The FishbowlDC Interview With DCist’s Ben Freed

Say hello to DCist’s new Associate Editor Benjamin Freed. He makes a point to tell me his byline is “Benjamin R. Freed.” Like we care? He says he has a good imitation of NBC’s Tom Brokaw. But then again he says a lot of things. We’re only kidding. Formerly an arts and entertainment writer for Washington City Paper, Freed, who hails from just outside Albany, N.Y., has been known to turn mouthy, get in the occasional Twitter fight and thinks death when it comes to the Kardashian sisters. His dirty little secret involves watching MSNBC’s Al Sharpton’s show. This is his mug shot photograph on DCist — we’re far from photography experts, but we’d like to suggest that they snap his picture during the daytime or else turn on the flash button. For the past two years he has been a contributing writer to Washington City Paper. He has also been moonlighting as a copy editor for Congressional Quarterly — who knew?

If you were a carbonated beverage, which would you be? DIY Coke, wherein you have to mix cola concentrate with carbonated water.

How often do you Google yourself? Somewhere between obviously introverted and borderline self-obsessive.

Whats the worst thing youve ever said to an editor/boss (or vice versa)? I can’t believe I took this stupid assignment.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? In my age group, Amanda Hess. I can’t think of anyone who writes about personal identity or relationships in a more intelligent or engaging fashion. I’m also a big fan of C.J. Chivers. Read The Gun and you’ll understand why.

What is your dream job? I’d love to do just about anything at Wired.

How did you land the DCist gig? It was either me or Monkeyrotica.

Why journalism? Thought it would be fun to write for the paper at Brandeis, where I went to college. Then one day Tom Brokaw visited campus. He told me to “raise hell.” true story. Too bad this interview isn’t in person, my Brokaw voice is pretty good.

Do you have a favorite word? I used “cadaverous” in a pretty clever context a couple weeks ago.

Who would you rather have dinner with WaPos Ezra Klein, Slates Dave Weigel or TPMs Brian Beutler? Tell us why. Eh, I’d rather get a drink with Kriston Capps, who’s introduced me to all three of them at various points. Besides, I think I owe him a beer.

What swear word do you use most often? Fuck.

Youve just been told the big news: You get to have your own Sunday morning talk show. Who will be on your roundtable? (Pick four journalists or pundits types.) God, what an awful question. OK, Jonathan L. Fischer, Ally Schweitzer, Aaron Leitko and Andrew Beaujon. We’re just going to talk about Fan Death and Future Times and we’ll be canceled in a week.

To borrow from Politicos Answer This (with a FishbowlDC twist): Picture someone in Washington who youd like to strangle (if such a thing were legal). Without naming him or her, please describe them in the nude. Just kidding. Tell us what you think of them. He recently topped an ignominious list at Salon, and Joe Scarborough thinks everything he says is pure gold. He also wouldn’t know how to use “ignominious” in a sentence. Not Willie Geist.

What TV show do you watch that youd be embarrassed to admit to and yes, were asking you to admit it. Politics Nation With Al Sharpton. Have you seen his MSNBC promo with the pie? I watch in hopes that he just spends an hour talking about pie.