The FishbowlDC Interview with Bloomberg’s Sophia Yan

Say hello to Bloomberg‘s Sophia Yan. You won’t find her whistling while she works. And she can’t, for some reason, snap her fingers. She is so modest – when you Google her it says she has won many awards for her magnificent piano playing, such as from the Steinway Society Competition and the New York Piano Competition. Yan didn’t tell us a thing about it because she says it seemed unrelated. Nonetheless she is a famous piano player who has played the likes of Carnegie Hall. She just won another award in June and has two concerts in Washington in August. A word of warning: Be sure to feed Yan the journalist every two hours. Or else.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Izze pomegranate fizzy juice

How often do you Google yourself? Never. Google Alerts do the job.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? Mm. Plead the Fifth.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Kaity Tong. I grew up watching her on the evening news. And Michael Duffy. Because he’s successful, hysterical and humble.

Do you have a favorite word? Any verb that describes eating. Chow, gorge, slurp.

Who would you rather have dinner with – MSNBC’s Chris Matthews or FNC’s Chris Wallace? Why do I need to pick? Can I have dinner with both?

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? Bo’s a cutie.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? Nimble Beat

When did you last cry and why? Few days ago. Stubbed my toe.

What word do you routinely misspell? Ambassador.

What swear word do you use most often? Ha. Nice one.

If you weren’t a journalist what would you be? A chef!

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.) WaPo‘s Karen Tumulty (one of the most impressive women I’ve met), Oprah (because who doesn’t love Oprah?), and the Donald (no explanation needed).

When you pig out what do you eat? Pretzel meltz from Sheetz. Greasy goodness.

What word or phrase do you overuse? Oh my god!

What TV show is your guilty pleasure? General Hospital

What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Vienna. I just went. That was a pretty fantastic vacation with my hysterical little brother acting as my German-speaking tour guide. Any vacation I go on with my little brother is really up there on that list of great fun.

What is your absolute favorite item of clothing in your closet? We want the fabric, the brand, the store and the price if possible. Dark plum mid-calf boots with snakeskin trim. Found in Paris. A vintage shop treasure. (Am a shoe addict.)

Pick one: Will Ferrell’s Bush impersonation or Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin? Tina’s Palin.

Do you read your astrology? Almost never. They all sound the same.

Tell us a secret many people don’t know about you. I can’t whistle or snap my fingers.

Who is your mentor? My mother. She’s still the smartest woman I know.

What’s the best advice you ever received in the course of your career? Never be afraid to ask tough questions, because the worst thing anybody can say to you is “no” or “no comment,” in which case you pick yourself up and move on with pen and pad.

What and where was your first job in journalism? 12, 13? On-air reporter for a kids show and then the local cable news broadcast, covering the turkey trot, the community fair. I even had an arts and crafts segment. You get the picture… I didn’t know then that was what I wanted to do.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? Really, let’s not go there.

Have you ever been fired? Yes. [We pried a bit on this one. She didn’t want to go on record about, but it happened when she was 15.]

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy most? During the last inauguration, I interviewed a protester dressed in costume as the grim reaper, who would only answer questions in character.

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy least? Chasing after friends, neighbors, relatives of a well-respected, recently deceased politician to see who was invited to the funeral.

What’s the biggest scoop you’ve ever had? Not sure I’d call it my biggest scoop, but one of the oddest and most fun to write was a piece on a young entrepreneur’s business, selling sequined, jazzed-up toupees for, you know… down there. They call them merkins.

When and why did you last laugh so hard you had tears in your eyes? Playing Apples to Apples.

When and why did you last lose your temper? I need to eat every two hours in order not to lose my temper.

Which movie title best describes your journalism career? Little Miss Sunshine

Who would you?want to play you in a movie? Woody Allen, though we look nothing alike.

Name jobs you’ve had outside of journalism. (Can start as young as teenage years): Shelving books in a little bookstore in the Colorado mountains, folding tops at in a department store, lifeguarding at a water park, cleaning lady, waitress, pianist, and piano teacher.

Who should just call it a day? The bike repairman. My trusty old seafoam green Peugeot might not make it, but he really did his best.

Finally, please come up for a question for our next FishbowlDC interviewee. Make it good. What’s your favorite childhood cartoon?