The Mirror

The Mirror Questionnaire With New York Post’s Tara Palmeri

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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New York Post reporter Tara Palmeri has a way of getting under the skin of famous male actors. Two of whom are Alec Baldwin and Sean Penn.

In February, 2013, Palmeri got in what the NYP described as a “verbal spat” with Baldwin. Which can’t be considered a huge achievement since Baldwin fights with any member of the media and NYPD — you basically just have to breathe. Still, the details of Palmeri’s altercation with the notorious hothead are nothing short of reporting gold. “I want you to choke to death,” Baldwin told her, after she asked about lawsuit against Baldwin’s wife, Hilaria. During the incident, the actor called a NYP photog and ex-NYPD cop a “coon” and a  “drug dealer.” He also reportedly told him to “suck my d–k.”

Moving on to Penn, another actor who doesn’t think too highly of paparazzi-type press. In 2010, Palmeri, still working for the Washington Examiner at the time, “clashed” with hosts at a Sean Penn Haiti benefit. So much so that they tossed her from the event. In that instance, she questioned Penn for telling CBS News that critics who wonder about his ties to the Haiti relief fund should all die “screaming of rectal cancer.” After Palmeri pressed him on it, Penn yelled at her, his publicist threatened to have her fired and police removed her from the scene.

Palmeri cut her teeth on Washington journalism. She previously worked for the Washington Examiner‘s “Yeas & Nays” column and had a way of riling people then too.

After the Examiner she moved to Manhattan to work for Page Six. Two years ago, she moved on and is now a general assignment reporter for the NYP, focusing on enterprise stories instead of celebrities. She covered the John Edwards trial, the DNC and RNC conventions, the Jovan Belcher murder suicide and the Newtown massacre. Among her more notable scoops is New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie‘s secret lap band surgery.

Let’s begin.

Bona Fides

Hometown: Lincoln Park, NJ

Age: <30

Named for: My parents settled on “Tara” after a fight over “Daphne” or “Martha”

First job ever: telemarketer for Gevalia

Current employment: Reporter for the New York Post for nearly 4 years

Tara Palmeri

If someone wants to get on your good side, what candy or liquor should
they ply you with? A box of Baci by Perugina

Most exotic place you’ve ever visited: Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Why do you think Washington is so polarized? And please consider your
answer in terms of boring us. People are too accepting of political dogma.

Who is your celebrity crush? The Ryans – Reynolds and Gosling

A thought that makes you want to cry: Starving babies

Weirdest habit you’ve observed in a newsroom (workplace) setting? The twitching and desperate deep breathes before the blow-up.

If you had to kiss a politician who would it be? President Obama, but just on the cheek. I don’t want to mess with Michelle’s guns.

What’s next for you? What would you do with your life if absolutely
nothing could stop you? Step aside Oprah, it’s the T network – complete with magazine, books, movies and T.V. shows

Pick one: House of Cards, Homeland or Veep: House of Cards

Pick one: CNN’s New Day, Morning Joe, GMA or the TODAY Show: None of the above, I watch CBS local or NY1 with Pat Kiernan.

If you had to have a U.S. senator or congressman as your father who would it be? GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, because he’s from Miami and it’s just fun there.

Since this is The Mirror Questionnaire, what would you change about
yourself physically if you could? I would have green eyes.

And your personality? I would be better at faking a smile when I’m not feeling great

Preferred beach: Amagansett

Guilty pleasure TV show: Kroll 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.) 5

Workout regimen: Yoga three times per week and Barre once per week. If I can’t make a class then TRX with free weights

Pick one – flabby thighs, cankles or love handles? cankles

Choose: Beautiful eyes, best personality or perfect legs? Best personality

A thought that brings you great joy: Drifting around the pool on a swan floatie.

A regret (of any kind): Not taking enough classes just for fun in college.

Any brushes with death? If so, please describe. I was smacked in the face with a surf board and knocked out. When I woke up there were TV cameras in my face. Apparently I said I wasn’t ready for my TV debut. They were filming a reality show on Pacific Beach in San Diego. Needless to say, I didn’t sign the waiver.

Just a preference Q: Bo or Sunny? Sunny

Most annoying thing your editor (boss) does: Her daily line: “What’ve you got for me?”

Rank how hairy your butt is: 1 to 10? 0

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. The Intercept’s Glenn Greenwald. Glenn Greenwald just to hear creepy Snowden stories

When was the last time you were, if ever, naked outside? 16, midnight skinny-dipping at the Jersey Shore with my best friends

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? Alec Baldwin

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? Arabic because I want to learn the language.

From lefty radio host Bill Press: Where’s the one place in Washington you’d love to have sex, but can’t? Sorry Bill, I don’t kiss and tell.

From former Rep. Weiner’s ex-phone sex partner Sydney Elaine LeathersWho is the worst journalist on your favorite news channel? Alec Baldwin

From Washington Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay: Which universally acclaimed piece of literature, art, film, or music can you simply not stand? The LOVE sculpture by Richard D. on 6th Avenue. I used to doodle that image with my crush’s name beneath it in elementary school.

Please provide a question for the next lucky victim of The Mirror Questionnaire. Make it good. It could live on indefinitely. If you could give one politician or talking head a makeover, who would it be and what would you do?