FishbowlDC Interview With Townhall’s Glass

Say hello to’s Managing Editor Kevin Glass. This is his fifth or sixth CPAC. He has spent most of it with Townhall. “Yeah, it’s a fairly big deal,” he told us today in an empty banquet room of the Gaylord Hotel. “For all the crap that it gets, it’s the largest and most important gathering of conservatives every year.” Looking back on previous CPACS… “At the 2008 CPAC, President Bush showed up as a surprise at 7:15 in the morning one day,” he recalled. “He wasn’t on the schedule. At that same CPAC, Mitt Romney dropped out of the Republican presidential primary against John McCain. It was interesting to see back then that the grass roots activists were upset. The Ron Paul supporters were always fun every year. Ann Coulter spoke before Ron Paul, so Ron Paul supprters kind of flooded the ballroom. She was insulting Libertarians as pot smoking hippies.” Glass says the conference is “definitely still exciting.” But, he says, the venue change has made it harder to gauge. “There’s no media balcony where we used to be able to watch the crowd get excited.” Glass has worked at Townhall for five years minus a six month stint the Washington Examiner. Born and raised…Born in Houston, Glass lived there for about the first decade of his life before his family moved to Moscow and then London. College…A graduate of Colgate University, he studied political science and worked for his high school and college newspapers. His “abroad semester” at Colgate was Washington, D.C., where he  interned for Freedom Works and the RNC. “It was more of an activist type of thing,” he said, explaining that he thinks conservative journalists need to see themselves as reporters first, journalists second. “I think what you would call Townhall is advocacy reporting,” he says. “I think that’s where conservative journalism is moving. I don’t want to call it real reporting as opposed to what people would call traditional journalism. I don’t want to close the tent on what a real reporter is and I’m not the person to define what a real reporter is.” Why not? “I think that we’ve seen with blogs, anyone can be a journalist.” Really, anyone can be a journalist? “Not everyone can be a good journalist,” he said. “But the act of finding out facts and telling them to people is something that has been democratized in online space.” Competition among conservative publications…For a long time, says Glass, National Review has been the gold standard of news and opinion. But that’s changed a lot. I wouldn’t say anyone says, you work for them, you’ve made it. You can make it anywhere.” 

If you were a carbonated beverage, which would you be?  My favorite is Mountain Dew but I don’t think I’m Moutain Dew. I would say I’m Sierra Mist.

How often do you Google yourself? Not that much.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor/boss (or vice versa)?  “That’s bullshit.”

Who is your favorite working journalist and why?  I would say Robert Costa at National Review has been an absolute superstar in the last year and a half. He’s doing what I think a lot of conservative journalists should be doing. He’s on the ground everyday. He has probably the best contacts of any reporter anywhere in Washington.

Do you have a favorite word? No, I do not.

Who are you named after? My middle name is my grandfather’s name.

Who would you rather have dinner with – NBC’s Brian Williams, CNN’s Roland Martin, ABC’s Sherri Shepherd or Fox News’ Megyn Kelly? Tell us why. Williams. He seems like a smart and fun guy who would be fun to talk to. I think he is one of the more fair-minded mainstream media reporters out there. Would be interesting to know how he came to be and obviously tips on how to succeed as a journalist.

The Earth’s human population is dying out and you must save it. You will spend a romantic evening with either Scandal’s Kerry Washington, Homeland’s Claire Danes or any of the women from FNC’s “The Five”. Who will it be? (None is not an option.) I would say Kerry Washington. She’s obviously gorgeous and she does great work.

What swear word do you use most often?  Probably frack or fuck, but usually frack. I try to keep it PG.

Find out what Glass wants to do with Michael Jackson.

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.) National Review’s Reihan Salam, The Daily Beast’s Kirsten Powers, WaPo’s Dylan Matthews, and Washington Examiner’s Tim Carney.

On a serious note for a moment, if you could have dinner with a person who has died, who would it be? Michael Jackson.

Who is your favorite Boybander and why? (Ezzy, Hazy, Weigel, Attackerman, Beutler) Probably Ezra. He does good work.

When you pig out what do you eat? Mountain Dew. Probably a double cheeseburger at Five Guys with a big bag of greasy fries.

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. I’ve got this really cool gray blazer that I wear a lot. It’s getting a hole in the elbow. It’s from Urban Outfitters.

Have you ever had a tarot card reading? No.

Have you ever had a near-death experience? No.

Ever been arrested? No. I’m a boring guy.

Tell us a secret not many people know about you. I’m pretty unabashed in my love of generic pop music like Kesha, Pitbull, one of Justin Bieber’s singles and Flo Rida.

What scares you? Surgery. I had my wisdom teeth out of a few weeks ago and that experience of general anesthesia was kind of terrifying. Being put out like that is a weird and scary thing to be.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? I would say at conferences like this when you meet someone you greatly respect and you’ve met them before and they don’t remember you at all.

Have you ever been fired? Yes. [He didn’t want to expand on it.]

When and why did you last laugh so hard you had tears in your eyes? I think – it’s this flash animation website and I just lost it watching it over and over two weeks ago.

When and why did you last lose your temper? Well, I’m getting married in June and wedding planning causes people to lose their temper. I think there was a logistical disagreement that did not involve my fiancé and that just caused me to lose my temper because I guess my nerves are a bit short when it comes to wedding planning.

Breakfast cereal of choice: Cinnamon Life

Who would you want to play you in a movie?  Kevin Bacon.

Hotel you stay at when you visit Manhattan:  Friend’s couch.

From TMZ Founder Harvey Levin: You are about to be served your last meal. What will it be? Chicken Fried Steak, preferably from the Mason Jar in Houston, Texas.

From Maynard Institute’s diversity news reporter Richard Prince: Best time you ever had with your clothes on? I used to play in a band. I like performing on stage. So playing bass at the Black Cat.

From Boston Globe’s Bobby Caina Calvan:  “If you could take something to the grave (and afterlife) with you, what would it be?” Probably a basketball.

Finally, please come up for a question for our next FishbowlDC interviewee. This one may live on indefinitely. Make it good. What is your favorite band that nobody’s ever heard of?