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The FishbowlDC Interview With Foreign Affairs Publisher Lynda Hammes

Say hello to Lynda Hammes, the new Publisher of Foreign Affairs Magazine. She was formerly deputy publisher and director of digital strategy of the magazine. Her predecessor, David Kellogg, is retiring after 25 years. Hammes nearly pulled the wool over our eyes by having one of her comedy-writing friends answer the questions to this interview. Unfortunately, she says, the responses were too vulgar to submit. Enjoy!

If you were a carbonated beverage, which would you be? I would hope to be Dr. Pepper, not too bubbly and not too sweet.

How often do you Google yourself? Never. I also never, ever tell a lie.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor/boss (or vice versa)? Sure, just run with it – we have insurance.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Bobby Cuza from NY1.

Do you have a favorite word? Twitterpated.

Who would you rather have dinner with – MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, Katie Couric or ABC’s Diane Sawyer. Tell us why. Tough call! I’d go with Diane Sawyer – it would be fascinating to hear about her reporting from North Korea, interviews with Fidel Castro. I also bet that she could file a great piece for Foreign Affairs (Diane, are you reading this?)

The Earth’s human population is dying out and you must save it. You will spend a romantic evening with either CNN’s Wolf Blitzer or FNC’s Chris Wallace (their wives will understand). Who will it be? Ask me the question when my choices are Henry Kissinger, Jim Baker or Zbigniew Brzezinski.

What swear word do you use most often? Zut alors! Cursing in translation is la puta madre.

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.) Glen Greenwald, Rebecca Mackinnon, Anne-Marie Slaughter with Julian Assange…and Bill Maher as guest host for comic relief when people mistake him for Assange.

On a serious note for a moment, if you could have dinner with a person who has died, who would it be? Andy Warhol would probably pick a really expensive place and stick me with the bill…so, I’ll say Lenny Bruce.

Who is your favorite Boybander and why? (Ezzy, Hazy, Weigel, Attackerman, Beutler) Donnie Wahlberg. I realize that’s not what you’re looking for, but I’ll come back to you after sourcing my #Girlbander backlash question a la Top Womerati.

When you pig out what do you eat? Ice cream, mint chocolate chip.

What is your absolute favorite item of clothing in your closet? We want the fabric, the brand, the store and the price if possible. If it’s a certain kind of underwear we don’t want to know about it. Cowboy boots from Cowtown off the highway in El Paso, $189 if I remember correctly.

Pick one: Mad Men, Scandal or True Blood. Are those boy bands? I don’t watch a lot of TV…

Have you ever had a tarot card reading? Once, by a friend, but she mixed up the death and lovers cards.

Have you ever had a near-death experience? No, but that tarot card reading put me on my guard.

Ever been arrested? When I was 16. My dad picked me up from the police station and I’ll never live it down.

Tell us a secret not many people know about you. I played in a synthesizer band called the Electric Alligators that played in malls in New Jersey. I’m that cool. You are now the third person that knows that outside the family.

What scares you? Malware, rabid animals, the threat of bio weapons, Pee Wee Herman, giving ‘implied consent,’ and toddlers with tiaras.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? Presenting to a group about the competitive threat we face in this ‘doggy dog world.’

Have you ever been fired? Once, from Harry’s Burritos, but I saw it coming and quit about a half-second earlier.

When and why did you last laugh so hard you had tears in your eyes? Reading the answers that a comedy-writing friend proposed for these questions. Some were offensive, others vulgar, some would get me fired, and most were too funny for anyone who knows me to believe I really wrote them.

When and why did you last lose your temper? Just now, when I saw how many more questions I have to answer.

Who would you want to play you in a movie? A younger Gena Rowlands.

Do you have a me-wall? If so, who’s on it? Ummm… ballerinas, princesses and LaraCroft Tomb-raider?

Who should just call it a day? The guy who invented Facebook. What’s his name? Jesse Eisenberg? I mean, that thing’s clearly not going anywhere.

Breakfast cereal of choice: Life!

Favorite foreign country that you’ve visited: Spain. Que viva!

From TMZ Founder Harvey Levin: You are about to be served your last meal. What will it be?  A Lobster roll from the PineTree Frosty in Rangeley, Maine.

A Question from Mother Jones’ Adam Weinstein: Why haven’t you written your novel yet? Distracted with that little how-to-monetize online long-form journalism thing.  That, and procrastination.

Finally, please come up for a question for our next FishbowlDC interviewee. This one may live on indefinitely. Make it good. If the media world lived in a giant fishbowl, who would be the piranha, the eel and the bottom feeders?

 

 

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