What Journalists Do For Fun

…you know, besides waxing poetic about caviar specifics.

From this month’s Washingtonian feature, “50 Activities to put excitement in your life”:

Matt Cooper:

    When a delay came up at her benefit roast for spina-bifida research,
    newswoman Judy Woodruff knew whom to send to the podium: Matt Cooper.
    The journalist has been doing standup comedy for eight years.
    Cooper–who has appeared at New York clubs and DC’s
    Improv–says his hobby has never gotten in the way of his work for
    Time magazine: “I tend to be pretty bipartisan.” (Starting next
    month, he’ll be Washington editor of Conde Nast Portfolio.)

    He has poked fun at Bill Clinton’s post-White House life: “Now that
    it’s the Bush era, Clinton is ready to dial into C-Span: ‘Bill from
    Chappaqua on the Democratic line–you’re on.'”

    On George W. Bush and his brother Jeb: “We’ve just elected the
    national equivalent of Roger Clinton. Jeb must be saying, ‘What did I
    do?'”

    Says Cooper of standup: “You’re very naked. Each moment of silence
    between laughs is somewhat terrifying.”

    He doesn’t joke about his grand-jury testimony and brush with jail
    time in the Valerie Plame leak investigation: “My lawyers urged me
    not to be too funny. There is a lot funny about it–we just have to
    save it for another time.”

WRC-TV news anchor Susan Kidd and CNN’s Suzanne Malveaux after the jump…


Susan Kidd:

    As a child, WRC-TV news anchor Susan Kidd thought that “the Santa
    Claus who came to my house looked like me.” So when a fellow reporter
    gave her a ceramic black Santa 20 years ago, she continued collecting
    them to keep Christmas a magical time for her three sons.

    “At first I’d buy whatever,” she says. “Now I go for the more unusual
    ones–like one wood-carved atop a duck, another a Marine Corps Santa
    in camouflage.”

    Her collection is 200 strong and growing: “Years ago, I began
    acquiring ‘negrobilia,’ as it’s known. I soon found out authentic
    pieces were hard to come by and very expensive.”

    Her youngest son used to make up stories about the Santas, picking
    out roles for each and spinning tales about what they were doing
    while the family slept.

    Kidd puts the Santas out after Thanksgiving and doesn’t pack them up
    until Super Bowl Sunday: “I hate to take them down–they’re like old
    friends. One is a doorstop filled with sand, and he feels like a baby.”

Suzanne Malveaux:

    CNN White House correspondent Suzanne Malveaux started competing in
    triathlons in her early thirties because she was looking for
    something outside of her career that was “time-consuming, positive,
    and extreme.”

    Even though she placed “dead last” in her first triathlon–a race
    combining swimming, cycling, and running–she competed in two more
    before moving on to marathons, including two Marine Corps Marathons.
    But her motivation has shifted: “I used to do it for myself. Now I
    run to raise money.”

    She’s part of the High Five Runners, media and political colleagues
    who raise funds for people in need. They have collected pledges for a
    high-school graduate in Southeast DC to attend art school and to get
    five children out of an Albanian orphanage and returned to their
    parents.

    Malveaux welcomes the respite from the White House press booth: “I
    find myself in this bubble surrounded by Secret Service and deadlines
    and tight schedules and every minute of the 24-hour news day
    accounted for. Breaking out of that keeps me strong enough keep going.”

    She managed to train almost daily while covering the Bush
    presidential campaign: “My crew loved it because I could eat them
    under the table.”