Whether he’s getting his entire head eaten by actress Gabby Sidibe at a TIME/PEOPLE party at the St. Regis, or hunting down Washington D.C.’s Clark Rockefeller (the Bahamian Ambassador Nelson Lewis), Matt Dornic has been an unforgettable force at FishbowlDC for the past three years. Sadly, we say goodbye as he moves on to a new adventure at CNN. What some may not know is how adept Matt is at smoothing things over, whether it’s alleviating Ed Henry’s overreaction to me making fun of then-CNN staffers helping him into his blazer or dealing with HuffPost’s resident genius Jason Linkins telling us to die in a fire. He also knows how to stir the pot – take his recent impromptu moment with Jack Abramoff on a couch at Daily Caller Editor-in-Chief Tucker Carlson’s home when he told the convicted felon that he was dating TWT’s Emily Miller. He explained how rough the past few years have been (Miller served as a witness against ex fiancé Michael Scanlon who was enveloped in the Abramoff scandal.) People often ask, what’s it like in the Fishbowl – do you two get along? We’ve spent many hours brainstorming features – some panned out, some did not. Au De Weigel perfume never made the cut but we spent days crying laughing as we came up with names for perfumes and aftershaves for various journalists around town, describing in excruciating detail what they’d smell like. That isn’t to say we don’t ever disagree — tension escalated during a recent war of words involving the Friday penis picture. In the end we came to a happy, framed conclusion. Dealing with Matt often means the unexpected – he’s sweating at Tammy Haddad’s famous brunch, he’s stuck in an elevator, he’s locked inside QGA, a life size George Bush cutout left leaning outside his door makes him scream like a schoolgirl, and a bird produces a shitstorm on his car. Matt – you will be missed. I speak for many FBDC friends and readers, we wish you well. Enjoy!
The infamous question you created that has tortured many a journalist in this town: If you were a carbonated beverage, which would you be?
Ginger ale. I’m generally sweet with a strong ginger spice flavor* (see: Jackie Kucinich). A classic, natural beverage with European roots. And I mix well with bourbon.
Who would you rather have dinner with – WaPo’s Ezra Klein, Michaele and Tareq Salahi or Nelson Lewis? Tell us why.
Nelson Lewis, without a doubt…especially if I could persuade Kate Michael and Ebong Eka to join us for a very special edition of the District Dish. Why? He’s the rarest and most exquisite creature Washington has ever produced. It’s not every day you get a chance to dine with a congressman turned Rolling Stone writer turned Bahamian ambassador. That kid has lived.
What swear word do you use most often?
F*ck. But I plan to tone that down for my new job.
You’re walking down a dark alley and you run into DCRTV Dave. What do you do? What do you say? And do you activate your mace?
I’d be relieved. Dark alleys are dangerous, you know. And despite his outward hatred for FishbowlDC I’m fairly certain he’s in love with us. So I’d probably ask to see his lower back, where I’ve heard he has my initials tattooed. And then I’d braid his beard.
When you pig out what do you eat?
Rarebit from Martin’s Tavern in Georgetown. It’s essentially beer-doused Velveeta with white toast but the fancy name makes it okay.
Now for a really serious moment: What will you miss most and least about writing for FishbowlDC?
Fishbowl has served as my personal Prozac for almost three years. Sure, there have been side effects but the daily dose of laughter and smiles gained through working with some truly incredible sources, co-editors and friends have made it worth the trouble. And I’ll miss the hilarious and sometimes nonsensical email exchanges between Betsy and me. The anonymASS tipsters who cowardly use the tips box to trash FBDC’s writers will not be missed.
How did you come up with the ingenious phrase, “Sox News?” Any parting words for the glamour gals over in Sox News PR?
“I wish them well.” They’ll know what I mean.
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.
A pair of brass-studded Fiorentini + Baker motorcycle boots I purchased at Barney’s for an obscene amount of money last year (see attached photo). I rarely wear them because they make me feel a little “Adam Glambert” but I like the possibilities they represent….plus they keep all my driving loafers in check.
Pick one: Kim, Khloe, or Kourtney?
Despite her Chewbacca-like physique, Khloe is my favorite Kartrashian. Sense of humor trumps appearance every time.
Have you ever had a tarot card reading?
Favorite item in the TIME/People WHCA Dinner gift bag:
The Bosch Tassimo coffee maker. I use it every day. But I thought the bizarre baby-teething necklace was a solid addition this year.
On a serious note for a moment, what is your favorite Wendy Gordon photograph?
I studied French in high school and college so I’m a sucker for Wendy’s french maid/baguette photo. C’est magnifique!
What scares you?
Pleated pants, the dark and pleated pants in the dark.
When and why did you last lose your temper?
The last time (and every time) I was in a cab.
Do you have a me-wall? If so, who’s on it?
No, I don’t really like pictures of “me” so I usually contribute to friends and family members’ me-walls by snapping the photos.
Tell us a secret not many people know about you.
Because I received so many questions after you outed me about Dawson’s, I’ll admit that I used to have acting aspirations. Throughout college I worked on a number of film and television productions as a day player, extra, and actor – Dawson’s Creek, Summer Catch, Stateside, A Walk to Remember, and Black Knight to name a few. And I did a national “back to school” ad campaign for American Eagle Outfitters. It’s funny now but it sure beat slinging lattes at Starbucks.