The FishbowlDC Interview With WaPo’s Annie Gowen

Say hello to WaPo‘s poverty and wealth reporter Annie Gowen. A few things to note about her: She’s a Bachelor junkie, as in the reality show starting back up again on Jan. 3. In addition, she’s got a screenplay about a cancer survivor that’s currently being shopped around Hollywood. It isn’t easy getting Annie to meet a FishbowlDC deadline — a little sharpness (on our part, not hers) shifted her into high gear and she got it done, with flying colors we might add. One more thing…we’re sure your big boss Steamed Marcus Brauchli won’t take offense that you ditched him for MSNBC’s Chris Matthews as a dinner companion. At least we hope not.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Diet Dr. Pepper – the ultimate Midwestern drink.

How often do you Google yourself? Hardly ever, but I check Google “Images” sometimes to make sure it looks like I’m behaving in party pix.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? “You’re throwing me under the bus!”

Describe the unforgettable story of your career. Troop drawdown in Iraq, Summer of 2011

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? George Packer of The New Yorker. He writes with an eye toward history in unbelievably lean and muscular sentences.

Do you have a favorite word? Hmmm..that’s a toughie. Sometimes I say “Hi Foxy” to my female friends.

What word or phrase do you overuse? See above.

Who would you rather have dinner with –  MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, FNC’s Chris Wallace or WaPo’s Marcus Brauchli? Since I see MB at the office, I’d have to say Chris Matthews, because we’ve never met and I’m a fan.

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? Jay.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? Beyonce’s “Irreplaceable”.

It’s 3 a.m. and you get up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. Do you check your BlackBerry? Yes, alas.

What word do you routinely misspell? Attach…always seems like there should be an extra “t.”  Is there?

What swear word do you use most often? The S word.

If you weren’t a journalist what would you be? Vintage clothing merchant or large animal veterinarian.

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.) Noonan, Buchanan, Toobin, Brooks.

When you pig out what do you eat? When I was in Iraq I missed nachos so I have had nachos a few times since I have been back, I am sorry to report.

When did you last cry and why? I recently cried watching the 60 Minutes show on homeless kids – very touching.

What TV show is your guilty pleasure? ABC’s The Bachelor.

What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken? Provence.

What is your absolute favorite item of clothing in your closet? We want the fabric, the brand, the store and the price if possible. I have a vintage black leather Lord & Taylor jacket that I bought at the Salvation Army in Hyattsville for $34.99. I’ve had it reconditioned twice and worn it all over the world. It has never failed me.

Do you read your astrology? No.

Ever been arrested? No, but I’ve been handcuffed. I was “detained” by the Maryland State Police while covering a hostage situation in Southern Maryland in the late ‘90s. It was all a big misunderstanding.  I’ll tell you more about it later.

Tell us a secret not many people know about you. I’ve written three screenplays, and one, about the experiences of a young female cancer survivor, is being shopped in Hollywood.

Who is your mentor? Two: Mary Hadar, formerly WaPo’s Style and A1 features editor, and Judith Olney, the food writer.

What and where was your first job in journalism? Typing agate for the Washington Times weekend section, circa 1990s.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? Somehow I ended up covering a Clinton inaugural event at the Kennedy Center wearing a fluffy pink sweater, black skirt and running shoes. I still cringe when I think of it.

Have you ever been fired? I don’t think so.

When and why did you last laugh so hard you had tears in your eyes? During dinner out with three high school friends earlier this month, talking about old times.

When and why did you last lose your temper? It was about two weeks ago, a guy thing. ‘Nuff said.

Who would you want to play you in a movie? Someone way thinner than me!

Name jobs you’ve had outside of journalism. (Can start as young as teenage years): Waitress, stable hand and casino worker (for about three ill-fated weeks in college)

Do you have a me-wall? If so, who’s on it? No, I don’t, but if I did I would put up a picture of me having lunch with Hillary Clinton, Ann Landers and Cindy Adams of the New York Post. In it, my eyes are closed.

Who should just call it a day? Ralph Nader and Dan Snyder.

Finally, please come up for a question for our next FishbowlDC interviewee. Make it good. Name a book you read recently that you could not put down.