Say hello to Shahien Nasiripour. He writes about how the government shapes regulation for the Financial Times and is based out of the Washington bureau. Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. Because of Shahien, FishbowlDC is cracking down on the “Who is your favorite journalist” question. That would be singular — not obscenely plural. An enthused Shahien gave us 11. That is unacceptable and hereon out you have him to thank for a more hardcore policy. Moving on, before FT, he worked in New York as HuffPost‘s first business reporter. Born in Oklahoma City, Shahien moved to San Jose, Calif. when he was 5. While in junior high, right around the time he got arrested (wink! wink!), the family relocated to Cupertino. He spent a summer in college interning for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and the DSCC. He gravitated toward the senator’s press office, where he noticed that press aides didn’t necessarily want to answer questions they were asked. He thought life might be more fun on the other side. Shahien is an appealing character for a number of reasons: 1. He once got fired from Old Navy. 2. He loves Sour Patch Kids to an extent that may not be normal. 3. He has a temper. 4. He loves to cuss. “What is that fucking noise?” he asked during our conference call this morning. Having just moved here in December, he’s still getting acquainted to the ways of Washington. “I miss New York,” he confided. “I think the Metro here is fucking awful. The food is not that good. I do like the neighborhoody feel. The food isn’t as good as New York and the weather is not as good as California. I could go back there and have fun, or I could be here, which is fucking D.C.” Enjoy!
If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be?
Diet Coke with Lime. So addictive.
How often do you Google yourself?
Every time I’m looking for stories I’ve written in the past.
What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)?
I can’t think of a worst, though I can remember lots of times editors have told me to stop being an asshole. I guess I can be a bit aggressive and passionate at times.
Who is your favorite working journalist and why?
That’s tough to answer. Excluding my FT mates and HuffPost buddies (because they’re the best) I’ve got a few favorites: Jesse Eisinger of Propublica, Binya Appelbaum of the NYT, Jody Shenn of Bloomberg, Jeff Horwitz of American Banker, David Reilly of WSJ, Scott Glover and Matt Lait of the LA Times, Jonathan Weil of Bloomberg, Gretchen Morgenson of NYT, Bob Ivry of Bloomberg and Yalman Onaran of Bloomberg. I like these folks not just because I’ve learned about my beat from reading their articles, but also because they call things like they see them. Most reporters aren’t like that.
Do you have a favorite word?
What word or phrase do you overuse?
I curse a lot, so it’s safe to say I overuse all the words (and the creative combinations that can be formed using them) one really shouldn’t use.
What swear word do you use most often?
Who would you rather have dinner with – ABC’s Diane Sawyer, CNN’s Candy Crowley or CBS’s Gayle King. Tell us why.
I can’t choose. I don’t know any of them, but I’ve heard they’re all great.
What is the most interesting conversation you’ve had in the course of your journalism career?
Every conversation I’ve had when normally reserved people start cussin’, drinking, and telling you exactly what they think counts as the most interesting conversation I’ve had as a reporter.
The Earth’s human population is dying out and you must save it. You will spend a romantic evening with either Sec. Janet Napolitano or former AG Janet Reno? Who will it be? (Neither is not an option.)
I’ve got a beautiful, brilliant girlfriend I intend to marry. You really can’t ask me to answer this question.
Tell us a funny story from the road. Can be long or short.
I once was at a presser where a fellow reporter asked me of the person behind the mic, “Who the FUCK is this guy?” For some reason I always smile when I think of that story. It was just a perfect combination of incredulousness, anger and ignorance.