The Mirror

The Mirror Questionnaire With Reason’s Skin Sensitive Anthony Fisher

Betsy Rothstein Gossip blogger
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Say hello to Anthony Fisher, a writer and TV producer for Reason Magazine. He’s also a writer/director of the feature film Sidewalk Traffic. On occasion he appears as a commentator on Fox News’ Red EyeHuffPost LiveThe Blaze and other radio and TV outlets. His dream is to be a full-time filmmaker. He’s sensitive to the sun, moody and he’s had a couple of near death experiences. He appears to have a soft spot for people who are treated badly. He doesn’t want to be a dick. He thinks watching MSNBC Al Sharpton‘s TV gaffes is a “balm” for a bad day.

Watch a trailer of his film here.

Let’s find out more.



Bona Fides

Hometown: Originally: West Nyack, NY. Currently: Queens, NY.

Age: 35

Named for: My father, we swapped first and middle names, Anthony and Lawrence.

First job ever: Newspaper delivery boy for The Journal-News. I was 11. One of my first days on the job had “Iraq Invades Kuwait” on the front page.

Current employment: Writer/Producer for TV


If someone wants to get on your good side, what candy or liquor should they ply you with? Anything that combines chocolate, peanut butter and single-malt scotch.

Most exotic place you’ve ever visited: My maternal ancestral hometown in Sciacca, Sicily. Looks like the casbah, everything closes at 6 p.m. (and that’s after the 3-hour mid-day nap). You eat fish right out of the Mediterranean. They don’t speak a word of English. And you find the warmest people on the planet.

Why do you think Washington is so polarized? And please consider your answer in terms of boring us. In the old days, Bob Dole and Tip O’Neill could be professional enemies in front of the D.C. press corps, but once the workday ended, transform into backslapping drinking buddies. Nowadays, partisan media is much more relevant to each side’s base, so the pols have to treat their rivals like they have cooties or be accused of selling out. I don’t think it’s a terrible thing. Passing hundreds of pointless or destructive laws is not “doing the business of the people.” I hope every Congress is the “least productive ever.”

Who is your celebrity crush? I’ve had a lifelong crush on Alyssa Milano, but these days, Kerry Washington.

Least favorite word: Bipartisan. That word usually means war and/or taxes.

A thought that makes you want to cry: The public schools in my NYC neighborhood are so bad that I’m paying the same amount on tuition for my daughter to go to kindergarten as I spent on college.

Weirdest habit you’ve observed in a newsroom (workplace) setting? I think it’s weird to loudly interview people on the phone in a crowded newsroom. Frankly, I think it’s weird for anyone to talk on the phone in front of other people. Go to another room, you monsters!

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Time you spend on Twitter each day (be honest): At least 30 min, just to keep up with the news. Some days probably closer to an hour. To avoid the time suck, I try to avoid dumb arguments. Nothing makes a troll angrier than reading, “I’m going to let you have the last word.”

If you had to kiss a politician who would it be? Kamala Harris is a total babe, but maybe [former GOP Sen.] Rick Santorum, just to make him fear eternal hellfire.

Queen Latifah or Dr. Oz? Let’s see, Queen Latifah is an Oscar-nominee and Dr. Oz is a charlatan. Long live the Queen!

Katie Couric or Diane Sawyer? When I worked at CBS, Katie Couric had a reputation for being nice to all the technicians (which I was one of, albeit in a different department). I don’t know much about Diane Sawyer as a person, but she totally dropped the ball on that Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley interview. So I’m going with Katie.

What’s next for you? What would you do with your life if absolutely nothing could stop you? My dream has always been to be a filmmaker, and my first feature, “Sidewalk Traffic,” is currently on the festival circuit. If lightning strikes and I can follow that path, huzzah! If not, I’m equally passionate about journalism and am quite happy to continue playing this game. Investigative pieces where I go after what I call “vulgar displays of power” are my favorite.

If you could encapsulate your predominant life philosophy in a phrase or a mantra, what would it be? Life is cruel, nobody owes you a damn thing, now go make something happen.

Do you believe in 5-year plans? If so, where do you hope to be in 5 years? I don’t believe in 5 year plans, but I’d love to have a column, maybe a radio show or podcast, and a gig in journalism that requires international travel, since that’s about the only way I’ll be able to get out of the country until my kids are in college.

Stolen from Inside the Actors studio: If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates? ‘I don’t blame you for giving up on me.’

Pick one: Homeland, Veep, House of Cards or Scandal: Veep, and its superior British cousin The Thick of It. Homeland is ludicrous and after the first season, pretty boring. House of Cards is fun, but dumb junk food. I’ve never seen Scandal, despite the presence of Kerry Washington (scandalous!).

Pick one: CNN’s New Day, MSNBC’s Morning Joe or Fox & Friends: “Morning Joe” because it proves America is a forgiving place for recidivist plagiarists.

ABC’s GMA or NBC’s TODAY Show? The TODAY Show because there’s always some real-life backstabbing drama. Think they treated Ann Curry badly? Ask Deborah Norville about the collegiality of Bryant Gumbel!

If you had to have a U.S. senator or congressman as your father who would it be? [The late] Daniel Patrick Moynihan because he was brilliant, skeptical of government power, feisty, and wrote some incredible books. They don’t make Democrats like him anymore.

Since this is The Mirror Questionnaire, what would you change about yourself physically if you could? My skin has always been a source of consternation. My complexion is inconsistent at best and I can’t be in direct sunlight for more than ten minutes without catching fire.

And your personality? Too many things. I’m restless, moody, fairly obsessive. I’d like to be able to relax a little easier.

Preferred beach anywhere in the world: Ditch Plains, Montauk, NY. I took a few summer trips there as a kid, and have been going back the past few years. It’s wide, it’s clean, the waves are good, and you can legally build a fire on it. It’s perfect.

Guilty pleasure TV show: “Pardon the Interruption.” Frankly, I should host that show, or at least be the new Stat Boy.

The snack you eat most: Pita chips and hummus. I married an Israeli-American. Often times, it’s the only thing in the house.

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.) I rarely search for myself and have never checked on my Klout score, but I’m still pretty self-obsessed. Maybe a 7. Having kids helps keep me grounded in a “you are not the most important person in the world, or even your own world” mantra.

Workout regimen: Run, bike or elliptical for 30 min, then 4 sets of 12 curls, shoulder presses, then 4 sets of 12 pushups, 15 situps.

Pick one – flabby thighs, cankles or love handles? Love handles. Most forgiving connotation.

Choose: Beautiful eyes, best personality or perfect legs? Beautiful eyes are a big thing for me. I’ve been fooled into thinking a terrible personality was great because of the eyes.

A thought that brings you great joy: My daughters think I’m the funniest person in the world.

A regret (of any kind): I stayed at a job for way too long in my 20s, when I could have been pursuing my passions, while mired in poverty, and no one would have judged me for it. Who knew no one gets serious about their career until their 30s these days?

Mika and Joe or Oprah and Steadman? Oprah and Steadman are truly creepy, so it’s got to be them.

Any brushes with death? If so, please describe. In Berlin a few months ago, I was riding a bike (without a helmet, as is their custom), when I stopped short to avoid hitting a jaywalking woman with a dog. I flipped head first over the handlebars, then the bike landed on my legs. I was in the middle of the street, lying prone across trolley tracks. I scurried to safety, but it was hairy there for a minute.

I was also mugged in broad daylight by a dude with a knife outside my Manhattan apartment a few years back. I suppose that counts.

Just a preference Q: Bo or Sunny? I thought this was a soap opera question before correctly guessing it was an Obama’s dogs question. I seriously didn’t know they got a second dog, so Bo wins.

Most annoying thing your editor (boss) does: Last minute notes when I’m moments away from hitting “publish.”

Rank how hairy your butt is: 1 to 10? 2. I’ve got light body hair, so it appears less visible than it is.

Go for a stroll in the park with one of the following and explain the reason for your choice. 1. Rosie O’Donnell, formerly of The View. 2. CNN’s Chris Cuomo. 3. FNC’s Megyn Kelly. Or 4. Bo Obama. Rosie O’Donnell, because I really want to know who was responsible for 9/11.

When was the last time you were, if ever, naked outside? Momentarily after using an outdoor shower. It was wild. This is an important question.

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?  Damn. I can only pick one? Maybe Dick Cheney. But it’s kind of a waste to use the single “you’re full of shit” get out of jail free card on someone with no conscience.

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. It’s always pleasant to hear Italian spoken. It’s like music. Even reading it evokes pleasant smells.

From lefty radio host Bill Press: Where’s the one place in Washington you’d love to have sex, but can’t? I don’t have fantasies about sex in public places. I’d say the Oval Office, just to play along, but I’m afraid I’d catch something in there. Maybe the congressional cloak room? Sounds dirty enough.

From former Rep. Weiner’s ex-phone sex partner Sydney Elaine Leathers: Who is the worst journalist on your favorite news channel? I don’t have a favorite news channel and it would be a stretch to call most cable newsers “journalists,” but I’ll say Al Sharpton. Though the Free Beacon’s supercut of his teleprompter mishaps is always a great balm for a shitty day.

From Washington Free Beacon’s Lachlan Markay: Which universally acclaimed piece of literature, art, film, or music can you simply not stand? Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Magnolia.” 3-plus hours of insufferable, dull characters talking REALLY LOUD, edited together smash-cut style with unnecessary Scorsese-esque camera moves. I know, I know, Tom Cruise said “cock” and “pussy” a bunch. It really lowered the bar for pretentious “high art.”

From SiriusXM’s Julie Mason: What is the lie you always tell about yourself? That I don’t care about money. I do.

From freelancer and journalism prof Steve Friess: If you were the opposite of your sexual orientation, name three people you’d sleep with. A few dudes who epitomize an envious ideal of sexual charisma: Idris Elba, Jack Nicholson and Mick Jagger.

From Stateless Media’s Peter Savodnik: Why do you matter? Because my family counts on me. It’s the only thing I do where I couldn’t be replaced.

From motivational author and blogger Sophia Nelson: What do you want people to say about you – not when you die, but as you live? Fisher’s a smart, hard-working guy who keeps his word and isn’t a dick.

From New York Post’s Tara Palmeri: If you could give one politician or talking head a makeover, who would it be and what would you do? I’d have John Bolton shave his moustache. I believe most of his rhetorical powers lie in the ‘stache.

From Mediaite’s Editor-in-Chief Andrew Kirell: Which book would you bring to a book burning? [Don’t say you’re against book burning. We all are.]Anything by Ayn Rand, because she’s always the first thing I have to answer for when people find out I’m a libertarian.

Please provide a question for the next lucky victim of The Mirror Questionnaire. Make it good. It may live on indefinitely. What political viewpoint did you once hold that you’re now ashamed of?