The FishbowlDC Interview With The Daily Caller’s Southern Scribe Alex Pappas

When I spoke with The Daily Caller reporter Alex Pappas Thursday afternoon, he mentioned that his boss, Tucker Carlson, had consulted with him on what Carlson should say about him when approached. I told him that wasn’t legal. “I told him he had to say all bad things,” Pappas assured through a slow drawl. A Mobile, Ala. native, he graduated college and began working for the the Mobile Press Register. A year and half ago he’d heard from D.C. contacts that Carlson had a new website. On a whim, he sent in his resume. To his amazement, he got the job and started in on the ground floor. But in December of 2010 he left for the Washington Examiner. Back in Mobile he’d covered local news. “I love local news,” he said, explaining the draw of the old-time newspaper track. “They know I’m a young guy and I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do.” Carlson let him go but immediately wanted Pappas back. “We’ve lost a number of people over the past year and a half, but he’s the only one we’ve aggressively wooed back,” he said, explaining that he mounted “Operation Homecoming,” in which they slowly lured him back to the The DC, “mostly with promises of more and better office parties.” About two months into his new job, Pappas received an email from Carlson saying that Gov. Tim Pawlenty had entered the 2012 presidential race. “You want to come back?” Carlson asked. “At that point I was so fresh into the job, but I’d been a political nut for as long as I could remember. I couldn’t get the email out of my mind.” A total of four months after he left, Pappas returned to The Daily Caller. “It’s a great fit for me,” he said. “It definitely feels like I’m back home.” His 80-something Grandma Reedy is also relieved. As a Fox News junkie, she loves Carlson. “It made her year that I decided to come back,” he said.

If you were a carbonated beverage which would you be? Coke in a glass bottle.

How often do you Google yourself? Google alerts do it for me.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever said to an editor? My computer just crashed. I’ve lost my story.

Who is your favorite working journalist and why? Tucker Carlson is the best writer I know.

Do you have a favorite word? ubiquitous.

What word or phrase do you overuse? Roll Tide. How so? It’s a football slogan from the University of Alabama. I didn’t go there but I’m a big fan. [Pappas attended the University of the South in the mountains of Sewanee Tennesee.]

Who would you rather have dinner with –  MSNBC’s Chris Matthews or FNC’s Chris Wallace? I’d play Hardball.

You are ordered to go on a road trip to an undisclosed location. You can go with White House Spokesman Jay Carney or Bo, the President’s Portuguese Water Dog. No ones feelings will be hurt. Who do you take? Carney. It would be great for The Daily Caller to get some exclusives from the White House. I don’t know how much of that we’d get from Bo.

What’s the name of your cell phone ring? Classic phone remix.

It’s 3 a.m. and you get up to use the bathroom or get a drink of water. Do you check your BlackBerry? I check my phone several times throughout the night.

What word do you routinely misspell? Initiative.

What swear word do you use most often? All of them.

If you weren’t a journalist what would you be? I’d write movies and TV shows.

You’ve 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.) 50 Cent, Grover Norquist, [FishbowlDC’s] Betsy Rothstein and [WaPo‘s] Ezra Klein.

When you pig out what do you eat? All types of fast food.

When did you last cry and why? When asked to do this interview.

Find out how often Pappas checks his BlackBerry after the jump…

What TV show is your guilty pleasure? A tie between Entourage and [reruns of] The West Wing.

What is the best vacation you’ve ever taken? The beaches back home in Alabama.

What is your absolute favorite item of clothing in your closet? We want the fabric, the brand, the store and the price if possible. I’m not very good with the iron, so Brooks Brothers non-iron dress shirts and wrinkle-free khakis.

Pick one: Will Ferrell’s Bush impersonation or Tina Fey’s Sarah Palin? Tina Fey.

Do you read your astrology? No.

Tell us a secret not many people know about you. I have a first name, and it’s not Pappas.

Who is your mentor? Quin Hillyer, formerly with The American Spectator and TWT. “I knew him from church back home and we struck up a friendship.”

What and where was your first job in journalism? I wrote my own neighborhood newspaper when I was 10 or so and sold it door-to-door. It was called the South Reed Avenue News. I lived on South Reed Avenue.

What’s your most embarrassing career moment? Too many to count.

Have you ever been fired? Not yet.

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy most? I interviewed a man acquitted of capital murder in Alabama at his lakeside house just hours after he was freed.

Which one interview of your career did you enjoy least? This one.

What’s the biggest scoop you’ve ever had? I “spotted” Jon Huntsman at a burger joint in Old Towne, Alexandria a year or so ago.

When and why did you last laugh so hard you had tears in your eyes? The editorial meetings at work.

When and why did you last lose your temper? I’m usually a pretty calm guy.

Which movie title best describes your journalism career? The Man Who Knew Too Little.

Who would you want to play you in a movie? Jeff Goldblum. I’m a tall, skinny guy. I’ve been told many times I’m either Jeff Goldblum or Bob Saget. I didn’t want to put Bob Saget.

Name jobs you’ve had outside of journalism. (Can start as young as teenage years): Worked on a mayoral campaign, sold clothes at Brooks Brothers, was a runner for a law office

Do you have a me-wall? If so, who’s on it? I have framed pictures from when I was a college intern at Meet the Press; includes me posing with Tim Russert, Jon Meacham and Colin Powell.

Who should just call it a day? Half the GOP field for president.

From our last FishbowlDC interviewee, WJLA’s Mike Conneen: Would you rather spend a year on the International Space Station or a year in Antarctica? I’m inclined to pick the International Space Station, but worried I may never get back since they’ve ended the shuttle program.

Finally, please come up for a question for our next FishbowlDC interviewee. Make it good. What’s the craziest reader/viewer email you’ve received?