Alex Pareene, the witty and controversial new editor of Wonkette.com, making his livelihood from the scandal and gossip surrounding the Washington political scene. After Ana Marie Cox’s departure last January, the 24-year-old Pareene had big shoes to fill and he’s successfully perpetuated the Wonkette’s reputation.
WHERE DID YOU GO TO SCHOOL?
I went to New York University, where I studied playwriting and eventually, journalism. Until I went broke. Then I became, like Woody Allen and Mary-Kate Olsen, a NYU dropout.
WHY DID YOU MOVE TO D.C.?
Because an eccentric English millionaire told me to. At the 2005 Gawker Media Christmas party, my boss, Nick Denton, kept pulling me aside and saying things like, “Have we talked about D.C. yet?” until it became very apparent that he wanted me to move to a city I’d never been to and take over a beloved gossip blog. Terrifying.
WHAT IS YOUR GREATEST FEAR?
It’s 7 a.m., the Vice President has just shot Chuck Schumer on the floor of the Senate, my wireless connection goes out, and, uh, I’m out of coffee.
EAST COAST VS. WEST COAST?
East Coast all the way. I hate driving, beaches, hippies and the sun.
FAVORITE TIME OF DAY?
Dawn, but only if I’ve been out all night. Otherwise, quitting time.
HOW HAS THE WONKETTE CHANGED SINCE YOU TOOK OVER FROM ANA MARIE COX?
Ana was already friends with a lot of D.C. media types when she did the site, so one important difference is that I often don’t meet the people until after I’ve written incredibly mean things about them.
HAVE YOU EVER RETRACTED ANY POSTINGS YOU’VE MADE? IF SO, WHICH ONES?
There’s the occasional rumor that gets shot down, but we always make sure to put those things out there as “rumors that might not be true,” not as cold, hard, verified fact. So nothing too huge, though I did say I thought Mark Foley emails were fakes for about ten minutes, just before all hell broke loose.
DRINK OF CHOICE?
Bourbon on the rocks, but neat will do in a pinch.
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN?
Karaoke. I’m a pretty decent drummer too, so if anyone’s looking for one, I can get my kit out of storage.
Pale Fire, Gravity’s Rainbow, Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail ’72, Lucking Jim, and The Portable Dorothy Parker.
WHICH D.C. JOURNALISTS DO YOU ADMIRE?
Sy Hersh, Raghubir Goyal, and Karen Feld.