The FishbowlDC Interview With Fake Jim VandeHei

It’s not easy getting Fake Jim VandeHei to meet deadlines. But we think it was worth the wait to get the fictitious Twitter character of Politico‘s Executive Editor Jim VandeHei to do our FishbowlDC Interview. He (or she) goes by “Henry Jackson” over email, but that’s all we know. Many suspect he’s a former Politico employee but no one we’ve spoken with knows for certain. His Twitter bio reads: “Fuck You, Drudge me.” Some Politico reporters like him, some think he’s not worth reading and idiotic. Much like Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), FJ has press hound qualities and has been featured by Vanity Fair, NYT and ABC. We asked the real VandeHei what he thinks of his fake counterpart. He had no comment. Enjoy!

If you were a carbonated beverage, which would you be? Club soda, because I’m only really tolerable with alcohol.

How often do you Google yourself? We have an intern for that.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? Once, during a particularly intense editorial dispute, I told Tim Grieve he was “thoughtful and rigorous.” I apologized immediately, but I still feel bad about it.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? I don’t know any of those.

Do you have a favorite word? Drudgegasm

What word or phrase do you overuse? “You’re a worthless piece of sh*t with no future in this business.”

Who would you rather have dinner with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews or FNC’s Chris Wallace? No.

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? That’s easy. The chance to have a prolonged, private conversation with one of the most influential members of Obama’s inner circle is a once in a lifetime opportunity? So Bo for sure.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? It doesn’t really have a name per se, but it’s the sound of an intern crying after I fired her. I recorded it with a lapel microphone. Sometimes I just call myself to hear it ring. Flippin’ hilarious.

It’s 3 a.m. and you get up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. Do you check your BlackBerry? No.

Find out Fake Jim’s favorite cuss word after the jump…

What word do you routinely misspell? “Ethics.” I keep spelling it as “u-s-e-l-e-s-s.”

What swear word do use most often? WaPo

If you weren’t a journalist, what would you be? A POLITICO reporter.

When you pig out what do you eat? Vodka

When did you last cry and why? When we broke that Bardella story. Fucking beautiful. (Kurt Bardella, who currently flacks for The Daily Caller, was fired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), after Politico exposed that he had sneaked reporters’ emails to NYT‘s Mark Leibovich for a book.)

What TV show is your guilty pleasure? The Newshour with Jim Lehrer.  Whenever someone sees me watching I get embarrassed a flip back to Jersey Shore.

What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Are you kidding? I haven’t really “worked” in like 5 years.

What is your absolute favorite item of clothing in your closet? We want the
fabric, the brand, the store and the price if possible. Eh, pass.

Pick one: Will Ferrell’s Bush impersonation or Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin? James Hohmann’s impression of Ronald Reagan.

Do you read your astrology? No.

Tell us a secret not many people know about you. No.

Who is your mentor? I don’t really have one, but ideally I think of myself as a cross between Mark Halperin and Nick Denton. (Halperin’s at TIME; Denton is Editor of Gawker.)

What and where was your first job in journalism? Will let you know when I get one.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? The last 4 years or so.

Have you ever been fired? No, but Harris tried to stage a coup once, if that counts. (As in Politico Editor in Chief John Harris.)

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy most? This one: Read here.

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy least? You probably don’t want me to answer that.

What’s the biggest scoop you ever had? I once revealed how we are systematically and intentionally destroying political discourse: Read here.

When and why did you laugh so hard you had tears in your eyes? It was about a week ago at an editorial meeting, when Harris was all like “Hey maybe we need more serious policy coverage.”

When and why did you last lose your temper? I’m not sure I ever “found” it to begin with.

Which movie title best describes your journalism career? Inglourious Basterds

Who would you want to play you in a movie? No idea.

Name jobs you’ve had outside of journalism. Executive Editor of POLITICO.

Who should just call it a day? National Journal

A recent FishbowlDC interviewee, USA Today’s David Jackson asks: What is your favorite book and why? That was his question?! I guess we know why he works at USA Today.

Finally, please come up for a question for our next FishbowlDC interviewee. Make it good. What are the top 5 ways in which POLITICO is better than the Washington Post?