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Ron Allen: The FishbowlDC Interview

Allen Ron 07.jpgSay hello to NBC’s Ron Allen.

What word do you routinely misspell? Fortunatley, my spell checker is quiet relaible. But bcause I still only tipe with a feew fingers#, I offen hit tha wrong ceys.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? “Classic” I think it’s called. The ole, boring, phone ringing sound. Maybe one day I’ll learn how to download something else.

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)

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.


What time did you get up this morning? Up at 7am. After months on the road with the Hillary Clinton campaign getting up at 7am after more than 5 hours of sleep seems late to me….almost like a day off.

When did you last cry and why? At a big birthday party last summer, when nearly a hundred friends and relatives celebrated with me. It was amazing that so many people came, but then it was on Martha’s Vineyard, which happens to be my favorite place in the world. I got real choked up trying to make a speech…could barely blow out the candles on the cake.

How many emails do you receive a day, roughly? Hundreds. I get all the election related updates from my NBC colleagues, as well as all of the back and forth between the campaigns. The volume of “war room” “oppo-research” is unbelievable!!

What’s your favorite letter? A letter my wife sent me before we were married and living in different cities.

What single person played the biggest role / had the biggest influence on your journalism career? My late father Lindsay Allen. He was so excited when CBS News offered me a part-time desk assistant job working midnight to 8am weekends only on the network assignment desk. Back then, I was a very proud recent college graduate never really interested in journalism, and less than thrilled with the hours and pay. But my dad saw the future better than I could. He encouraged me to take the job. There was also a former CBS VP named Peter Herford who helped me get a slot in a reporter training program. And Ed Bradley. As soon as I got to CBS, I went to his office and asked, “How did you do it?”

When’s the last time you volunteered? Where? I try to volunteer my time to young journalists every chance I get. Several send tapes and emails from across the country often. I also work on an advisory board at my old college the University of Pennsylvania. And my wife and I have taken part in the Woodrow Wilson Fellows program each year, visiting small liberal arts colleges, talking to students about what we do.

Who is your favorite active journalist? My wife Adaora Udoji. She’s co-hosting a new news radio show on wnyc and public radio stations across the country these days, “The Takeaway.” But I guess you also could say she’s helping me produce and write my life story everyday.

What did you have for breakfast? Ah breakfast. Something else I missed a lot while out with the Clinton campaign everyday. This morning a veggie omlet, chicken sausage, oatmeal, and fruit, over a leisurely cup of coffe with a colleague. Didn’t prepare it myself. I’m staying at a hotel in DC.

What one toiletry item could you not live without? A steptic pencil. I cut myself shaving just about every morning.

If you could have one superpower, which one would it be? The ability to wipeout poverty, especially in some distant third world countries I’ve worked in. Would probably get rid of injustice and suffering too!

Red or white wine? Red. Especially South African. It’s one of my favorite countries, and I like to believe that maybe I’m helping the local economy there while enjoying myself.

PG-13 or R? <My life is definitely more PG-13.

Lincoln, Jefferson or Washington Memorial? They’re all magnificent, and I also look forward to seeing the Martin Luther King Jr memorial after it’s finally built in DC.

Leg or breast (chicken, of course) Grilled breast. We’re trying to eat smarter these days.

Friday night or Saturday night? Lately, both nights have been spent with Hillary Clinton’s campaign. They’re pretty much the same.

“Wedding Crashers” or “Old School” Didn’t see either.

The Palm or Cafe Milano? Neither. I’m a New Yorker these days, after living more than a decade in London. If you’re interested, I can suggest a few places over there, or in the city.

Yankees or Red Sox? Definintely the Yankees. My Mom grew up in the Bronx near “The Stadium.” One of the best stories I’ve ever covered was in Boston’s Kenmore Square 1986 , the night the Mets beat the Red Sox in the World’s Series. I also enjoyed covering the day the Lakers beat the Celtics on their home court for the NBA championship in 85 , the first time the Celtics lost a championship at home. And you didn’t ask, but I’ll also take the Lakers over the Celtics in 6 this year. I don’t think they can stop Kobe.

Jenna or Barbara? I wonder if Barbara’s feeling any pressure from their folks to have another wedding soon? You know how much parents enjoy weddings.

McSteamy or McDreamy? Neither is my type.

Leno or Letterman? Leno of course !! NBC. My bosses might be reading this.

Stewart or Colbert? Stewart. He’s the original. But this and your previous question about Leno or Letterman remind me I’d love to see more “diversity,” on late night TV, and the rest of TV as well.

Boxers or briefs? Briefs. But I honestly don’t have a good reason, just always been that way.

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