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Mark Stencel: The FishbowlDC Interview

stencel_mug-cx.jpgSay hello to Mark Stencel, editor and deputy publisher at CQ Inc.’s Governing.

What word do you routinely misspell? “Administartion.” But that’s only one of many.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? “Modern Lo” (but more likely “Vibrate”)

What time did you get up this morning? 6:45

When did you last cry and why? Hard to say. I’m blubbery in movies.

How many emails do you receive a day, roughly? I’ve stopped counting. My BlackBerry buzzes continuously, like one of those massaging seats at Brookstone.

What’s your favorite letter? The Cyrillic character that puts the “Ts” in “Tsar.”

What single person played the biggest role / had the biggest influence on your journalism career? My mother, Sandra Stencel, worked at Congressional Quarterly as an editor for 27 years. She thought exposing me to journalists at an early age would drive me into a career in law. I might have come to CQ Inc. sooner if not for a nepotism policy. As her current coworkers at the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life can attest, she’s still the best editor in town.

When’s the last time you volunteered? Where? Helped serve dinner at a homeless shelter in Fairfax County in January.

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, Gene Weingarten, Ron Allen, Kimberly Dozier, Perry Bacon, Jim Mills, Erin Hartigan, Lindsay Applebaum, Bob Madigan, Gene Gibbons, Nico Pitney, John Mercurio, Jason Reich)

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? I can narrow it down to two….David Broder, who first hired me at the Washington Post. As David wrote about Ted Kennedy in his May 21 column, “Truly, there is no one like him.” The other is the Post’s William Branigin, an unsung, fast-as-hell, old-school master. His reporting from Iraq with the 3rd Infantry Division in early 2003 was unforgettably vivid. (Army captain in Najaf: “You just [expletive] killed a family because you didn’t fire a warning shot soon enough!”)

What did you have for breakfast? Trying to kick a bagel habit, but fell off the wagon this morning.

What one toiletry item could you not live without? A razor. Without one I’d quickly be mistaken for a yeti.

If you could have one superpower, which one would it be? The ability to replicate myself.

Red or white wine? Red (but a 12-year-old Speyside single malt is the current house favorite)

PG-13 or R? R. Honestly, how has Jack Valenti’s rating system survived for 40 years?

Lincoln, Jefferson or Washington Memorial? Lincoln. (The nearby Korean War Veterans Memorial is my real favorite.)

Leg or breast (chicken, of course)? Four fried chickens — and a Coke

Friday night or Saturday night? Saturday.

“Wedding Crashers” or “Old School”? I’ll stick with “Animal House.” (First in a series of contrarian answers.)

The Palm or Cafe Milano? Firefly.

Yankees or Red Sox? The Durham Bulls. When I worked for the N&O in North Carolina I lived and worked “within stumbling distance” (as a coworker put
it) of the ballpark made famous by the 1988 movie. No better place to watch baseball.

Jenna or Barbara? Isn’t it time to transition? Meghan.

McSteamy or McDreamy? My wife would say we’re a “House” household.

Leno or Letterman? Letterman.

Stewart or Colbert? A Sophie’s Choice.

Boxers or briefs? Boxers.

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