FishbowlDC Interview with Daily Caller’s Matt Lewis

Say hello to The Daily Caller‘s Matt Lewis. He is a senior contributor for The Daily Caller. He is also editor of ‘The Quotable Rogue: The Ideals of Sarah Palin In Her Own Words.’ More often than not, you can find the unquestionably friendly reporter with dimples on CNN’s “Reliable Sources” with Howard Kurtz on Sunday. His colleagues find him “helpful and knowledgeable” around the office. We asked his boss, Tucker Carlson, what kind of human being Lewis is. He replied, “Matt is a great guy: low-key, hard working, relentless honest and decent.” Previously, Matt was a columnist for the now defunct Politics Daily, and before that, he was a blogger for Townhall.com. Matt grew up in Frederick County, Md., and graduated from Shepherd College (now University) in Shepherdstown, WV. Like any blogger, he can fall prey to the occasional bad mood. “If you’re a blogger, your mood is contingent on whether you have written anything good lately,” he tells me in a phone conversation this afternoon. “If too much time elapses and I haven’t written anything I’m proud of, I start to get a little testy, which is totally not good.” He does see his glass half full: “Any day as a writer beats working at a fast food restaurant.” This is a fate he escaped narrowly just after college when he worked briefly at a Roy Rogers in Frederick, Md. He was earning $30,000 a year in  management program. “I was utterly miserable doing it,” he said. “I ended up quitting. I’ve come to learn, whether it s a relationship or a job, you usually know within the first day whether or not it’s going to work. It took me a couple of months to figure it out, but I finally did pull the plug on that.” Moving on to other topics, I wondered about Lewis’s thoughts on the hoodie. “I actually like hoodies and I wear them all the time,” he said. “I was going to tape an episode of bloggingheads the other night. I literally had to take off a hoodie and put on another shirt because I was afraid people were going to think I was mocking it. They’re very comfortable. It’s a brilliant invention.” Lewis wasn’t always a reporter. He started off doing campaigns. He initially thought his calling was to be a political operative. In 1998 he managed a campaign for a male candidate running for the Maryland State Senate. He became the youngest and the first Hispanic Republican ever elected to the Maryland State Senate. “That’s the part I love, the passion, the romance of being a kind of revolution and beating the machine,” he said. But the more entrenched he got into politics, he began to see that at the professional level “they suck the excitement out of it. You know the type…the douchebag type,” he said, explaining that he started his own blog in 2004 and began writing for Human Events. His first paying writing job was for Townhall.com, where he worked for two years. “It took me an evolution to find myself and find my calling.”

If you were a combined carbonated beverage, which would you be? Too personal. Next question.

How often do you Google yourself? I Googled myself twice while answering these questions. But this is because I am paranoid and needy – not because I’m narcissistic – there’s a difference.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor/boss (or vice versa)? I’ve found it’s best not to directly confront editors. Instead, it’s best to sneak into their offices and move things around on their desks until they slowly go insane.