Pam Hess: The FishbowlDC Interview

hesspa.jpgSay hello to UPI’s Pentagon Correspondent Pam Hess.

How many suits do you own? Birthday suit, bathing suit, no actual suit.

What word do you routinely misspell? Anything with an O in it because my computer keys are still wonked up from Iraq and it always comes out with extra O’s

Did you see Brokeback Mountain? Yes. Very sad about the shirt.

Did you see The Da Vinci Code? I refuse to see it on the grounds that Tom Hanks is rocking a mullet.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? Cell phone rings have names? Better question: is my cell phone charged? Can I find my charger?

What time did you get up this morning? Get up, or start listening to Steve Inskeep?

When did you last cry and why? Just a few minutes ago — a tale of personal heroism, but off the record so I can’t share details. Very frustrating to me too, as someone else is going to write about it and I’ve been forbidden. I cried reading Tony Perry’s great piece on a Marine medal of honor winner. And in September at the edge of the Grand Canyon after a five-day hike to the river and back. I clearly cry at the drop of a hat.

Which of the seven deadly sins are you? How about which of the seven dwarves am I? Sleepy. Also Grumpy. And I just sneezed so Sneezy.

Beach, city or country? All three, in equal measures.

Would you say you’re cute? Pretty? Hot? Beautiful? No, I would not say any of those things, particularly on a publicly available survey. I have readers/viewers, however, who have very strong feelings about the way I look — my hair and glasses are a very hot topic, and are NOT popular — so you can ask them.

Read the rest when you click below…(and see previous FishbowlDC interviews: Julie Mason, David Shuster, Joe Curl, Alex Pareene, Peter Beinart, Jonah Goldberg, Megyn Kendall, Ana Marie Cox, Jim Brady, Howard Mortman, Amy Argetsinger, Jose Antonio Vargas, Chuck Todd, Tom Gottlieb, Kelly Ann Collins, David von Drehle, David Lat, Mark Leibovich, Zain Verjee, David Plotz, Paul Kane, Karen Travers, Mark Halperin, Hugo Gurdon, Greg Kelly,Ken Rudin, John Dickerson, Anne Schroeder, Spencer Ackerman, Bret Baier, Bob Sellers, Greta van Susteren, Danielle Jones, Jonathan Salant, John McCalla)

What color is your bathroom? I LOVE my bathroom. It’s white, with black and white tiles on the floor (on the diagonal, of course). One brick wall. I built the Brazilian Cherry vanity with my own two hands. You can come see it.

How many emails do you receive a day, roughly? Roughly 400. I currently have 4,171 unread emails in my inbox.

What’s your opinion of New York City? Love it. Couldn’t live there though — not enough green space. Yes, yes, yes, Central Park. I know about Central Park. Also, what is that craziness with needing a broker to rent a place, and then having to pay them some horrific fee?

What’s your favorite letter? How about punctuation mark? I’m all about the double dash. I also enjoy the semi-colon a great deal.

What single person played the biggest role / had the biggest influence on your journalism career? A general who shall remain nameless. He peeled the lid off Iraq like a can of sardines and handed it to me, setting me up for the greatest experiences of my career. Same guy challenges me weekly — if not daily — on the quality and objectivity of media coverage of the military and Iraq, which has made me a better, more thoughtful reporter.

Have you ever downloaded a podcast? If so, which one? I don’t have an IPod. Small electronics vex me. My friend played one for me from the Grammar Girl, though — I enjoyed that. Difference between e.g. and i.e. (for example v. in other words)

Who’s your all-time favorite American Idol candidate? I have to say I have never watched the show, on principle. (I do not count the “audition” episodes, which I watch to get my Schadenfreude on.)

When’s the last time you volunteered? Where? You’ve just made me realize I’m going to hell. I think the last time I did it was for Hoop Dreams, the mentoring organization run by the amazing Susie Kay, and that was last year. Or the year before.

Who is your favorite active journalist? All my fellow Pentagon correspondents — they are a hilarious, professional and hardworking bunch. The informal gaggle in the hallway after the official gaggle is a snarky joy.

What did you have for breakfast? Greek yogurt and honey.

What’s your favorite item of clothing? Sparkly cowgirl skirt. Red pleather knee high boots. Not together.

What one toiletry item could you not live without? shampoo

If you could have one superpower, which one would it be? Invisibility would be a professional asset, but is liable to get me in trouble in my personal life. So I am going to go with unassisted flight.

Better role model: GIJoe? Barbie? Paul Rusesabagina. Safia Ama Jan. Marla Ruzicka.