FishbowlDC Interview With NJ’s Marin Cogan

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The most important thing you need to know about National Journal reporter Marin Cogan is that she will not procreate with Anthony Weiner under any circumstances — not even if the Earth will die it. F–k it. “Let ‘er burn!” she says. Now that she’s earned our full respect with that answer, let’s learn a little more about her, shall we?

homepicIf you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Ginger beer. Mostly spicy, a little sweet, and temperamentally suited to the elderly.

How often do you Google yourself? Once every few months, I decide I should check to make sure someone hasn’t written something horrible. In general, I try not to look too often–the internet can be a weird and anarchic place, and worrying too much about what people say about you isn’t the best use of one’s time. I mean, unless you’re a terrible person. Then it’s probably a good use of your time.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? Last year I kept coming back from the campaign trail to find my cat looking all weepy and red-eyed. I was overcome with this irrational fear that he’d die while I was away, so I took him to a vet. Thankfully, I had an editor who was sympathetic, because one day after I figured out what it was, I had to email him and say, “I’m going to be a day late on that story. My cat has seasonal allergies!”

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Jeanne Marie Laskas. No wait! Jason Zengerle. No wait! Mark Leibovich. Wait!–I could go on like this…

Do you have a favorite word? Tessellate

What word or phrase do you overuse? I’m not sure, but I definitely use em dashes and semicolons way too much.

Who would you rather have lunch with – MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinksi, CNN’s Kate Bolduan or CBS’s Gayle King. Tell us why. Mika–because of this.

What is the most interesting conversation you’ve had in the course of your journalism career? Too hard to pick just one, but I’ve loved every conversation I’ve had with the House GOP delegation from South Carolina. They’re such funny, interesting, engaging guys. One night during the primary I found Mark Kelly sitting alone at the bar of a hotel where Rick Santorum was holding an election night rally; he just happened to be in town on business, and I drank with him while the speech went on in the ballroom above our heads. On the day before the Florida primary, while all the other candidates were criss-crossing the state, I spent the day with Buddy Roemer as he tried (with little success) to convince the attendees of the ACLU’s annual staff conference to vote for him for president–and found him fun and hilarious.

Unknown-3The Earth’s human population is dying out and you must save it. You will spend a romantic evening with either Anthony Weiner or Eliot Spitzer? Who will it be? (Neither is not an option.) Honestly, in this case, the earth is not worth saving. Let ’er burn.

Tell us a funny story from your time as a journalist. Can be long or short. Recently I did a story about the dark art students were submitting to the Congressional Art Competition. It prominently featured a winning photo by a girl who captured one of her fellow high school students wearing a zipper face costume. The night it ran, I got an email from a student telling me I needed to investigate whether or not the winning artist made the costume–the implication being that if she didn’t make the costume, she wasn’t responsible for the winning photo. It felt like my Watergate moment. I wanted to write back: “Meet me in the parking garage. I’ll wear my trench coat. You wear your zipper face.”