Journalist Mark Ebner has investigated Scientology, pit bull fighting in South Central Los Angeles, the Ku Klux Klan in Texas, celebrity stalkers, missing porn stars, sports groupies, college suicides and Hepatitis C in Hollywood. He’s got a book deal with Simon & Schuster and a TV deal with Court TV. Despite his busy blog, he yielded to our muscle and answered those deceptively duplicitous questions.
1. What’s the first thing(s) you read in the morning? The cereal box.
2. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure website? Gallery of The Absurd The artist known as “14” is a genius, and twice the woman of the LA Weekly’s “Seven.”
3. What job do you fantasize about having? Sidewalk Sign Flipper.
4. Last movie you saw? In The Valley of Elah. Surprisingly, Paul Haggis can actually make a good film and, not surprisingly, Tommy Lee Jones can act. Too bad few will see this film until they’re reminded to around Oscar acting awards time.
5. Last book you read? Aftermath, Inc. Cleaning Up After CSI Goes Home — a fascinating participatory adventure in the nasty business of bioremediation by crime writer Gil Reavill. The author takes the Discovery Channel’s conceptualization of “Dirty Jobs” to a whole new level.
6. Best show legendary biz/movie star encounter. In 1985, I spent a night sniffling, shaking and watching bad movies with Liza Minnelli at a resort in the Land of Ten Thousand Rehabs.
7. Proudest media moment? I have three:
Accepting the Genesis Award (for humane reporting) for Pit Bullies
(New Times, 1996); appearing as a guest on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart to promote Hollywood,Interrupted and hearing that South Park’s infamous Trapped In The Closet episode (the Scientology expose I consulted on) was nominated for an Emmy award.
8. Ever had a brush with the law? Describe. My lips and juvenile record are sealed, but my mug shot has been snapped more than once by those irksome traffic light cameras. A judge laughed at me once when I demanded to face my accuser (the camera) in court.
9. If you got a unicorn what would you name it? Worknut Pleasurefuck
10. What does your TiVo think about you? The Tivo smirks at my American Idol/Top Chef obsession.
11. Character of fiction you most resemble? James Frey?
12. Who plays you in your bio-pic? The resurrected George C. Scott.
13. What’s your ringtone? Call it “annoying.” They all are.
14. Favorite electronic device? Your iPhone.
15. What do your friends say is your best quality? My heart.
16. What do your enemies say is your worst? My heartlessness.
17.What natural talent do you wish you had? That of a contortionist.
18. What’s your theme song? Don Grady’s Adventures of Johnny Quest
19. Do you believe in love at first sight? All too often.
20. When’s the last time you volunteered? Where? Preparing meals at PATH (People Assisting The Homeless) on Vermont, near the 101.