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The FishbowlDC Interview With CNN’s Brianna Keilar

keilar.jpgBrianna Keilar, a congressional correspondent for CNN since December 2008, covers the House and Senate. She earned the National Press Foundation’s Everett McKinley Dirksen Award for her fall 2008 coverage of the $700 billion bank bailout. Previously she covered the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre, where she was the first CNN correspondent on the ground. Keilar began her journalism career as a production assistant and intern at KTVU-TV, a CNN and FOX affiliate in San Francisco.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? I’d like to say champagne, but let’s be honest. Beer. I am, after all, a NASCAR fan.

How often do you Google yourself? My tech-savvy grandma takes care of that for me.

Who is your favorite working journalist? [CNN's] Dana Bash. I think she’s the hardest working journalist on the Hill and she’s a pleasure to work with.

Did you see “Twilight: and “New Moon?” If so, who is more your type, Edward or Jacob? As part of CNN’s “Wolf Pack” I’ve got to go with the werewolf.

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author Sarah Palin? Table for three, please!

When did you last cry and why? I got teary-eyed watching Mary J. Blige sing ‘O Holy Night’ at the “Christmas in Washington” concert. She is amazing! (See for yourself when the concert airs this Sunday on TNT).

What swear word do you use most often? The f-word – and by that I mean filibuster.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, which public official would you want to be trapped with and why? Rep. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), hands down! He spent a week this summer on a deserted island in the Marshall Islands and not only did he survive, he cooked up meals of coconut, crab and parrot fish that looked good enough to order at a restaurant.

Read more about Brianna after the jump…


Who was your mentor? I’ve had a few but my first was high school video production teacher. My interest in telling a story with video started in his class.

What’s the best advice you ever received in the course of your career? Always be prepared. You never know when an opportunity will pop up. Also, wear shoes you can run in.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? Falling off a mechanical bull on live TV. It happened during my first on-air job as a reporter in Yakima, Washington. IÂ’m hopeful the station has been lackadaisical about archiving airchecks.

What’s the biggest scoop youÂ’ve ever had? This question makes me think about ice cream. Anything from the Dairy Godmother in Alexandria. As for my biggest news scoop, stay tuned. It’s still ahead of me.

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