Nathan Burchfiel: The FishbowlDC Interview

sajak1.JPGSay hello to Nathan Burchfiel, a staff writer at

What word do you routinely misspell? I have trouble typing (although not spelling) my computer password. I’m not telling you what it is.

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

What time did you get up this morning? What time did my alarm go off? 6:50. What time did I get up? 7:30.

When did you last cry and why? I welled up a bit recently when I saw a picture of a kid receiving the folded flag from his dad’s casket during a military funeral.

How many emails do you receive a day, roughly? Many more than I care to read.

What’s your favorite letter? I try not to play favorites – you know, journalistic ethics. But I do play least favorites, and the winner is definitely “d.” Saying, “No, there’s no ‘d’ at the end of “Burchfiel” gets pretty old.

Read the rest when you click below…(and see previous FishbowlDC interviews: Julie Mason, David Shuster, Joe Curl, Alex Pareene, Peter Beinart, Jonah Goldberg, Megyn Kendall, Ana Marie Cox, Jim Brady, Howard Mortman, Amy Argetsinger, Jose Antonio Vargas, Chuck Todd, Tom Gottlieb, Kelly Ann Collins, David von Drehle, David Lat, Mark Leibovich, Zain Verjee, David Plotz, Paul Kane, Karen Travers, Mark Halperin, Hugo Gurdon, Greg Kelly,Ken Rudin, John Dickerson, Anne Schroeder, Spencer Ackerman, Bret Baier, Bob Sellers, Greta van Susteren, Danielle Jones, Jonathan Salant, John McCalla, Pam Hess, Ryan Grim, Marc Ambinder, Marty Kady, Jack Shafer, Annie Lou Bayly, Jerry Zremski, Charlie Cook, Dave Hughes, Howard Fineman, Katie Tarbox, Mark Segraves, Chris Cillizza, Tom Sietsema, Bill Triplett, Robin Givhan, David Brody, Norah O’Donnell, Carl Cannon, Jordan Lieberman, David Folkenflik, Molly Henneberg, Ernesto Londono, Brody Mullins, Aaron Blake, Martha Raddatz, Andrew Sullivan, Christina Bellantoni, Shane Harris, Nora McAlvanah, Adam Nagourney, Erin McPike, Mike Memoli, Ju-Don Marshall Roberts, Arthur Delaney, Chris Mincher, Rachel Sklar, Laura Sullivan, Jeff Kosseff, Matthew Cooper, Scott McCrary, Dan Reilly, Jennifer Griffin, Ari Shapiro, Jonathan Kaplan, Rick Klein, Mike Allen, Olivier Knox, Erik Wemple)

Also, drop us a line to let us know who else you’d like FishbowlDC to interview. They must work in the Washington area and you must include their email address.

What single person played the biggest role / had the biggest influence on your journalism career? Monisha Bansal, my colleague who nominated me to take this survey and demanded that I include a mention of her in one of the answers. My non-coerced answer is my current boss, Dave Thibault, who gave me my first internship and even let me help with Reagan’s obit during my first week. My non-suck-up answer is two people: Gene Roberts and Reese Cleghorn, who taught some fun classes at UMD that made me want to stick with journalism.

When’s the last time you volunteered? Where? I ran in the Richmond Race for the Cure with my family a couple weeks ago, although I didn’t raise as much money as I probably should/could have.

Who is your favorite active journalist? I can’t get enough of Washington Sketch. And Milbank on video makes my day complete.

What did you have for breakfast? Sprite Zero and Oats ‘n Honey Nature Valley bars.

What one toiletry item could you not live without? Toothpaste.

If you could have one superpower, which one would it be? Mind control would be cool. Don’t you agree? I thought you would.

Red or white wine? Yes, please.

PG-13 or R? Are you asking if I prefer PG-13 or R movies, or if I would describe myself as PG-13 or R?

Lincoln, Jefferson or Washington Memorial? The one that bears the quotation: “I have sworn upon the altar of God eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man.”

Leg or breast (chicken, of course): I don’t need legs. I have legs.

Friday night or Saturday night? What?

“Wedding Crashers” or “Old School” Because “Anchorman” isn’t one of the choices (it should be a choice, IMHO), I’ll go with “Wedding Crashers.”

The Palm or Cafe Milano? Bob and Edith’s.

Yankees or Red Sox? Chances are my mom will never see this, but I’d better say Orioles just in case.

Jenna or Barbara? Barbara (but which one? Hmmm.)

McSteamy or McDreamy? McBoring.

Leno or Letterman? We’re in a dark time right now, but thankfully 2009 is right around the corner and we can look forward to Conan O’Brien airing at a more watchable hour.

Stewart or Colbert? It’s possible I’m the only person in the coveted demographic who doesn’t watch either. Although Stephen Colbert’s Americone Dream is pretty good. So Colbert.

Boxers or briefs? Everything’s so black and white with the new incarnation of the survey. Where’s the middle ground here?