jefferson. It has some kick-ass quotes.

Leg or breast (chicken, of course) Neither. The leg is slimy. The breast is dry and tasteless. It is the equivalent of the tail of the lobster, another food preference of the unsophisticated. I go with wing or thigh, but this is mostly theoretical nowadays. I don’t eat chicken because more so than any other food animal, chickens are tortured to death.

Friday night or Saturday night? Friday.

“Wedding Crashers” or “Old School” Definitely “Old School,” because, unlike “Wedding Crashers,” I haven’t seen it.

The Palm or Cafe Milano? Definitely Cafe Milano, because, unlike The Palm, I haven’t been there. Shouldn’t big-name restaurants have to have good food?

Yankees or Red Sox? To paraphrase Marshall McLuhan in “Annie Hall”: Clearly, you know nothing of my work.

Jenna or Barbara? Jenna!!!! Oh, wait. You mean Barbara the daughter. Hm. I’ll go with Chelsea.

McSteamy or McDreamy? See, this is why I didn’t want to take this survey. Because I knew that eventually you would make some sort of cultural reference that completely confounds me, and I would have to either start Googling, which would be dishonest, or reveal myself to be a clueless old geezer with a prostate the size of a weather balloon. Thanks a lot.

Leno or Letterman? Letterman.

Stewart or Colbert? Stewart

Boxers or briefs? Boxer-briefs. (On every other area of my life, I am uncompromising.)

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