The FishbowlDC Interview With Daily Mail’s David Martosko

Say hello to Daily Mail’s U.S. Editor David Martosko. He formerly was Executive Editor for The Daily Caller. Before that, he worked for Berman & Company, a PR shop that specializes in fighting progressive activists who target corporations. We must say, Martosko is one of the more colorful people in Washington media. For one thing, he’s kind of a panicky figure. He works at a frantic, relentless pace. He can sometimes be found in Sidecar, the dimly lit basement portion of the downtown restaurant P.J. Clarke’s, where he’s a member but where he won’t be found drinking. He’s also – weirdly – potentially deathly allergic to mushrooms. “The last time I ate a whole mushroom, I wound up with a swollen throat, red splotches in places where itching isn’t all that pleasant, and a very memorable two minutes when I couldn’t breathe,” he told me. “Eating them just isn’t worth the risk. Plus I’ll never have to explain to my wife how I wound up ‘accidentally’ hallucinating after dinner.”

Onto the interview.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Wild Cherry Diet Pepsi.

How often do you Google yourself? I haven’t in a long time. I’ll let the NSA do that.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor (or vice versa)? I can’t think of anything too bad. I’ve had the pleasure of working with the only nice people in the business. Tucker Carlson has unkind words for just about no one he works with. The Daily Mail people are class acts, and their accents make it impossible to be angry with them.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? CBS’s Sharyl Attkisson. She’s a tough investigative reporter who breaks amazing stories and refuses to be anyone’s lap dog. It looks like her computer was hacked as a consequence, but I’m waiting for her to finger the schmucks who did it. She’ll probably figure it out.

Do you have a favorite word? It’s a tie between Wanderlust and Schadenfreude.

What word or phrase do you overuse? I’ve taken to saying “Cheers!” a lot (instead of “See ya later”) since I went to work for the Daily Mail. But I refuse to say “whilst.”

Who would you rather have dinner with – MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinksi, CNN’s Kate Bolduan or CBS’s Gayle King. Tell us why. Are you kidding? Kate by a mile. She has the whole package, and a voice that I can listen to for more than 5 minutes without drifting off to wonder if I’ve left the oven on.

What is the most interesting conversation you’ve had in the course of your journalism career? Last summer I sat in a hotel meeting room in Morocco, talking with an intelligence expert about the confluence of Islamist factions converging on Northern Africa. I left the conversation with a reality-check about just how out-of-control things are in the Islamic Maghreb – and about how countries we don’t think much about, like Algeria and Mali, are the next growth areas for al-Qaeda. Scary stuff, but so valuable to learn about it from people who live it every day, and who care enough about it to risk getting shot at now and again.

The Earth’s human population is dying out and you must save it. You will spend a romantic evening with either Jodi Arias or Monica Lewinksy? Who will it be? (Neither is not an option.) Monica. She’s more likely to get you on television, and less likely to kill you afterward.

Tell us a funny story from your time as a journalist. Can be long or short. One of my most enduring mental snapshots from The Daily Caller is seeing Jeff Winkler standing on Alex Pappas’ desk, dancing with his pants around his ankles, trying to be a distraction while Pappas interviewed some congressman. The photo wound up as a Funny or Die caption contest.