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The FishbowlDC Interview With Examiner’s David Freddoso

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12.jpg Say hello to the Washington Examiner‘s David Freddoso. He’s the online opinion editor. He went to work there in June 2009 after, his bio says, “serving” as Capitol Hill staff writer for National Review Online for nearly two years. His NYT bestselling book is The Case Against Barack Obama. He considers the late Robert Novak a mentor. Freddoso spent three years assisting Novak. He came to Washington in 2001; his first D.C. writing job was for Human Events. He told me to feel free to make up “additional accomplishments” about him, but I think I’ll leave it at that. He’s an amusing interview, read on.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? MGD. In a can.

How often do you Google yourself? Every day, but everyone has his own way of spelling my last name, so it doesn’t work. (His high school coach once spelled his name “Ferdosa.”)

What’s the worst thing youÂ’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? Antagonizing an editor is kind of like taunting the soldiers you’re embedded with. I avoid it because I expect them to save my life at least twice a year.

Who is your favorite working journalist? Tim Novak of the Chicago Sun-Times.

Do you have a favorite word? “No.”

Whom would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author and former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin? You really don’t ask softball questions, do you?

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? BBPro_ElectriCall. It sounds like…a phone ringing.

When did you last cry and why? My beagle had cancer and had to be put to sleep earlier this summer.

What word do you routinely misspell? Millennium.

What swear word do you use most often? I’m not going to type any words I wouldn’t want my six-month-old daughter to find in this interview when she grows up and goes online.

What word or phrase do you overuse? “Really.” And em-dashes.

Find out where Freddoso shops and which senator “gently” pushed him out of the Members-only elevator after the jump…


What TV show do you have to watch? “Burn Notice”

Where do you shop most often for your clothes? Men’s Wearhouse.

Pick one: Leno, Letterman or Conan? Conan.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, which public official would you want to be trapped with and why? Rod Blagojevich. I want to see what he does when there’s no one left to shake down or suck up to.

Whom do you prefer for daytime talk, Dr. Phil, Ellen, Oprah, Tyra or the women of The View? On second thought, can we just strand those people on the deserted island instead?

Who is your mentor? Robert Novak, may he rest in peace. Before that, Terry Jeffrey, now at CNS.

What’s the best advice you ever received in the course of your career? “DonÂ’t go to Washington.” I didn’t listen.

What and where was your first job in journalism? I was the high school sports and layout guy for the Home Reporter and Sunset News in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? When I was a rookie at Human Events, I was assigned to ask a question of as many House members as I could find, then transcribe all of their answers verbatim from tape.

It was my first week on the job, and I didn’t know what most of the congressmen looked like, so I had to ask them who they were after I’d recorded their answers. This was already embarrassing, but most of them were nice about it.

I saw a rather distinguished-looking, older black gentleman in the basement of the Capitol on the House side, and I asked him the question. (It had to do with a remark Karl Rove had made.) After his answer, I asked, “And what’s your name, Congressman?”

His reply: “I’m not a congressman.”

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy most? Any interview with Rep. Danny Davis, D-Ill. He has the coolest voice. I would tune in to C-Span if he was reading the phone book on the House floor.

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy least? It was a very short interview with Sen. Jeff Bingaman. It ended with him gently pushing me out of the Senators-only elevator.

What’s the biggest scoop you’ve ever had? I might have cost a drug company $1 billion dollars just by writing about a rider they were trying to attach during a lame-duck session of Congress. No one else had touched it, and the rider got killed shortly after. I haven’t checked in a while, but I donÂ’t think theyÂ’ve ever managed to get it through since.

When and why did you last laugh so hard you had tears in your eyes? I cannot explain why. Alcohol was involved.

When and why did you last lose your temper? The last time Congress voted for ethanol subsidies.

Which movie title best describes your journalism career? “The Quiet Man”

Who would you want to play you in a movie? Clive Owen.

Name some jobs you’ve had outside of journalism. (Can start as young as teenage years): automotive salvage worker; camp counselor; resume sorter (for the Career and Placement center in college); paperboy

From our last interviewee, TBD’s Steve Buttry: What was your biggest career screw-up? I’d answer that if I wasn’t still covering it up.

Come up with a question for our next FishbowlDC interviewee. Make it good. Which news blog do you visit most often?

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