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Posts Tagged ‘C.J. Chivers’

FishbowlDC Interview With Mojo’s Adam Weinstein

Say hello to Mother Jones‘ National Security Correspondent Adam Weinstein, who has been splitting his time between Washington, San Francisco and Tallahassee. Next month he’ll grace Washington full-time as the mag’s new Community Engagement Editor and will continue on as their National Security Correspondent and Tumblr-starter. He was previously their copy editor. Before that, he worked at the WSJ, the Village Voice, and the Tallahassee Democrat. He’s written for the NYT, New York Magazine, GQ, and Newsweek.

He has many life titles: Navy veteran, two-day Jeopardy champion and ex-political scientist. He also did a recession-fueled stint as a military contractor in Iraq. He holds an MS in Journalism from Columbia and an MA in international affairs from Florida State. Weinstein says he’s looking forward to “getting down with” the other social media folks in Washington.

Born and raised in Fort Lauderdale, he says he tried his hardest to be a beach bum. “There was lots of drinking on the beach and cutting class,” he recalled. In high school he interned at the Sun Sentinel, where he says he caught the Hemingway bug and figured journalism was something he’d always end up doing. He was a copy editor at the Tallahassee Democrat and the WSJ until Rupert Murdoch laid him off. He has funny copy editing memories: “Everybody has that moment where the front page comes out and you have a 72-point headline that reads ‘Headline Goes Here.’” He says he wasn’t a very good copy editor.

Weinstein says one of the problems journalists have is remembering that the world doesn’t revolve around them.  “We all just have a tendency to assume that what we work on everyday and what comprises our world is what comprises everybody’s elses,” he says. “The best journalists are ones that can step out of that bubble and be aware of other people’s worlds.”

If you were a carbonated beverage, which would you be? Diet Mountain Dew. Not very classy, but irresistible, slightly Southern, and sure to make you sick in massive quantities.

How often do you Google yourself? Enough to grow hair on my iPad.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor/boss (or vice versa)? I once told a restaurant manager I’d rather take a high colonic with a rusty chainsaw than work another minute for him. Two years later, I was writing for the Village Voice. The restaurant was out of business.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? I can’t narrow it down. Dave Weigel is the nicest guy in the business. Mike Hastings is the most entertaining. C.J Chivers is a personal hero. I have an intellectual crush on Virginia Heffernan. But overall, right now I’d kill a man with my bare hands just to keep reading John Jeremiah Sullivan.

Do you have a favorite word? My wife and I giggle every time we say the word “backpack”, for some not-at-all-drug-related reason. When not in mixed company, I like “fuckstick.”

Who would you rather have dinner with – MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Katie Couric or ABC’s Diane Sawyer. Tell us why. Maddow, because I like to talk to PhDs. There ought to be more doctors and masters of non-journalistic shit working in journalism.

The Earth’s human population is dying out and you must save it. You will spend a romantic evening with either Helen Thomas or Joan Rivers. Who will it be? (Neither is not an option and yes, it’s possible. We’re in your imagination right now.) Joan Rivers, because I like her dirty talk.

What swear word do you use most often? “What the shit?!” I’m an ex-copy editor, so a lot of years in there, I spoke mainly in cusses. We’re the engine mechanics of the news biz.

You’ve just been told the big news: You get to have your own Sunday morning talk show. Who will be on your roundtable? (Pick four journalists or pundits types.) Skip Bayless, Woody Paige, Dana Loesch, Jonah Goldberg, and three dull machetes in the center of the table.

On a serious note for a moment, if you could have dinner with a person who has died, who would it be? I was raised in part by a lovely woman, April Rubin Bloom, an erudite, gentle union crusader who was like a third grandmother to me – Molly Ivins meets Atticus Finch. I was working on the wrong coast when she died, and we never got to share in each other’s excitement over my job at MoJo, one of her favorite magazines. Plus, she was the most talented cook ever to organize a NOW picket line for equal pay.

Does David Corn have a bad temper? No! He’s just a badass ex-hippie with great guitar licks and a sophomoric sense of humor.

Weinstein says Washington’s Boybanders “poop brown poop just like the rest of us” …

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The FishbowlDC Interview with National Geographic Traveler’s Contributing Editor Carl Hoffman

Sometime during the holidays, Carl Hoffman will take off to New Guinea to investigate the disappearance of Michael Rockefeller for a new book, Somewhere in Eden, set to publish in 2013. Authorities declared Michael (son of Nelson) dead in 1963. He either drowned or was killed by locals, Hoffman explains on a cold, rainy morning at Tryst cafe this week. Most days National Geographic Traveler and Wired’s Contributing Editor can be found in faded Diesel jeans on a faded couch there or down U Street at Big Bear. Born and raised in Washington, he graduated from University of Massachusetts/Amherst where he majored in Social Thought and Political Economy. He’s always lived in Washington minus his studies at U. Mass, traveling post college and a year as a ski bum in Vail. “Do you want a bio or something?” he asks helpfully. “I could send you a lot of shit.” Thank you, Carl. We appreciate shit and a lot of it. Hoffman’s bio says he has driven the Baja 1,000, ridden reindeer in Siberia, sailed an open dinghy 250 miles, and traveled to 65 countries. It also says his three children make fun of him often. He recently memorialized his father, Burt Hoffman, who he deems his greatest writing mentor. And rightfully so — his father, who died of lung cancer in Chiang Mai, Thailand, was Editor of the Washington Star and National Journal. Though Hoffman’s clearly at home in Washington, he says it might soon be time to leave. “Might be time to go live in a crowded, exotic, dirty city far away for a little while,” he muses aloud.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Grapefruit soda.

How often do you Google yourself? I don’t. I have a Google alert.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? You’re retarded. How’d that go over? Not well. I come from a long line of burn bridgers.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? I love C.J. Chivers and Anthony Shadid at the NYT. Both are amazing.

Do you have a favorite word? Why.

What word or phrase do you overuse? Why.

Who would you rather have dinner with – ABC’s Christiane Amanpour, CNN’s Candy Crowley or NBC’s Andrea Mitchell? Tell us why. I guess I’d want to have dinner with Christiane Amanpour because she’s been a lot places and she’s seen a lot of things. She must have a lot of curiosity of the nooks and crannies of the world. Definitely not Andrea Mitchell.

You are ordered to go on a road trip to an undisclosed location. You can go with White House Spokesman Jay Carney or Bo, the President’s Portuguese Water Dog. No ones feelings will be hurt. Who do you take? Honestly it’s really hard to travel with a dog, especially the places I go. I’d probably pick neither. It’s much better to travel alone – always more interesting. Although the dog, if you got hungry you could always eat.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? It’s silent.

It’s 3 a.m. and you get up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. Do you check your BlackBerry or iPhone? Absolutely.

What word do you routinely misspell? There’s so many. Every word with an i and an e. Handwriting spelling I always got D’s in. Actually, now I’m a pretty good speller because of spell check.

What swear word do you use most often? Definitely fuck.

Find out why Hoffman gets weepy often…

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Military Times’s Dan Lamothe: The FishbowlDC Interview

Say hello to Dan Lamothe, the newly promoted senior writer for Military Times. He grew up in Chicopee, Mass., once home to the world’s largest kielbasa. Who says tough military reporters (who grew up in the home of the largest kielbasa) who cover three star generals and who’ve been embedded in a particularly violent section of southern Afghanistan can’t watch “Glee” and like it? And who says a tough white military reporter with self-described big ears can’t request Will Smith to play him in a movie? He can. Read on.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Pabst Blue Ribbon. I grew up blue-collar, and yet I suddenly spend more time than I ever thought possible in hipster D.C.

How often do you Google yourself? Eh, probably more frequently than I should. I do think it’s important for a journalist to know how his or her work has reverberated on the Web, though.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? I tend to keep a cool head pretty well at work, so I’m probably a bore here.

Who is your favorite working journalist? Given my current line of work, I follow C.J. Chivers and Rajiv Chandrasekaran pretty closely. I ran into both of them in Afghanistan, and they were great guys.

Do you have a favorite word? “Maelstrom” is a current favorite. So is “pizza.” For different reasons, of course.

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author and former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin? Definitely Sarah Palin. I’d ask her about the Marine whose rear end became famous after I blogged about it from Afghanistan. (Read that here.) I went out on patrol with Marines searching for snipers and was ambushed while on foot with Marines living in a beat-up Afghan schoolhouse, but the tattoo piece was by far the most popular one online.

Find out what a journalism prof once wrote on the top of one of Lamothe’s essays after the jump…

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A Call for Entries for Michael Kelly Award

mk-4.jpeg Journalists can now apply for the Michael Kelly Award, which honors writers and editors at U.S.-based newspapers and magazines whose work “exemplifies a quality that animated Michael Kelly’s own career: the fearless pursuit and expression of truth,” states a release.

Atlantic Media Company created the award to honor Kelly, who died in 2003 while covering the war in Iraq. Kelly was the editor of two Atlantic Media publications, The Atlantic and National Journal.

Among those who have won the award: Seattle Times reporters Ken Armstrong and Nick Perry in 2009 for their series exposing the criminal histories of a Rose-Bowl winning football team; Loretta Tofani in 2008 for her series “American Imports, Chinese Deaths” written for The Salt Lake Tribune; C.J. Chivers in 2007 for a story in Esquire magazine called “The School” an account of the 2004 Belsan school Massacre;

The deadline for entries is February 1, 2010. A prize of $25,000 will go to the winning entry. Each finalist will receive $3,000.

Visit for entry guidelines and forms.
For questions, call Charles Green at 202-739-8417 or write him at

To read articles by Michael Kelly, visit

Michael Kelly Awards Finalists Named

The finalists, in alphabetical order:

1. Rukmini Maria Callimachi, The Associated Press, for post-Katrina coverage in New Orleans.

2. C. J. Chivers, Esquire, for a reconstruction of the Beslan school siege in Russia.

3. Charles Forelle, James Bandler, Mark Maremont & Steve Stecklow, The Wall Street Journal, for articles on stock-options abuses.

4. Jesse Hamilton, The Hartford Courant, for coverage of the Marines of Charlie Company.

5. William Langewiesche, Vanity Fair, for coverage of Iraq.

The awards ceremony is this Thursday.

Michael Kelly Award Finalists Named

From the release:

    Journalists writing for The Associated Press, Esquire, The Hartford Courant, Vanity Fair, and The Wall Street Journal have been selected as finalists for this year’s Michael Kelly Award.

    The award, now in its fourth year, is given annually to a journalist whose work exemplifies a quality that animated Michael Kelly’s own career: the fearless pursuit and expression of truth.

    The finalists will be recognized at an April 19 dinner in Washington at which the winner will be announced. The winner will receive $25,000; finalists receive $3,000.

    This year’s finalists are:

    Rukmini Maria Callimachi
    , The Associated Press, for coverage of the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

    C.J. Chivers
    for a reconstruction of the 2004 Beslan school siege written for Esquire.

    Jesse Hamilton, The Hartford Courant, for coverage of the Marines of Charlie Company.

    William Langewiesche, Vanity Fair, for reporting from Iraq.

    Charles Forelle, James Bandler, Mark Maremont, and Steve Stecklow, The Wall Street Journal, for a series exposing stock-option abuses.

    The finalists were selected from a total of 57 entries from journalists at U.S.-based newspapers and magazines. The award is for work published in 2006.

    The Michael Kelly Award was created by Atlantic Media Company Chairman David G. Bradley after Kelly’s death in 2003 while covering the war in Iraq. Kelly had been editor of two Atlantic Media publications, the Atlantic and National Journal.

    A panel of five journalists served as judges for this year’s award: Peter Canellos, Washington bureau chief, The Boston Globe; David Grann, staff writer, The New Yorker; Charles Green, editor, National Journal; Cullen Murphy; editor at large, Vanity Fair; and Margaret Talbot, staff writer, The New Yorker. Murphy, former managing editor of the Atlantic, recused himself from deliberations and voting regarding the Vanity Fair entry.

    Past winners of the award are Sharon LaFraniere, The New York Times; Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times; and Anthony Shadid, The Washington Post.

    For additional information about the Michael Kelly Award, visit

    Atlantic Media Company is a Washington, D.C.-based publishing company whose flagship properties include the Atlantic, National Journal, and Government Executive.