As fate would have it, Lachlan Markay hails from Hoboken, N.J., the city Gov. Chris Christie‘s staff recently screwed over. “I only lived there until I was 10 so I didn’t get the full awesome experience, but it was a lot of fun,” Markay said in a phone interview with The Mirror this afternoon. “As far as all the stuff these days, my parents are in real estate, you couldn’t help but deal with the mob so [the news] was not really a surprise. They moved down to Florida and quasi retired.” Markay’s entrance into Washington journalism began during his studies at Hamilton College when he landed an internship at Roll Call. He loved the experience and worked for a now defunct wire service they used to produce called Congress Now. Markay wanted to go into politics since high school. He knew he wanted to be in Washington since he was 15, but didn’t know in what capacity — he says Roll Call cinched his calling to be a journalist. After graduating, he went to work for Dialog New Media, he wrote for Newsbusters and ultimately settled at The Heritage Foundation for a year and a half before moving on to his current post. “I’m enjoying myself,” he said when asked about the current state of journalism. “I know nothing about the journalism in turmoil, it just seems like that is the natural state. I like it this way. It just seems more exciting, new ideas, room for innovation, that’s always good.” Asked for his editors chief complaints about him, he replied, “I haven’t really heard complaints, maybe it’s just small, sort of grammatical stuff here and there. I’m happy with what I’m doing and I think they’re happy with what I am doing.”
Hometown: Hoboken, NJ/Rhinebeck, NY
Named for: Lachlan Cameron, family friend and former New Zealand All Black. Berg, my middle name, was my grandmother’s maiden name.
First job ever: Farm hand at Breezy Hill Orchard.
Current employment: Reporter at the Washington Free Beacon
If someone wants to get on your good side, what candy or liquor should they ply you with?
Any single malt will do just fine.
Most exotic place you’ve ever visited:
Costa Rica. But I’ll be spending my birthday next month in Bangkok.
Why do you think Washington is so polarized? And please consider your answer in terms of boring us.
What would we talk about all day if not for the unending minutiae of perpetual political outrage? (Which is to say, polarization is good for business in DC – especially the news business.)
Who is your celebrity crush?
Scarlett Johansson, preferably with the Jersey accent from Don Jon.
A thought that makes you want to cry:
The very real possibility of going my entire life without living full time in New York City.
Weirdest habit you’ve observed in a newsroom (workplace) setting?
WFB reporter Bill McMorris making obscene haikus about assistant editor Brent Scher, and “reading” them aloud with a text-to-talk program. Billy actually does this fairly often.
If you had to kiss a politician who would it be?
Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt, just to one-up Barry O.
What’s next for you? What would you do with your life if absolutely nothing could stop you?
Roughly the same thing I do now, for more money.
Pick one: House of Cards, Homeland or Veep:
House of Cards. Just a really entertaining, well-written, well-acted show. I love Veep and Homeland, but neither keeps me glued to the TV like HOC. It’s not an accurate portrayal of DC, of course, but it’s fun when non-DC friends think that’s what my workday is like. (For the record, I’d take any of the three over The West Wing.)
Pick one: CNN’s New Day, Morning Joe, GMA or The TODAY Show:
Morning Joe. I think it’s actually one of the more entertaining and intelligent cable news shows, and certainly the best show on MSNBC.
If you had to have a U.S. senator or congressman as your father who would it be?
The late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), so I could be a Kennedy.
Since this is The Mirror Questionnaire, what would you change about yourself physically if you could?
I have too few tattoos, but I’m planning on remedying that in the not-too-distant future.
And your personality?
I can be pretty disorganized. If I don’t respond to your email in a timely manner, please don’t take it personally. I’m getting better.
Anywhere in Costa Rica.
Guilty pleasure TV show:
On a scale of 1 to 10, how self-obsessed are you? (10 being you can’t tear yourself away from your own daily Google search and 1 meaning you often spend time in the country away from your computer and don’t give a crap about your Klout score.)
7. Remind me how we got validation before retweets?
Lots of golf, a bit of tennis, and the occasional run. I find that that, plus eating well does the trick.
Pick one – flabby thighs, cankles or love handles?
Flabby thighs, I suppose.
Choose: Beautiful eyes, best personality or perfect legs?
Best personality. It sounds like a cliché, but great legs and beautiful eyes are cold comfort if, say, you’re embarrassed to introduce someone to family or friends.
A thought that brings you great joy:
Justin Bieber getting deported.
A regret (of any kind):
I never met Bill Buckley, Bob Novak, or Tim Russert.
Any brushes with death? If so, please describe.
While backpacking Europe the summer after high school a friend and I slept in a park in Prague rather than pay for a hostel. He woke up to three gypsies huddled over me with a knife. He jumped up and they scattered. We packed up, and I noticed they had cut through my sleeping bag, through the leg of my jeans, and through the lining of my pocket. They stole about $10.
Just a preference Q: Bo or Sunny?
Anything but a lab or a golden retriever is unbecoming of the President of the United States.
Most annoying thing your editor (boss) does:
I was always taught not to begin sentences with “However.” Managing editor Sonny Bunch, however, was taught differently. It still grates on me.
Rank how hairy your butt is: 1 to 10?
Thankfully my frame of reference here is small, but I’ll go with 4.
Go for a stroll in the park with one of the following and explain the reason for your choice. 1. Andrew Sullivan, of The Daily Dish. 2. The Washington Post’s Jonathan Capehart. 3. NewCo’s Glenn Greenwald.
Capehart. He comes off as the least abrasive of the three.
When was the last time you were, if ever, naked outside?
Skinny-dipping after a friend’s wedding last year. Hotel staff were less amused than we were.
From The Sunday Times’ Toby Harnden: If you could tell one person to their face that they’re full of shit, with no consequences, who would it be?
Stephanie Cutter. Ugh.
From Al Jazeera’s David Shuster: If you had to watch or read a news report in a language you didn’t understand, what language would it be and why?
Italian, so I could divine as much as possible from reporters’ gesticulations.
From lefty radio host Bill Press: Where’s the one place in Washington you’d love to have sex, but can’t?
A yacht on the Potomac. I can’t because I don’t have a yacht.
From former Rep. Weiner’s ex-phone sex partner Sydney Elaine Leathers: Who is the worst journalist on your favorite news channel?
Todd Starnes of Fox News.
Please provide a question for the next lucky victim of The Mirror Questionnaire. Make it good.
Which universally acclaimed piece of literature, art, film, or music can you simply not stand?