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Jim Newell: The FishbowlDC Interview

jim_n.jpgSay hello to Wonkette’s Jim Newell.

What word do you routinely misspell? Words like “misspell,” actually, where you combine a word that ends in “s” with one that starts with “s.” Who knows how many of those “s”es you’re supposed to keep! Did you even spell “misspell” correctly? What’s another good example of this… Transexual? Transsexual? We use this word frequently on Wonkette, but God knows how it’s spelled.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? “Calypso,” as in the music genre or — more likely — the terrible nymph that captured Odysseus.

What time did you get up this morning? I didn’t.

When did you last cry and why? When Obama won the election! Just kidding, I was too busy typing to actually know what was going on. Probably when I watched WALL-E a few weeks ago. The trash robot loved that sensor drone so much. Can you believe that SPEECHLESS ROBOT/DRONE LOVE is what it takes Hollywood to make a compelling romance these days?

(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, Katheri
ne 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, Gene Weingarten, Ron Allen, Kimberly Dozier, Perry Bacon, Jim Mills, Erin Hartigan, Lindsay Applebaum, Bob Madigan, Gene Gibbons, Nico Pitney, John Mercurio, Jason Reich, Mark Stencel, Helene Cooper, Tom Gjelten, Joe Strupp, Barton Gellman, Jed Babbin, FamousDC, Judy Woodruff, Robb Harleston, Todd Zwillich, Carrie Dann)

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.


How many emails do you receive a day, roughly? Eh, 150. I have never deleted an e-mail from my Wonkette inbox. Right now it has 64,082 e-mails.

What’s your favorite letter? You’re the first person in world history to ask this question. Uhh… “E,” for its versatility?

What single person played the biggest role / had the biggest influence on your journalism career? Well, I’ve worked for Ken Layne nearly a year now and for some reason he hasn’t fired me yet, so I will say Ken Layne.

When’s the last time you volunteered? Where?

Who is your favorite active journalist? I didn’t know there were “active” journalists still with jobs! It’s terrible and elitist, but mostly some New Yorker writers. Ian Parker’s profiles are always excellent. Anthony Lane’s film reviews are consistently funny, even if he hates everything. And George Packer writes/has written too much for me to follow always, but this stunning, granular piece about undecided voters in small-town Ohio was the finest, most moving piece I read during the election. That I can remember. So there you have three, and they all work for one snob magazine.

What did you have for breakfast? Tavern ham with half-melted cheddar cheese and spicy brown mustard on a toasted English muffin. This was also dinner.

What one toiletry item could you not live without? Toothbrush, obviously. Are there others?

If you could have one superpower, which one would it be? This always comes down to flying vs. invisibility. Probably invisibility, so I could steal stuff.

Red or white wine? Red, only.

PG-13 or R? Yes, those are film ratings… what about them? I probably prefer R-rated movies, if that is what you want to know. PG-13 movies are just dumb blockbusters these days, right?

Lincoln, Jefferson or Washington Memorial? Lincoln by a mile. It’s haunting in that perfect way.

Leg or breast (chicken, of course) Breast, you pervert.

Friday night or Saturday night? Saturday night. The urgency of the weekend forces me out.

“Wedding Crashers” or “Old School” “Wedding Crashers” is excellent UNTIL they leave the mansion, as frauds. Then it’s just boring and lame. When I saw “Old School” senior year of high school, on opening night, I thought for a while that that wacky movie could answer any question I ever had about life. So “Old School,” which I have not seen in many years.

The Palm or Cafe Milano? Ha ha, who do you think I am?

Yankees or Red Sox? For most of my life the Yankees were always the thing to hate. The Red Sox were losers and therefore they would be loved. And then the Red Sox started winning multiple World Series and the tables turned. Red Sox fans are now awfully annoying AND boastful. I’d like to see the Yankees sweep them in an upcoming ALCS. But the Orioles are my team.

Jenna or Barbara? You mean there’s another one besides Jenna? Then why hasn’t that old maid gotten married?!

McSteamy or McDreamy? What the hell are you talking about?

Leno or Letterman? I don’t watch either much, but Letterman of course.

Stewart or Colbert? Colbert’s interviews; Stewart’s opening segments.

Boxers or briefs? Boxers. I’m out of annoying answers that evade the question. Just. Boxers.

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