The FishbowlDC Interview With HuffPost Hill’s Eliot Nelson

Say hello to HuffPost Hill’s writer  Eliot Nelson. He’s the humorous voice behind HuffPost‘s evening newsletter and has the official title of Politics Staff Writer. Born and bred in New York City, he moved to D.C. post college and took a thoroughly unenjoyable job for a children’s advocacy group. He then became a press intern for House Whip Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.), where he says he wrote press releases and “carpet bombed” his savings. Nelson now spends his days finding unusual videos of animals sneezing, a kid playing the ukulele, a cat that doesn’t really want the lights out or the best make out music ever. He breaks more serious news about lobbyists and lawmakers, but the tone stays loose. Reporters from all over Capitol Hill get routine mentions in the newsletter as readers get story previews, news on fundraisers and more. Nelson’s pet peeve: People in Washington who don’t say “thank you” when you hold a door open. “Entitled schmucks,” he says. Enjoy.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Dr. Pepper, Distinguished Louise and Abraham B. Moskowitz Chair of Media Studies at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

How often do you Google yourself? Not often. I do Altavista myself pretty regularly.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? “Hey, why don’t we give Jason Linkins a vuvuzela? That’s just what our office needs!”

Who is your favorite working journalist? Ryan Grim.

Do you have a favorite word? “Blows” e.g., “Ryan Grim really blows.”

Who would you rather have dinner with – First Lady Michelle Obama or Bestselling Author and former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin? Can I opt for tea and biscuits with Sheila Jackson Lee?

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? My BlackBerry is in a constant state of butt-dial.

When did you last cry and why? When I discovered that “Iron Man 2” wasn’t a documentary about the resurgence of Mexico’s fledgling iron ore extraction industry.

What word do you routinely misspell? “Ammendment,” “Lindsay Graham,” “Eyjafjallajökuull.”

What swear word do you use most often? Tie: “Poppycock” and “Balderdash.”

What word or phrase do you overuse? Ed O’Keefe should really win a Pulitzer.

What TV show do you have to watch?
CNN’s “Parker Spitzer.”

Where do you shop most often for your clothes? I always raid Sam Stein’s closet after he goes on one of his epic JoS. A. Bank binges.

Find out which female actress Nelson wants to play him in a movie after the jump…

Whom do you prefer for daytime talk, Dr. Phil, Ellen, Oprah, Tyra or the women of The View? Texas Justice.

Pick one: Leno, Letterman or Conan? Sue Johanson, Canada’s foremost sexual educator and counselor.

If you were trapped on a deserted island, which public official would you want to be trapped with and why? Rep. Hank Johnson. He’d be in charge of making sure the island doesn’t capsize.

Who is your mentor? Do you remember “Duckman?”

What’s the best advice you ever received in the course of your career? “Law school.”

What and where was your first job in journalism? An internship with ABC News. I made sure Brian Ross’ hair contained just the right amount of fiberglass.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? In the second edition of HuffPost Hill I wrote that Kal Penn had been arrested. He had, in fact, been mugged.

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy most? Interviewing my mom when I was 7 with my Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Talkboy.

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy least? Rep. Steve King. (Compared to his mother, King paled.)

What’s the biggest scoop you’ve ever had? At Cold Stone Creamery. Those broheims can top out a cone.

When and why did you last laugh so hard you had tears in your eyes? View here.

When and why did you last lose your temper? The last paragraph of this article: Read here.

Which movie title best describes your journalism career? Mulan II

Who would you want to play you in a movie? Dakota Fanning.

Name some jobs you’ve had outside of journalism. (Can start as young as teenage years): My emerging adult years are kind of a blur.

If you could change one thing about the way politics and journalism mix in D.C., what would it be? (Question comes from Military Times’s Dan Lamothe, last week’s interviewee.) Mandate that reporters get no more than 20 percent of their stories from press releases. Violators will be forbidden from Tortilla Coast.

Finally, please come up for a question for our next FishbowlDC interviewee. Make it good. “Do you think Lauriol Plaza is a lovely eatery or a cancer on our fair city?”