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Mike DeBonis: The FishbowlDC Interview

debonispic.jpg Say hello to the Washington City Paper’s Mike DeBonis.

What word do you routinely misspell? I had trouble with the whole I’s-before-E’s-except-after-C’s-thing until embarrassingly recently.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? Low.mid. It sounds, uh, ringy.

What time did you get up this morning? Let’s just say the alarm went off at 8 a.m.

When did you last cry and why? Oct. 16, 2005, after the Chicago White Sox won the AL pennant

How many emails do you receive a day, roughly? I dunno, a lot. Probably about 50 I actually read.

What’s your favorite letter? The Cyrillic zhe has always been a favorite of mine.

What single person played the biggest role / had the biggest influence on your journalism career? Eric Wee, formerly of the Post, now of journalismnext.com, who advised the newspaper I worked on in college and made me think I might want to make a career out of it. And, to ignore the “single person” part of your question, Erik Wemple and Tom Scocca, too, who hired me at WCP and taught me just about everything I know

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)

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.


When’s the last time you volunteered? Where? A few months ago, I led a postmortem session with the staff of my old college paper. But the most memorable volunteering I ever did was teaching inmates at Lorton Prison and at the Arlington County jail a few years back.

Who is your favorite active journalist? Dave McKenna, City Paper’s sports columnist. If you insist I name someone I don’t edit, I think Marc Fisher’s really terrific. I’m also a John McPhee nut.

What did you have for breakfast? fried egg, yolk runny, on wheat toast; glass of water

What one toiletry item could you not live without? Uhh, soap? I happen to use soap a lot.

If you could have one superpower, which one would it be? Detente-era Soviet Union. Or flying. Flying would be cool.

Red or white wine? Red, usually Charles Shaw Cabernet

PG-13 or R? I dunno. Can’t say I understand the question.

Lincoln, Jefferson or Washington Memorial? I’ve never been to the top of the Washington Monument, so I feel I should abstain.

Leg or breast (chicken, of course) Leg man all the way.

Friday night or Saturday night? Last weekend, it was Friday night.

“Wedding Crashers” or “Old School” “Kicking and Screaming” is the criminally underappreciated Will Ferrell vehicle.

The Palm or Cafe Milano? Note to FishbowlDC: In the future, you might want to leave this one out when you give this questionnaire to those on alt-weekly salaries.

Yankees or Red Sox? Fucking east coast media elites.

Jenna or Barbara? I haven’t tried either.

McSteamy or McDreamy? Filet o’ Fish

Leno or Letterman? Letterman all the way. Fellow Hoosier, for one.

Stewart or Colbert? Until Colbert “better knows” Indiana’s 1st congressional district, I’m going with Stewart.

Boxers or briefs? Played. So very, very played.

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