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The FishbowlDC Interview With TWT’s Kerry Picket

Say hello to Kerry Picket, who writes and edits The Water Cooler blog for TWT. Her work history is complex, sordid and fascinating. Her first media job was writing for MTV. She began at MTV.com and proceeded to MTV Radio. In 2003 she became an intern for The Howard Stern Show. She then moved to Washington, but one day Gary Dell’Abati called, saying, “Robin really wants you to come to work for her.” This would be Stern’s sidekick Robin Quivers. So Picket picked up and returned to New York, where she became Quivers’ assistant for a year. She returned to D.C. in 2007, worked for the Media Research Center and ultimately landed at TWT.

But let’s return to the summer of 2006. This is when her then-boss, Howard Stern, interviewed her on air . She had attended a party at Ronnie the Limo Driver‘s house in Queens and had brought her new camera. “What happened was I was sitting down at a table showing it to everyone,” she explained. “He [Ronnie] got very drunk. Sometimes we women wear jeans and the underwear goes above the pants. Ronnie was a little drunk, he begins saying, ‘Look at that Picket over there, she’s got plumber ass!’ So they caught Ronnie doing that. They brought that soundbite back to Howard and Howard begins scolding him. ‘Why are you picking on Robin’s assistant?’” He then called Picket on air and asks, “So Kerry, what kind of underwear were you wearing?” She told him, “It was Jockey Hanes Your Way, that’s why it was probably seeping above my jeans at that point.” Picket, no longer mortified, says she enjoyed working for the Stern show, where duties included helping the guys with prank calls. “I tried to stay away from the weird stuff,” she said, explaining that Stern isn’t what he seems. “On air Howard comes off like a wild guy,” she said. “Off the air, low-key, a gentleman. He was always very nice to me, always very sweet.” 

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Alka Seltzer cold and flu (lemon flavored)

How often do you Google yourself? There’s just not enough time in the day to do it as often as I’d like.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? “I need some dating advice.”

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Major Garrett at National Journal. The guy is an encyclopedia on Congress past and present.

Do you have a favorite word? “Plethora”

Who would you rather have dinner with –  MSNBC’s Chris Matthews or FNC’s Chris Wallace? If I feel combative, Chris Matthews would be it.  Otherwise, it would be Chris Wallace.

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? I think I’d get better stories from the dog.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? Default

When did you last cry and why? When I saw “The King’s Speech” last month.

What word do you routinely misspell? “Amalgam” I can barely pronounce it at times.

What swear word do you use most often? My swear jar is overflowing with riches.

If you weren’t a journalist what would you be? Probably a thorn in someone else’s side

When you pig out what do you eat? IHOP Chocolate Chip Pancakes

What word or phrase do you overuse? “Frankly”

What TV show is your guilty pleasure? CBS’s “Undercover Boss”

What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Ski trip to the Swiss Alps

What is your absolute favorite item of clothing in your closet? We want the fabric, the brand, the store and the price if possible. Dolce and Gabbana wool cropped black and white checkered jacket.

Pick one: Will Ferrell’s Bush impersonation or Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin? Tina Fey looked more the part of Sarah Palin but Ferrell’s impersonation of Bush was funnier.

Do you read your astrology? Not really.

Tell us a secret many people don’t know about you. I’m still a comic book geek.

Who is your mentor? Currently, it’s a tie between my editors Brett Decker and David Mastio. I’ve learned a lot about Washington D.C. political journalism from both of them.

What’s the best advice you ever received in the course of your career? The spoken undocumented word means nothing, but the written word is forever.

What and where was your first job in journalism? MTV Networks – I wrote entertainment news for the radio department’s talent.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? Being called into the studio to answer questions from Howard, when I worked at the Stern Show.

Have you ever been fired? Yes…and it led to better things later. I think things didn’t work out over at MTV Radio.

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy most? Joan Rivers, last year. I can’t tell you, I was bellyaching laughing over the phone. There were things I was almost scared to put down. She is a lot of fun to talk to. Had to do with an airplane terrorist issue. Rivers had tried to get onto a plane, but because her passport has her married name and not her stage name, the people over at TSA wouldn’t let her on the plane.

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy least? Sharon Stone. While working for the Stern show I was told to ask her about a fight she was having with the director of Basic Instinct I over her crotch shot. I asked why she was so upset since it launched her career. I asked, “Why are you in this battle?” She became very upset with me and said something to the effect of, “Sex is my weapon.” A rep from the movie house came up to me and said, ‘If Howard Stern uses that audio we will make sure that you will never get invited back to any junket we ever do again. The following week, who picks up that soundbite? The National Enquirer. I felt that it undercut us.

What’s the biggest scoop you’ve ever had? National Endowment for the Arts 2009 propaganda meeting.

When and why did you last laugh so hard you had tears in your eyes? A friend of mine imitated The Simpson’s character Ralph Wiggum saying: “My cat’s breath smells like cat food.”

When and why did you last lose your temper? Last month I was arm-barred by a Congressional staffer when I was throwing a question to a lawmaker.

Which movie title best describes your journalism career? “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”

Who would you want to play you in a movie? As long as the she is five years younger than me and exceptionally more attractive, I’m flexible with the choices out there.

Name jobs you’ve had outside of journalism. (Can start as young as teenage years): Sandwich maker at a local beach club, commercial real estate broker, animation inker, software tester.

Who should just call it a day? Michael Moore

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 three to four journalists or pundits types.) Mary Matalin, Tony Blankley, Lanny Davis, and James Carville.

Finally, please come up for a question for our next FishbowlDC interviewee. Make it good. When was the last time a person you interviewed became angry over your questions and who was it?

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